Many Marketing Departments and smaller functional groups are in the process of optimizing their processes for remote working. They are in an introspective mode, assessing how they can continue being productive and stay connected without a HQ Office, conference rooms, or break room. The transition to a more remote workforce is not a new concept, it has been a trend in certain industries and departments for years now, but COVID-19 has certainly accelerated this trend.
Just like any change management initiative, there is not a specific “end date” for this type of exercise. Instead it is a journey which includes a variety of approaches. Experimenting with new technologies, learning new work habits or trying new strategies. Just as individuals grow through learning, so do companies and teams of people.
Clarizen Go is a cloud-based system, and so it is well suited for globally dispersed teams and fully remote workforces. However, there are a few things that Marketing teams you can do with Clarizen Go to set themselves up for greater productivity and connectivity during this time.
Set a New Foundation
The best first step in this case is a backwards one. It may seem obvious but take a step back and make sure that your entire team has access to the system. You can even invite “Guests” into your Clarizen Go instance. These might be other project stakeholders outside of the Marketing team or contractors who will be helping with the work.
Consider setting up your Clarizen Workspaces into multiple Boards based on the functional group who will complete the associated tasks. In the video example above, two teams are working on a Newsletter. The Newsletter Workspace is split into two Boards, one for “Content” and one for “Production”. Splitting the boards up this way means that each functional team can focus on and keep track of only the tasks to which they are assigned. Yet by keeping the two boards in the same Workspace, the leaders can still see the task roll-up for the whole project.
Take Advantage of All Functionality
Labels in Clarizen Go are a great way to tag different tasks by workstream. A Marketing team could tag their tasks with labels such as Social, Creative, Events and Digital. Think of them like report filers, so that the Directors of each area can easily see a list of all the tasks assigned to their teams across all projects, and hence see how well their teams are performing.
Need to track multiple critical deadlines? No problem! You can use the Milestones feature to easily identify which tasks are at risk of holding up your deadline. In the Newsletter example, there are Milestones set for having the Layout designed, the First draft ready for review, Approval of the final copy, and Publication. All the tasks in the Newsletter Workspace, across both the Content & Publication boards, are assigned to 1 of these 3 Milestones. By taking advantage of Milestones, the Project Leader stays informed on the status of the project and identifies which tasks need more attention in order to meet deadlines.
Task Checklists are an important and helpful way to assign specific sub-tasks to individuals. Each Newsletter needs a layout for example, so there is a main Task in the Content Board for “Layout Design”. Within that main task there is a checklist of sub-tasks which all need to be done before we can consider the Layout Design main task to be completed. By marking an individual to each sub task, the right people are notified whenever the main task is changed, and individual team members can view all the tasks and subtasks they are responsible for across multiple projects and prioritize their day-day work accordingly.
Remote & globally dispersed workforces do not have the luxury of working in the same room as their colleagues. They can’t just “pop over” to their team member’s desk or boss’ office to ask a quick question. However, Clarizen Go provides an “Activities” feed on the task view which allows individuals assigned to specific tasks to collaborate on an action plan for each task separately, progressing the tasks towards completion.
The Activity feature also acts as a system of record for all operational updates related to the task, not only capturing all the messages sent, but it also any changes made to the task’s fields such as labels, assignments, due dates and priority.
Integrate with Other Systems
Clarizen Go can be integrated to other widely used systems such as Salesforce (via Zapier) and directly with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, thereby compounding the benefits of increased productivity and connectivity while teams are operating remotely.
Microsoft Teams: This native integration allows organizations to manage their work directly in MS Teams, perform task related actions in MS Team Chat, and send/receive notifications so that colleagues never miss an important update.
Zoom: This integration helps workers stay on top of all their work with real-time updates, recording captures and in-chat commands. Project contributors can get notified whenever there are updates to Tasks. They can create a new Clarizen Go task directly from Zoom Chat and create a new Zoom meeting and associate it with a specific Task in a specific Workspace.