Demand for content has been skyrocketing over the past few years–marketers are being ask to produce more for a larger, more global audience across more channels. This makes keeping yourself and your team on-task and on-schedule is more important than ever. Project management is an important skill across disciplines–and every function and every individual has their own way of optimizing their time and getting things done.
We took a turn around our own office, asking managers from across the board how they lead projects quickly and successfully.
1. “It’s easy to fall into the bad habit of using your Inbox as your To Do list. Mistaking the recent for the important is one of the ways you can undermine your own effectiveness. It’s a pernicious habit because being busy can make you feel productive. And, if you’re like me, feeling productive feels good.” –Brian Ivanovick, Head of Solutions Consulting
2. “To stay motivated long-term, I always like to find fresh ways to conceptualize my work. For example, I was recently listening to the Hiring On All Cylinders
podcast, and they said that ‘recruiting is a form of organized ADD, sort of like Jazz.’ If everyone plays their part properly, no matter how complex the process is, the result should feel effortless and well coordinated. If one person falls out of sync, the whole experience gets compromised. Well, this is our job to make sure this does not happen! Thinking about all the ways that this analogy is accurate gave me and my team a new outlook on how we collaborate and handle the complexity of our work.” – Anna Chalon, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition
3.“Most people realize that setting goals is an important step to getting things done – but I think a lot of people set goals and then don’t revisit them until it’s too late. I make a habit of exposing myself and my team to their goals on a regular basis. It not only reminds us of short-term tasks we need to complete, but it’s also very motivating to visualize and stay committed to what you want to achieve.” – Tony Granados, Head of Product Marketing
4.“Project management is markedly different from micromanagement. Micromanagement thwarts creativity and stymies individual ownership and motivation. On the flip side, project management works to instill confidence in the project team and cultivate individual contribution. It’s really key to keep this in mind as you develop as a project manager.” –Kat Gebert, Customer Marketing Manager
5.“As a project manager it’s key to remember: you’re not the channel owner, expert, or executor. Your job is to be descriptive, rather than prescriptive. Aim to keep the project team on track, without explicitly outlining how to do so. Ultimately, you should trust your team to do the work they’ve committed to.” – Caitlin McCormick, Marketing Operations Manager
6.“Your team comes before all else. As a project manager, you protect your team’s time, stand up for them in hairy situations, take the hit when projects are late, and take credit last when projects shine. Ultimately, you’re the oil that makes the machine run smoothly — but the cogs are doing all the heavy lifting” –Rachel Wagner, Director of Business Development
7.“You can keep projects on track through brute force, or by inspiring and motivating your team to do so on your own. This starts with the project manager: are you excited about the project? Even if you’re not, can you “fake it until you make it”? Your project team will feed off of your enthusiasm and vision. Not only that, it’s up to you to figure out what inspires and motivates your team. Take the time to get to know your project team and learn the levers you can pull to make them work harder, better, and faster.” –Lacey Larson, Field Enablement Manager