Calum Shepherd

Project management and digital marketers

Digital Project Management is common place in large organisations and businesses throughout the UK. Loosely speaking roles can encompass the web development, infrastructure management or wider digital marketing campaigns. There is massive potential for the fundamentals of project management to be harnessed and applied to our wider digital marketing roles, improving efficiency and the ability for people to correctly measure success.

What about creativity?

Working in the digital industry at the moment, especially in SEO, will see you bombarded with information on the importance of content led creative. "How to get creative", "how to make the most out of content marketing", "tips on the value marketing proposition" - the list is endless. All are well and good and creativity should indeed take centre stage - don't get me wrong. It is essential modern digital marketers are creative, however organisation and good planning is right up there as well, no question!

Why being organised matters

It's simple, the more organised you are the better you can manage your own work, the work of your team and your ability to convey results (success!). As a granular example, the concept of backing up is lost recently in a lot of peoples minds. With always on cloud services and web apps giving the impression that their data will always be available, its no surprise. In many instances it will, in others it won't. Take Google Webmaster Tools, if your not exporting it then after 3 months your search query data disappears. This can create awkward moments whereby you don't have the data you need to measure success / performance - thus poor planning and documenting leads to an inability to measure success.

In addition, version control for documentation is also important. Although a strange concept for many outside projects and development, it can play an essential part of having people contribute to working documents on the fly - without loosing anything in the process. Thus, if you need to roll back due to one of the team being on a different level, then you can!

Some quick tips

  • Familiarise; Read up on both Prince2 and Agile methodologies, as learning the fundamentals will change your mindset before starting up
  • Big Picture; Think about the bigger picture; what are you aiming to achieve, what is the ideal end result and how will you measure success
  • Planning; Communication; Plan properly and communicate it and your progress clearly, it's better to initially include to many people than to little. Make sure you establish who the stakeholders are!
  • Scope; If you feel that something is spiraling or is suffering from scope creep; take a step back, identify whether or not you can accommodate, reject / accept the additional ideas. You can also speak to a PM in your organisation for a second opinion
  • Risks; Issues; Document any on-going risks or issues as they occur, its better to see these early and justify them once they have taken place

TLDR; Remember the fundamentals of Prince2 project management and BE MORE PRODUCTIVE! You'll have well documented benefits and kudos from those around you for doing so. You don't need to enter documentation hell (although many do) - you can use all the above and still be nimble.

You can check out the Prince2 Pocketbook if you want to find out more, a worthwhile read and its short enough to actually be practical and useful.

Calum Shepherd
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