Project management might not be the first thing you think of for a martech stack — that’s a fancy way of saying all the different technologies we marketers use to work smarter, more creatively, more efficiently, and more collaboratively. However, even the strongest martech stack will topple if it isn’t built on a foundation of smart project management tools.
Before we get into martech stack recommendations, let’s talk about project management. Sure, it may not be the flashiest role on a marketing team, but we’re the operational strategists — your experts on how to get work done on time and on budget.
Value of Strategic Project Management
I can’t speak for other project managers, but I’ve always wished I was more strategic in coming up with brilliant and creative marketing ideas. But I’m not. That’s just not how my brain works. Where I can be strategic and exceed expectations is in the management of projects.
Over the years, I’ve learned that effective agency project management requires the perfect mix of consistency and flexibility. Our subject matter experts (SMEs) — writers, designers, videographers, digital and social team members, planners, etc. — benefit from experiencing consistency in how the project management discipline manages the work. This consistency allows them to focus their efforts on doing the work, as opposed to figuring out the best way to get the work done.
Furthermore, all clients should expect their agency partners to be strategic not only in their ideation, but also in the execution of these ideas. The agency should be efficient in getting this strategic work done from a timeline and budget standpoint.
We use three project management technologies as part of our martech stack. These tools benefit not only our team but our clients.
Managing Workflows with monday.com
Up first is monday.com, a cloud-based platform that allows us to manage complex workflows, processes, and tasks so we can meet our clients’ deadlines. monday.com creates consistency in how workflows are built while providing flexibility for more complex projects.
Why do workflows matter? A workflow is the sequence to follow to get the work done. But as we follow that workflow, we need to communicate and collaborate along the way, and monday.com helps facilitate that.
Additionally, monday.com provides visibility to the schedules of all our associates — so we can balance workloads, get the work into the hands of the right people, and prioritize projects. This allows SMEs to focus on doing the work, not on how and when to get it done.
Managing Budgets With Workamajig
Next we have Workamajig: project management software that we use for time tracking and financial and accounting needs. Granted, tasks like estimating, billing, financial reporting, and tracking time are typically items only a project manager will get excited about. But they are key to helping us be good stewards of our clients’ budgets and manage the financial health of the work we do for them.
Additionally, our clients expect us to estimate their work accurately and then manage to that budget. Tools like Workamajig give us historical data to create smart estimates and visibility to our team’s work so we can manage hours and stay within budget.
Reviewing With PageProof
Third on my list is PageProof, an online proofing tool that makes it easy for us to collaboratively review and approve creative work. Proofing work and editorial review are other tasks that rarely get the spotlight, but are so crucial to our success.
Our team can invest a lot of time coming up with an amazing creative concept and designing awesome work, but those smart ideas and creativity are all forgotten if we overlook a misspelled word in a headline. That’s why we rely on PageProof to help in the facilitation of thorough, detailed routing of our team’s content and creative work.
PageProof allows multiple colleagues to review materials in one central location. Access can be extended to clients, who can also use it to review and provide input on work. Capturing feedback in one place streamlines the review process. Collaboration has become increasingly important as remote work and global teams dominate the workforce. PageProof allows conversations to happen naturally, almost as though we were all together in a room looking at the concept hanging on the wall.
Peace of Mind Through Project Management
The implementation of agency-wide project management tools has been amazing for Two Rivers — a welcome departure from the days of creating our own Gannt charts and estimate spreadsheets. That being said, these tools will never be a substitute for a willingness to build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, or using “old fashioned” forms of communication to coordinate and collaborate to get work done.
Great agency partners will use these tools as part of a full martech stack to foster a creative work environment where everyone can focus on their greatest strengths and SMEs don’t have to worry about how the work will get accomplished. Project management tools help us give our clients what they want most: peace of mind that their work will be finished on time, on budget, and to the highest quality standards.
You can contact us by phone or email anytime to learn more about how Two Rivers Marketing can be an effective partner for your company.
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