While projects need to be firmly in the hands of a capable project manager, project management is a team effort. Everyone needs to understand the scope of a project, how it aligns with your cleantech mission and how it brings you closer to fulfilling your vision.
All projects matter. Therefore, managing them effectively will contribute to your company’s commercial success.
Work in accordance with your strategy
- Have you got a communications strategy?
- Is it written down and understood by the whole team?
- Does the project align with your strategy?
Lots of well-meant advice says you must be on Twitter, you must work with influencers or you must have a growth hacker. But each company requires its own strategy based on factors such as what your product or service is, who your target audience is, how your team is set up and what stage of growth you are at.
As our CEO Alisa Murphy always says, “if it’s not written down, you don’t have a strategy”.
If you haven’t got a communications strategy that’s aligned with your visionary and commercial goals, make crafting one a priority project.
Be bold and keep your team on track. Don’t waste precious resources on activities that don’t align with your strategy.
Galvanise your team’s strengths
- Have you got the right team in place?
- Who is best placed to do what?
- Who is project manager?
The project manager must be accountable for the overall project. Of course, many people will be contributing to the project and aspects can be overseen by others, but only one person must be in charge overall.
Make sure you work to everyone’s strengths, find the right level of challenge and let the team know that together you’ll achieve greatness. Motivating your team is as much part of your role as organising action and achieving your objectives.
Plan for success
Now, for the actual planning.
Work backwards from the delivery date
Be ambitious, yet realistic with your timeline.
Hold a kick-off meeting
Assemble the team. Explain the project and how it fits in with the communications strategy and your company’s goals, so that everyone understands what’s at stake and why delivering excellent work matters. Then go through the plan so everyone knows what they’re expected to do and when.
Include even small details in your plan
Include all the details such as follow ups, chasing of internal and external colleagues, and checking that A has received X from B at the right time.
Use a project management tool
Become very familiar with it and make sure that the whole team knows how to use it and enjoys doing so. At Life Size, we like using Asana.
Establish effective communication channels
This could include a Slack channel dedicated to the project, weekly calls or meetings and a top-level update email.
Consider all people involved
Give each of the people involved, from your colleagues to external designers, printers, journalists, event managers etc. enough time to deliver their best.
Communicate deadlines assertively
Everyone involved needs to know what, when and how they’re expected to deliver, whether that’s work or an approval. Others working only on one part of the project need to be aware of the overall scope and timeline.
Ask for help
And anticipate where you may need it. Running into difficulties is unavoidable, so create an atmosphere in which you’re able to openly address them and find solutions together as a team. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will get stressed and have to fight alone to get the project done.
Debrief for continued success
The end of a project can be draining and even though you will be excited with the outcome, your eyes may already be on the next project or just on getting some well-deserved rest after a high work load phase. At this point you should motivate your team to join a constructive and enjoyable debrief.
- Check the budget
- Celebrate good points
- List what didn’t go so well
- Be constructive
- Action your learnings
I can’t stress enough how valuable good debriefs are. The most important part is to action your learnings: identify what needs to happen to improve upon your last experience, assign the tasks, give them deadlines and check-in on their implementation.
Good project management is the foundation of successful campaigns – while your stakeholders can’t see it, they will feel it. Create traction, deliver on your ambitions and build trust in your ability to be a market leader.
Do you need help with crafting a communications strategy that supports your commercial goals and vision? Request a free 30-minute consultation with one of our communications experts to find out how we can help.