A Balancing Act
It’s hard to conduct business with a few dozen clients that all have multiple projects happening in the agency if there’s not a solid foundation of organization. Who is working on which project? Has the design and layout been approved by the client? Did the right pieces get sent to print? These are all essential questions that need to be tracked and updated constantly to maintain a professional and effective agency. The following are just a few of the dos and don’ts that I have come across as the project manager at Mopdog:
DO: Create a project status sheet.
I personally love working with Google Sheets to easily edit and share the status of every project for every client with each coworker in office. For our weekly Monday production meeting, I’ll print off the sheet for everyone and we will discuss any updates to make sure everyone is in sync, knows what’s on their plate and that no one is too overloaded in work. I will also ensure each coworker knows what is “hot,” meaning what tasks are priority and need to be finished A.S.A.P. I am CC-ed on all internal emails, which allows me to update the status sheet as the project moves from person to person.
DON’T: Let anyone else in the office edit the project status sheet.
If others are able to edit the sheet, you will never have full control or be able to efficiently keep track of the current status of each project. In order to best manage every task, keep the status sheet locked but visible and instead, walk around to each office multiple times a day to update the projects’ status.
DO: Understand your coworkers’ bandwidth and workload capabilities.
There’s only so much time in the day and energy an individual can exert on certain tasks. Get to know your coworkers well and develop a relationship with them so you know they will feel comfortable coming to you for help and advice on how to best prioritize projects. Life can be crazy, especially balancing after-work activities and even differences in commute times. Luckily, we have incredible and understanding bosses that allow for flexible schedules so we can work most efficiently.
DON’T: Overbook a coworker.
The last thing you want to do as a project manager is overload one department and have another twiddling their thumbs. Yes, there will be times where some departments are busier than others, but you have to know when too much work is placed on an individual and find ways to assist those departments. Our status sheets at production meetings keep this from happening at Mopdog because we are able to move tasks around accordingly to even out the workload. We have incredibly talented staff that wear many hats and are able to move from web development to designing a postcard if the workload needs to be shifted.
DO: Make time to maintain client relationships.
I wear a lot of hats and do many things on the day-to-day from trafficking all internal projects to communicating with print vendors, etc. In addition to time management for my co-workers, it is very important that I continue relationships with my own clients. Our clients are exceptional people doing exceptional services for our community, and it is imperative that we be sure we are maintaining tight communication with them so we are able to fulfill their every need!
DON’T: Bury yourself in day-to-day internal tasks.
Always remember to see the big picture in the office so you don’t get flustered and frustrated with the details. As a project manager, there will always be a lot of traffic in the office and in your inbox. It is a balancing act for sure, but you must find what best works for you to help you and your team’s productivity and effectiveness so that you are able serve your clients as efficiently as possible.
The biggest takeaway – organization is key. When you have a consistent way of obtaining information for each project’s status from every client and coworker, everything in the office will flow much more effectively.
Connect with us for more information and tips, or if your business has marketing projects that you need completed in a timely and organized fashion. We’d love to help!
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