How To Manage Projects When You Aren’t A Project Manager

You don’t have to be a full-time project manager to manage marketing projects and, odds are, that if you’re a member of a lean marketing team, it’s something you’ll be called upon to do regularly. If you think about it, you do lots of things that aren’t your core competency. You cook, but you’re not a chef. You drive, but you’re not a NASCAR star. You write emails, and you don’t have to be Hemingway to do that.  

Whether you’re a marketing manager, a creative director or a designer, here are 5 tips on handling the project management tasks that come your way:

1. Get some education

 If you just dedicate 15 minutes a day to understanding project management, you could see a difference in the sophistication of your project management techniques in just a few months. This course, for example, could be completed in just three weeks on your daily coffee break. Project management isn’t magic; it’s a skill you can learn just like any other. 

2. Blend project management techniques

 Just like there are various ways to be a teacher, an artist, or coach, project management styles vary. Learn the different schools of thought so you can decide which is best for your project management tasks.  If you need some help getting started, check out our post on the differences between Agile and Waterfall project management. 

3. Let technology be your guide

 The tech supporting project management has bloomed into a thing of true beauty over the last few years. Don’t just rely on Excel. You’ll miss out on assigning roles that automatically connect with your users, alerts that keep you on top of the most important tasks, and schedules that fill in your calendar. With the top-notch solutions on the market (like Workgroups DaVinci Pro), there’s no excuse for time-consuming manual project management.

4. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

 The most important thing you can do for your projects is start organized and stay organized. Before you jump into action, make sure all your documents are in place defining the who, what, where, when and how of the project. 

5. Establish a master source of information

Create one place where all project stakeholders can find and update information on the project (see hint #3). All information products, such as reports, should use data from this single source. 

Overall, embrace your role as the project manager. It might not be the job you signed up for, but it’s vital to achieve your marketing outcomes. Step up to leadership and keep your team on track for success.