Part 1: Addressing the project management of marketing projects head on
In my last blog, Four marketing use cases for project collaboration, I shared how marketing professionals are avidly looking for technology to collaborate more efficiently to improve organizational performance. Whether you’re trying to launch a new product or roll out a website, there’s little time to search through emails or schedule another meeting to catch up on the status of a projects and deliverables.
The demand for better technology is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have in today’s increasingly connected world. Many marketing organizations are embracing agile marketing methods along with the right technology solution.
In this three-part series, I interview Ryan Doherty, Marketing Director at Planview. Ryan shares the story about how the Planview marketing organization made the shift from using a ticket system that provided little visibility into work and resources to using an agile marketing approach. We’ll discuss some of the challenges the team faced and the steps taken to improve overall project delivery and communication. Let’s get started.
Ryan, where was the Planview marketing organization before agile adoption?
Ryan Doherty: “Planview Marketing had two primary teams, Demand Generation and Web and Creative Services. We used a traditional ticket system to accept work requests from the Demand Generation team, corporate marketing, and other cross departmental teams including, sales and product management. These tickets had the standard details like due dates and other fields to help us sort the list. Typically, we would have 120-150 ticket requests – all in one long list. It was difficult to see and set priorities, much less understand any individual team member’s full work load. Tickets would get lost as they moved from assignee to assignee or from status to status. The original requester often found it hard to track all they had requested. No one could see the full view of work that was being requested. Simply working off due dates for 100 cards made it appear that everything should be rushed as a priority.”
“Tickets would all come into one central manager, who would firm up details and then assign tasks to team members. All communications were done through emails. The other issue was that there were multiple styles for project documentation and planning across the team with little consistency in processes. We knew something had to change.”
What methods were you looking to use to improve processes?
“We looked at creating a set of templates and standards to use for documenting projects and campaigns. We thought that if we had a consistent process, it would make us more efficient. We created SharePoint forms and shared network drives for documents. We tried to use MS Project and SharePoint calendars to help with visibility. Using the more traditional waterfall method of planning, we created massive project plans only to fall back to spreadsheets and tickets. Checklists and white boards became the visual of what items were needed for a project.”
Why did you chose an agile marketing approach? What were some of the features that attracted you to it?
“Agile marketing allowed us to break projects up into smaller time segments so we could plan for what was coming and set priorities accordingly. It also gave us the ability to do projects in phases. This meant we could get things out, see how they worked, and make changes or edits very quickly. By using Kanban boards, we gained visibility into what was needed over the next two-week sprint. Then, we could focus on the tasks at hand. Finally, being able to see progress across status columns for the whole team gave us the department-wide visibility we needed to do our jobs more efficiently.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 of our series. In Part 2, we’ll discuss Agile marketing and collaboration and in Part 3, Getting started with agile marketing and project collaboration. You can also download, Project Collaboration: Use Cases for Marketing to learn more about how your marketing organization leverage agile marketing combined with project collaboration. I’d like to hear from you.
How are you currently managing the myriad of projects and tasks within your marketing organization? Share by leaving a comment below.