To this day, my parents don’t really understand what I do. After 10 years, you’d think they’d get it, but then again most people don’t get it. Project Management is one of those concepts that people know they need, but not sure why or how it works. At the core of it, a project manager is exactly what it sounds like – a person who manages more than 1 project. Tricky, huh? In some way, shape, or form, most people exhibit some form of project management in their lives. It’s not like we only have 1 thing to do every day and that’s it. We juggle our priorities and responsibilities, both in personal and professional lives and hopefully succeed in both.
A traditional project manager must balance the planning, organizing, and staffing  needs by directing and controlling the production of a “system.” The challenge with this process is many times the project manager has no direct supervisory or accountability capacity. On the upside, a project manager frees up the subject matter experts to better do and focus on their expertise. In search, it allows the Account Manager to focus on bid management and campaign strategy as opposed to making sure the data is being pulled on time or in the correct format. They spend less time getting mired in the details and more time focusing on the big picture and meeting the client’s expectations.
When processes are in place, the transition of information and data across lines appears seamless. These end-to-end procedures create consistencies with standards across the group while ensuring the procedures encompass customer service touch points, milestone reporting, and financial reconciliation. Much of the time, this is implemented through technology solutions.
Regardless of the discipline, it’s all about results. Can you deliver my product on time and on budget? At the end of the day, that’s 90% of what the client wants. The more processes and procedures that are in place ensure more consistencies, fewer errors, and better overall synergies. At the core of it, it’s about collaborating and sharing insights because it’s those insights and recommendations that can form best practices.
We can all work well within our own groups and teams, but it’s when you start expanding that you quickly learn everyone has a different way of doing things. Some ideas are fantastic and other times, you wonder what were they thinking???? Could you get anymore ass-backwards? The challenge is getting everyone to play along and buy into the project management concept. At the end of the day, it will make everyone’s life easier. For instance, the new report devised and incorporated by the SEM team may have some fantastic benefits for SEO, but SEO isn’t aware of it because there is not a sound process for sharing information. Not only does the SEO team not benefit from this great new tool, but the client doesn’t reap the benefits either. Isn’t the goal better, faster, cheaper? Not harder, slower, and pricier? Best practices are based on proven project management processes and practice. We talk about them within our own teams and believe in the concept, whether they actually exist in reality or not and yet they continue to be a thorn in our side. A key component of project management is ensuring these best practices are not only followed but enforced throughout an organization. Project Management and best practices as an extension are keys to a successful campaign.