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While formal project management is an established part of the culture in fields like engineering and software development, project management in marketing is still a somewhat unfamiliar concept. Best practices can be difficult to discover and many marketers tend to place a heavy focus on the creative process, and leave other aspects of the business to work themselves out on their own.

However, as the marketing world becomes more and more competitive, efficiency and productivity have become just as important as creativity. Whether you work for an in-house marketing team or an enterprise marketing firm, your success depends in large part on how well you and your team manage your projects.

5 Best Practices for marketing project management

Fortunately, marketing project management doesn’t have to get in the way of creativity. In fact, when you use advanced project management software like Clarizen to streamline tasks and foster collaboration, you’ll find that your team actually has more time to focus on their creative pursuits. Here’s a look at how you can improve your project management every step of the way.

Prioritize Your Work
Marketing teams deal with a bewildering array of requests and requirements for long-term campaigns and short-term projects. In order to get the most out of your available resources, you need to set priorities and align your efforts with the organization’s business strategy. Clarizen’s portfolio management capabilities make it easy to get a company-wide view of project status and employee allocation, helping you determine whether your time and money are being spent on the right activities.

Plan and Prepare
As a marketing project manager, one of your most important tasks is to develop a project plan and assign team members to appropriate tasks. In order to do this effectively, you need to have a complete understanding of the project requirements and the deliverables that are needed to fulfill them. If you haven’t tried it before, consider using a bottom up approach to project planning, in which the PM gets input from team members on task duration and other key considerations before creating the project plan. Many project managers have found that this approach leads to more realistic timelines and fewer budget overruns.

Collaborate as You Work
Collaboration is essential for every marketing team, even more so when teams include remote workers, external partners and other people who aren’t physically present with the rest of the team. Use Clarizen’s unique collaboration tools to connect team members and turn online conversations into information that the entire team can use. Collaboration should focus on bringing people together on actual tasks or objectives instead of collaborating for collaboration’s sake. Research has shown that popular social chat programs can actually impede progress and prevent people from doing ‘deep work.’

Monitor Your Progress
Once team members are deeply involved in their assigned tasks, the project manager and other stakeholders need to know how the work is progressing. Rather than pulling employees away from their work for frequent meetings or status update calls, you can use Clarizen to gather real-time updates without unnecessary disruptions. Clarizen also makes it easy to create comprehensive status reports for customers or senior management, so that all stakeholders can easily stay informed throughout the project.

Doug Uptmor
Doug Uptmor, Director of Content