If business success is 20% strategy and 80% execution…
(☝ Tony Robbins)
…then it pays to do execution right. And do you know, what the backbone of execution is?
In marketing, it’s project – and process – management.
OK, and what precedes that?
Documenting: putting your marketing-knowledge and processes into step-by-step guides that are easy to find internally and simple to follow.
This is not-so-obvious, but having clearly documented processes (tends to be viewed as a knowledge-management thing) actually results in projects being managed better.
OK, so how do you do documentation right?
People say, it doesn’t really matter how you document processes, as long as they’re in a place people know, and they can quickly look up whatever they need.
I used to think that, until I actually tried to use documented steps to serve as a guide for managing a marketing-project.
What I realized: for the processes you use on a daily basis, like: writing an article, producing video, launching a ppc campaign…
you need to document the steps in a way that aligns with how you run and manage projects. This is not as obvious as it sounds.
For creating episodes of the Electric B2B Show (and similar media-stuff for clients), we have a 9-step process which we have saved as a task template in ClickUp (our PM tool).
The steps go from conceptualizing an outline to shooting video, production and repurposing the content. You can see a snapshot of the current episode in the pic attached.
Now, the process has always been similar to this, but it used to be documented with different steps and different sub-tasks and checklists.
It took us creating a few episodes to realize that some steps should be separated into two because there is client feedback and more stakeholders involved, for example…
And, other steps should be merged into a single task because they blend together in the workflow.
An example: editing the raw video and creating subtitles was merged into a signle task.
So, when documenting learnings and steps, remember to do this in a way that corresponds to the subtleties of workflow, feedback loops etc.
This requires some thought and you probably won’t get it right the first time around – but that’s OK! We’re still tweaking this particular process, because it still isn’t perfect.
An important note: in marketing, don’t get caught up with your PM tool’s capabilities and features that were designed for waterfall processes. You won’t need most of them.
You can see that even though producing content feels like a linear process, it’s not – especially at a crazy-busy agency. So, using features like dependencies and linked tasks in the PM tool ended up adding noise – so we ditched it.
Stick with the minimum amount of tools and features you use, and expand as needed.
If you’re a small marketing team, there’s probably nothing you coulnd’t manage in a spreadsheet. Here’s to KISS – a fundamental principle in PM, and life.