Four capabilities of project collaboration tools to help marketing managers work smarter
As a Marketing Manager, your typical workday runs the gamut.
8:00am – 9:00am: Grab coffee! Check your email looking for urgent requests and respond to vendors, agencies, and partners and check calendar. Return phone calls. This is a reoccurring task that lasts all day.
10:00am –11:00pm: Conduct (1 of 4) project status meetings related to the multiple projects you’re managing or contributing to (leveraging spreadsheets to track progress). Some status updates are ad-hoc as you grab some quick face-time with co-workers, one cube over.
11:00am – 12:00pm: Put out a fire! The vendor informs you they missed your request via email and didn’t order the giveaways for your event in two weeks – so you hop on the phone and get the situation resolved – which sucks up your productivity.
12:00pm – 1:00pm: It’s lunch time! Probably eat at your desk just to catch up.
2:00pm – 4:00pm: Attend more meetings with outside stakeholders, often in different time zones. Wait for people to check-in via email with no clear visibility into the health of your projects. Update those spreadsheets and slides to communicate the plans to stakeholders for tomorrow’s meetings.
4:00pm – 5:00pm: As the work day comes to a close you try your best to tackle that to-do list. Troll through that bulky inbox to make sure you didn’t miss anything– keeping your fingers crossed that everyone involved knows what they need to deliver and that everything is under control.
8:00pm: One last check of your email before calling it a day.
Every day, you tell yourself these competing priorities are just part of the job. You’ll always have to juggle meetings and emails to make sure projects stay on track, deadlines are met, and issues escalated and addressed.
Clearly, you’re not alone when it comes to struggling to work smarter and overcome collaboration hurdles. There’s plenty of data supporting the fact that traditional tools like email and a reliance on too many disparate tools just don’t work.
Consider the recent Appleseed Partners study of 200 North American professionals that identified the five top hurdles to collaboration in their organizations:
- Too many emails: 42%
- Information not easily accessible: 40%
- No visibility into team member workload: 39%
- Hard to collaborate with cross-functional team members: 35%
- Everyone uses different tools: 33%
The survey also found that North American project managers (and accidental project managers) waste nine weeks a year due to poor project collaboration. But what if you could help your marketing team collaborate more effectively and improve visibility? No, you don’t have to relocate your entire team to within shouting distance or grow an extra set of hands.
In the above-mentioned survey, more than 40% agree that an all-in-one, online solution is a “must-have” for true project collaboration – and here’s the software requirements that rolled to the top.
- Workload visualization – A visual way to “shine the light” across team members and work to get an overview who’s working on what and to spot people (or tasks) that might be bottlenecking the path to progress.
- Project planning, scheduling, charting, and milestone tracking – Kanban boards provide a new level of visual productivity, depicting the flow of work as it progresses to completion.
- Document sharing – A document management system that is secure, structured, and easily accessible. Marketers and their constituents (far and wide) should be able to view, organize, and share content in a central location.
- A dashboard to track multiple projects – Dashboards for managers, team members, and stakeholders so everyone has an instant overview of a project’s progress, status, and performance. It also makes follow-up on project deliverables easier and more accurate.
As a marketer, can you relate to this scenario? I have talked to many marketers at events and conferences that deal with the same challenges. I invite you to listen to the on-demand Virtual Conference Series: Marketer’s Brunch and Learn, hosted by our friends at MarketingProfs. Learn how project collaboration tools can help you and your marketing team be more productive. If you want more information now, visit ProjectPlace for Marketers to get access to, whitepapers, uses cases, and product screenshots.