All posts in Project Management


Marketing Agency vs. Marketing Consultant: Which is Better for Project Managers?

marketing agency vs marketing consultant

Jaron Soh is Co-founder and COO at Traktion, the platform that makes hiring for growth simpler, agile, and more profitable for businesses.

According to a recent survey by The Digital Project Manager, the two biggest project management challenges of 2020 can be neatly summarised as people problems and project problems.

If that sounds a little vague, let’s get specific. 27% of those surveyed experienced challenges with their project stakeholders (i.e. people), while 24% encountered challenges with budgets and deadlines (you guessed it, project).

Thinking about this within the context of a marketing project, it’s easy to get distracted by those project-related concerns, wondering: “How do I deliver this on time and on budget?”

Well, here’s the thing… In my experience, you’re asking yourself the wrong question.

When it comes to marketing, don’t focus solely on the “how”; make sure you look at the “who”, too.

There’s a people problem to overcome. Ask who you should use to help deliver your marketing project on time and on budget; a solo marketing consultant, or a full-blown marketing agency? To answer that, you need to understand how they differ from one another, and the scenarios in which to use them.

In this Process Street post, we help you do just that. Here we explore:

Ready? Let’s dive in.
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Project Onboarding Hacks for a Successful Project Launch

Project Onboarding Hacks for a Successful Project LaunchThis is a guest post by Elizabeth Harrin, who runs the GirlsGuideToPM blog. She’s an author and mentor who loves demystifying project management, cats, and growing vegetables.

Your boss hands you a new project to run and mentions that some people are already lined up to help get it done. Great, you think. So, you call the first one on the list, but they don’t really know anything about the project, beyond the fact they’ve been ‘volunteered’ by their team leader.

This is where you switch into onboarding mode.

As a project manager, one of the first things to do is get the project team together. You need to build a team that has a common goal and that knows how the work is going to get done. That doesn’t happen overnight but you can certainly influence the speed (and willingness) of people to get involved with your project if you introduce them to the work in a structured way.

In this article, I’ll share my top tips for onboarding new people to a project team. I’ll also draw on the experience of other practicing project managers who have shared their stories so you can quickly get your projects off the ground with a team that knows what to do. To jump to a specific section click the link below.

Alternatively, just keep scrolling. 🚀
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Default to Action & Overcome the Toolbox Fallacy

toolbox-fallacy

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” – George Patton

“Once I have X, I can do Y.”

This phrase is the defining characteristic of the toolbox fallacy: thinking you can’t do something until you have the right tool.

The toolbox fallacy is self-deception disguised as excuses or a lack of “tools”. The issue with these tools is that you believe that you need them and thus, can’t (or won’t) start a project without them.

“As soon as my Apple Watch arrives, I’ll start training for the 5K.”

The problem is when X arrives, do you crack on and get started with the Y? Often times, it’s too easy to continue down the slippery slope of toolbox logic.

“My Apple Watch arrived, but now I need a coaching app – which I am yet to have downloaded.”

So, how do you overcome the toolbox fallacy? Simple: You default to action. In other words, you get the ball rolling – whether you have all the tools you think you need or not.

The solution, in a sense, is to be more agile.

In this post I’ll be looking at how to overcome the toolbox fallacy by putting the systems in place to move fast, and with virtue. I’ll try to address:

  • How do you plan and structure clear action items, so you can move fast and be sure you’re making the right decisions?
  • How will you move fast without breaking things (by things I mean humans)?

And, to sum things up I’ll take a look at how we at Process Street use OKRs to decide when it is we should be moving fast vs when we should be slowing down.

To jump to a specific section click the appropriate links below:

Let’s start by unpacking the toolbox fallacy in more depth! 🛠
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Master Project Management with the Critical Path Method

Master Project Management with the Critical Path Method

Project management requires a wide spectrum of skills, organizational abilities, and attention to detail to make sure everything moves forward according to plan. A good project manager is able to keep all the plates spinning in sync while making it appear effortless at the same time.

However, the more plates you have spinning at once, the harder this is to accomplish. Critical path method (CPM) is one of the tools project managers can use to create a comprehensive plan and organize complex projects with many moving parts.

In this Process Street post, I’ll take you through the CPM process step-by-step, and then show you how our templates and checklists can take some of the stress out of your project management.

Read on, or feel free to skip ahead:

Let’s jump in!
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Stop Profits Plummeting with a Quality Management Plan

quality management plan

Quality management. Oh, how I love thee.

You’ve given us rubber flavored cookies, phones that go up in smoke, and exploding car airbags (we’ll get to all of that later).

Last year, 337 food products passed through stringent quality management procedures and went to market with major issues. So major, in fact, that each and every one of those products had to be recalled. This cost the US economy over $7 million.

But, the cost of poor quality management surrounding the production of food is only a tiny part of the picture:

Defective product incidents have caused in excess of $2 billion of losses over five years” – Allianz, Product Recall, Managing the Impact of the New Risk Landscape

When you consider that the global quality management software market is valued at $7.96 billion, why are we, as consumers, still being exposed to low quality, defective products?

