The last several posts have discussed several products and resources for project management. Good project management has to occur throughout your organization to be successful. Your company probably has a great deal of knowledge and is already using a software package for scheduling such as Microsoft Project. I want to reiterate the point I made before, Scheduling is not Project Management.
I use Microsoft Project Standard 2007 for a very simple reason. I started using it (2nd program I ever purchased) when it was furnished with two- five and a quarter floppies. I have upgraded through the years and am currently using the 2003 version. It is a great package, and I have been very well pleased. However, it is $500.00 and many organizations will not use the full functionality of it. There are numerous packages both on-line and off-line that are very competent, and I recommend you evaluate each based on your individual needs.
An Affiliate resource of mine, Systems2win has a very unique set of Project Management tools that are templates for Microsoft Excel. They are part of his Kaizen Bundle offering, and if you understand Kaizen you understand why they are bundled there.
Below is a minimum outline for Project Management in a Marketing Process:
Calendar: Yes, we still could use a graphical list. Some people just have to see it that way to understand it.
Gantt Chart Project Plan: A graphic way for a Project Leader to manage tasks assigned to team members. This is an important tool to and the way I view project 90% of the time.
Project Cost Estimate Worksheet: To estimate project costs.
To Do List: A simple way for a Team Leader to manage tasks assigned to team members. Meeting Agenda & Minutes template: To prepare for and get the most from team meetings
Priorities Consensus Worksheet: To evaluate & prioritize strategic initiatives
Decision Matrix (with Impact Effort PICK Matrix): Provides a visually graphic depiction of the trade-offs between the impact that an alternative will probably have toward resolving the problem, and the effort required. I love Matrices.
Issues Worksheet: To organize and resolve issues faced by a project or team and to identify and approve potential software customizations
Organization Chart: To define both formal and informal work group structures
Ground Rules for Working Together: Covenants for mutual respect and productive work habits
Change Management Worksheet: To prepare a Communications Plan and other approaches to help people embrace change
Team Members, Roles & Responsibilities: A concise way to summarize who is responsible for what.
Team Support Roles: Clear responsibilities for the Teams that support various project teams
Project Team Facilities Worksheet: To identify facilities needed, and track status of providing them.
The descriptions of these items were furnished by Systems2win. Their Project Management templates included each one of these and more in a Microsoft Word or Excel Template.
Small Project Management: As you become familiar with Lean and the Lean Marketing concept, you will learn about A3 reporting. An A3 Report is a single-page storyboard that is used to systematically identify problems and stimulate creative problem-solving. It is also used for proposals and guidelines for the work that needs to be done. It could also serve as a small project management form if so constructed. However most of the time it will consist of several of the items above embedded into one sheet.
There is so much to learn in project management that I have chosen to create numerous resources in lieu of blogging about the basics. Our journey will now start in Project Management for “Leaner” Marketing and there will be a fair amount of blogging around that subject.