Whether you are a project manager (PM) for a creative firm, tech company, new drug launch, or a multi-million dollar construction project, the success of each project comes back to the people who run it.
Yes, technology helps to streamline the process and make people accountable, but when push comes to shove, human connection is key and critical in any environment. As Rizco’s Director of Operations, a.k.a., Project Management Lead, I am the main day-to-day point of contact for most of Rizco’s clients and have gladly been coined “The Glue!”
“Since joining Rizco seven years ago, not only have I continued to grow through our wonderful team and clients, but have also learned how to nurture our process to maximize efficiency and profitability.”
— Michelle Mazur, Director of Operations
Rizco’s goal is to provide beautiful, measurable, and impactful end products to all of our clients – on time and within budget. But how do we make that happen?
Along with Rizco’s six-step process, which includes goal-setting, research, creative strategy, implementation, analyzation, and optimization, there are a few essential precautions that help us have a plan in place. While there is no single way to ensure PM success, here are eight ways for keeping a team organized and on task all while bringing a project to completion.
1. Be organized.
Organization is key at every stage of the project and checklists play a critical role. They not only provide a way to cross-check internally where the team is on a project but allow you to feel a sense of completion and accomplishment as well!
2. Know the projects inside and out.
From the onset, identify from the client who the key decision-makers will be and how their approval process will work. Ensure that you know the full scope of work – including production deadlines, event dates, regulatory review schedules, and other milestones that may impact the schedule. This will all drive the overall timing of the project.
3. Create a timeline.
Having a timeline set up from the beginning ensures that the team is following the client’s requested needs. In Rizco’s world, we set realistic expectations so the team has enough time to be excited about the project, generate great ideas, and foster creativity. In any situation, make sure your client is accountable for the timeline as well. Denote on the contract that if they delay the schedule that time and cost implications will apply.
4. Know your team’s skills.
As the PM, it is beneficial to know your team and their skill sets. Of course, you want to round out your team’s exposure to different types of projects, but knowing the expectations, personalities, and expertise that is needed will ease the assignment and productivity of the project.
5. Accountability is key.
Creating a touchpoint system with your clients, whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, is important for building trust. Communication can be a blend of formal and informal: via email, phone, face-to-face, or utilizing software, like Basecamp, to document a project’s progress when there are multiple people involved and to-dos. If communication is handled verbally, follow up promptly with a written recap and assign to-dos to avoid miscommunication.
6. Ask questions!
There is no such thing as a stupid question. The only stupid question there is – is the one you don’t ask. We all learn something new each and every day − so ask away!
7. Be flexible.
Being flexible is very important. The visual elements of a multi-faceted creative campaign are always subjective, so you need to be prepared for multiple rounds of revisions or changes in the scope of work as the initiative evolves. At Rizco, we welcome constructive criticism. We listen, learn, and do our best to accommodate our client’s wishes to be a valuable extension of their team and make them feel confident that they have a partner in the process.
8. Be kind and have fun!
It’s all about paying it forward. Of course, there are days that are filled with frustration, but if we are kind to one another and have fun along the way, it maximizes productivity. What is the point of working if you can’t infuse a bit of personality into the day and bring a smile to the faces of those that you work with?!
Have questions? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.