Because, contrary to what most organizations think, there is more to quality management than simply making a good product. You need to know how you’re going to make it good and how you’re going to make sure it remains good.

In other words, you need a plan. A quality management plan to be exact.

The reasons for this will become even clearer as we make our way through this Process Street post and discuss:

Let’s get planning.
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6 Types of Project Proposals That Get Approved (and How to Write Them)

project proposal - header

Project proposals are how you can get management to act on your ideas. They’re the bottom-up version of a project request form.

They are how you can influence your company’s future.

Writing a project proposal isn’t rocket science, but it is a vital skill for being able to successfully pitch projects that you know will benefit your team and business as a whole. Casual conversations aren’t enough – you need to give a formal document that addresses concerns before your manager, CEO, and stakeholders have a chance to voice them.

Plus, having a set template for writing a proposal gives you a document which you can reference throughout the entire project. Instead of having to rely on notes and your vague memory of a water cooler conversation, you have set instructions to follow, and a defense against anyone who says that the project isn’t worth it.

It’s a great example of effective business process management – if anyone questions you, you can show them the project proposal and say “this was approved, and so this is what we’re going to do”.

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How to Beat the Bus Factor (and Be Prepared for Anything)

bus factorWhat would happen if you were hit by a bus while walking to work?

Well, other than the morbidly obvious, and the time and money spent hiring and onboarding their replacement…

This is the line of thinking behind the infamous “bus factor” – the minimum number of people who, if out of action, would cause your operations to collapse.

46% of UK businesses would be forced to cease trading immediately if a key person died or was unable to continue working through illness or injury” – Online Money Advisor, Key Man Insurance: A Definitive Guide to Key Person Insurance

It might not be ideal, but it’s a harsh reality that every team has to face; whether temporarily or permanently, your colleagues aren’t always able to make it into work.

We, here at Process Street, have had more than our share of project delays (and even failures) due to a low bus factor, which is why this post has been written. Today, you’ll learn how to identify risky projects by using the bus factor, and how to mitigate those issues as quickly (and cheaply) as possible.

We’ll be covering:

Let’s get started.
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Become a Lean Machine With These Top 8 Lean Tools (Free Templates)

Become a Lean Machine With These Top 8 Lean Tools (Free Templates)-17

Studies show that moving towards a leaner business model can improve productivity by up to 25%, increase stock turnover by 33%, and increase on-time delivery by 26%.

The recognized benefits of being lean are only accumulating, with more and more studies advocating lean approaches in business for both economical and sustainable success.

However, some companies choose not to embrace lean philosophy through fear that the costs related outweigh the benefits gained. With this, we at Process Street have come to help.

You see, this fear has oozed from imperfect implementation and a misunderstanding. With the right lean tools and techniques, lean thinking can easily and successfully be applied.

In this article, we present you with our top 8 lean tools to assist you in implementing lean philosophy for your business or line of work. By using these tools, you will see a transformation, with maximal value and minimal waste.

Along with these tools, we grant you access to our template resources, which you can hop in and use right away for free.

Click on the relevant subheaders below to read the section of choice, alternatively scroll down for all I have to say.

Keen to become lean? Let’s jump in!
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Write a Successful Project Charter With Our Project Charter Template

write_a_successful_project_charter_with_our_project_charter_template-01

70% of projects fail, and the cost of this failure is a staggering $50-75 million.

Project breakdown can be mitigated via a project charter, and in this article, we at Process Street will show you how.

By following our Project Charter Template, you will target project failure from the root. Our template will guide you through the recognized process needed for successful project completion.

Click here to access our Project Charter Template!

From this article, you will learn what a project charter is and why you need one. The key elements that make a successful project charter and how you can implement these elements using our free Project Charter Template.

Click on the relevant subheader below to jump to the section of choice. Alternatively, scroll down to read all we have to say regarding project charters.

Let’s get started!
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How to Prevent Project Failure With a Risk Register

risk register

What do professional skydivers and successful project managers have in common?

They both identify, assess, and plan for risks.

Skydivers look at the conditions, equipment, and capabilities before, during, and after they jump out of planes. Project managers look at the conditions, equipment, and capabilities before, during, and after projects.

Why do they do that?

To stay on top of potential issues that could derail intended outcomes” – Project Manager, Guide to Using a Risk Register

How do they do that?

Well, I don’t know how skydivers do it, but to identify, assess, and plan for risks, a good project manager is never far away from a risk register.

But, when I discovered that 81% of organizations feel their risk registers are ineffective at identifying and planning for potential risks, and 30% of projects fail as a direct result, I felt the need to write this Process Street post about how to create one.

So, listen up as we go through the following:

If you’re in a hurry, grab this free Risk Register Process Checklist now, and catch up with the what, why, and how later.

Got your parachute? Ready, set… Geeeeronimoooooo…

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