What is Project Management tool in context of Marketing and Marketing Operations?
If you’re still using a spreadsheet for tracking marketing tasks, allow us to welcome you into 2023! You can boost productivity and efficiency with a project management tool that not only tracks your project statuses but also makes recurring tasks and request intake a breeze with templates and request forms.
A PM tool is a software platform created to help teams plan, track, and collaborate on projects in real-time. As a campaign management tool, it can help marketing pros achieve maximum organization of campaign planning, assigning work, and tracking deadlines.
Does having a centralized campaign management center sound like a dream? Then it’s time to wake up and get to work.
Why should companies implement a PM tool?
From Asana to Zoho projects, there are a ton of PM tools with automation features that can make your marketing operations team work better, faster, smarter every day!
Using PM software has a ton of benefits. If you’re skeptical, here are a few to consider:
Imagine having a central source of truth for all project-focused communications, documentation and approvals. Unlock the ability for team members to stay on top of project statuses and move seamlessly together towards completion.
Better resource management:
Allocate MOPs resources more efficiently by ensuring that team members are working on the right projects at the right time. Additionally, change management is more agile with a PM tool. When priorities shift quickly, your plans can, too.
Team members can see exactly where a project stands at any point in time, which helps to identify potential delays and meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) more consistently.
Many PM tools allow you to generate a variety reports on project performance so you can identify improvement opportunities and optimize future processes.
When should a Marketing Organization implement a PM tool?
If your team is always busy, it may never seem like a good time to implement a new type of software. But, trust us, the benefits far outweigh the challenges and you will end up saving valuable hours in the long run.
The best time to set up a new tool is either:
During a slower season for the marketing team
During planning season for next year’s marketing initiatives
Your PM tool is your method of scaling the volume of campaigns while maintaining high quality of your Marketing. Could you 2x your campaigns without a PM tool? That’s probably as far as most companies could go before causing massive embarrassing mistakes, and even then you have an impossible mess of knowledge in a few peoples’ heads, and you’ll have to redo all of it if those persons leave.
Who should implement and oversee the PM tool at your company?
Generally, the marketing team owns the PM tool for your organization. Depending on how large or matrixed your company is, the marketing operations team may be the ones who plan, build and maintain it. (read more about PM as a key component to the future of MOPs)
To get successful buy-in and adoption from various departments, make transparency and inclusion of team members a priority. Since this process change will impact both senior management and team members directly, you’ll need to clearly communicate the benefits and involvement required of everyone from day one. There are also many different needs to consider, so it’s important to get diverse stakeholder perspectives from the outset.
Steps to implement a new PM tool in your Marketing org
Even if you’re sold, you may still have a few questions. Like what is the best way to implement a PM tool and how can you ensure maximum efficiency and productivity that makes a measurable impact for your organization?
At Etumos, we have a variety of tried and true methods when it comes to implementing a new system. We believe if you want to decide on the best, you have to start from best practices.
Here are the steps we’ve used in the past to help our clients set up their PM tools:
1. Pinpoint your pain points:
Brainstorm the process gaps you have with your current “system” and identify your must have vs. nice to have features.
2. Select the right option for you:
With needs in hand, start to compare options with your requirements and budget in mind. (This IS a good time to whip out that spreadsheet for comparison purposes) Many sites like TrustRadius, G2 or Capterra can help you narrow down your options with real-life customer reviews.
3. Make it happen:
- Communicate the benefits: Make sure your team understands the “why” behind this new initiative and how it will make their jobs easier.
- Plan out a pilot: Before rolling out the tool to your entire team, start with a small pilot group. This will give you a chance to work out any kinks and get feedback from a smaller group of users.
- Organize your space: Outline and develop consistent processes for your team to follow. Identify centralized request forms, automations and task naming conventions to make finding and cataloging work a breeze. Train your stakeholders: Remember that not only do you need plans to train your team members now, but there are new team members in the future that will need valuable tools to get up to speed. Don’t forget to document and update training materials regularly for future reference!
4. Encourage & Track Adoption:
Once you launch your PM tool, provide regular opportunities for improvement. You can even have a little fun with it by offering contests or incentives for team members to engage with the system or provide their feedback. Most will have usage reports that you can use to track adoption.
5. Review + Refine:
As with any system, it’s important to set aside time to evaluate how things are going. Set a regular cadence to refresh your PM tool and its inevitable updates to see how you can use it to optimize your whole martech stack.
Go Forth and Implement Your PM Tool
Whether you’re just starting the journey to finding your team’s ideal PM tool or have inherited one that needs a total makeover, this tool can be the lifeblood of your project planning process.
If it all feels too overwhelming, Etumos provides marketing operations support to assist you in creating structured, scalable request processes and operational efficiencies within your martech stack (including consulting to set up a Center of Excellence for your campaign operations, using your PM tool!).