3 Signs It’s Time to Call a Project Manager for Help
Every organization has a linchpin: a person(s) or thing essential to the organization.
In my opinion, what most people don’t realize is that “thing” is project management.
In this article, I aim to answer the age-old question: “Do I really need project management?”
(Spoiler alert: Yes!)
Implementing strong project management (PM) within a team or organization has a noticeable effect on efficiency and productivity, resulting in saved time and resources. Marketing managers and directors overseeing a large volume of complex initiatives can deeply benefit from solid PM support.
Below, I’ll describe why a project management resource plays an important role within your marketing team and highlight the three key signs it might be time to use a PM lifeline.
First things first…
What does Project Management do?
Project management aims to ensure work is organized and planned to maximize efficiencies and productivity and ensure all moving parts of a project have the attention they need. PM’s goal is always to complete work on time and within scope and budget.
Project managers are problem-solvers, and while they might not be necessary for every department, the benefit of project management to streamline workflows and communications for complex teams and workloads is extremely valuable and too often undervalued.
As teams grow, so does their workload and the complexity of their initiatives: that’s a lot of details to manage, monitor, and communicate. And that’s exactly where project management comes in.
PM can support your team by keeping an eye on the big picture while combing the fine details of projects like Ariel with a fork through her hair and ultimately allowing you to focus on the work itself.
So now that you know what PM does, how do you know if it’s time to get a project management lifeline?
Not enough time in the day or hands to help
Living in constant panic is no one’s cup of tea! (Personally, I prefer orange & cinnamon spice.)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious or don’t know what is going to be waiting for you when you open your laptop each morning, you’re not alone. You probably have more requests than resources and find yourself constantly reprioritizing your day. If things are really hairy, you may have departments constantly fighting over resources, and your team is overcommitting themselves and missing deadlines.
This is an opportunity to ask for help from someone with the skill sets necessary to create order from chaos: your friendly PMs! And while PMs cannot solve resource shortages, they will get creative in helping you get the most done while also helping you set realistic expectations with stakeholders by managing workloads and team capacity planning. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day!
Things aren’t getting done
It’s a common issue we, as PMs, hear when we come into a new team. Are things just not getting done, or aren’t getting done fast enough? Are handoffs between team members or departments sloppy? Let me guess: No one knows who was the last one holding the baton or what comes next. This results in delays or, worse, projects are dropped entirely and then become last-minute rushes.
Sometimes it’s that projects are tabled to make time for something more pressing and then are never seen or heard from again. Other times, it may be that initiatives are being worked on one “task” at a time rather than being worked on from a cohesive project plan with steps to the big-picture goal.
Project management can ensure workflow is tracked properly so everyone has visibility on where things are and what comes next. Having PM support can also help raise red flags when things go off track or run behind schedule.
You’re working harder, not smarter
Have you noticed a lack of communication between departments that results in a “time suck” of additional communications? Have you ever been in a meeting that could have been an email or status update in a project management system? (If not, you might be the first!) Have you noticed things are not getting more efficient over time? All of these issues are drains on resources and often result in duplication of work.
Project management can help templatize workflows and create milestones for your project updates that allow for rinse and repeat and, ultimately, more timely communications. Furthermore, PM can help identify bottlenecks in existing processes or workflows and develop solutions to resolve them, leading to expedited timelines in the future.
Project management is essential
Dedicated project management resources can provide real value to your team. If you find yourself saying, “There isn’t enough time in the day,” or “Things aren’t getting done,” or “We should be working smarter, not harder,” that’s a strong indication it’s time to call in a project manager.
It could be the linchpin you need to start, finish, and manage everything in-between.
If you’re curious about how PM could be an asset to your organization, contact us.
Kimberly Yanni is Manager of Project Services at DemandLab.