Project Management Templates
A great deal of standard material is available to help marketing professionals generate a project plan. It is not our intent in this chapter to review the basics of the project management body of knowledge. Our goal is to demonstrate how a few value-adding elements from traditional Six Sigma tools help in the design and analysis of marketing cycle time. We want you to have high confidence that what you choose to do and how long you forecast that it will take are in alignment with management expectations. There is much you can do to fix this mismatch. A disciplined approach for both management and the work teams can stabilize inconsistencies and drive predictable results. The project management discipline coupled with Lean principles and Six Sigma can better design and statistically model cycle time. This combination can improve understanding and documentation of critical path failure modes and then better resolve which tasks and enabling tool sets are critical to producing the...
Any project manager worth his salt should be able to research a project, schedule its development, add something creatively, and keep everyone focused and happy. A project manager should be part of the team and never above it. To fulfill these tasks, project managers need a foot in both camps. They need to know and understand the development process (if they don't, they can't help the developers) and be good managers as well. While most people cite endless energy, telepathic insight, and the motivational skills that can move ants to conquer Everest, the following are other core qualities you should be looking for Note It might come as a surprise that a bad project manager is rarely the converse of a Bad managers often interview well (otherwise you wouldn't take them on), but when they commence the job, their limitations quickly show. At the start of a project, providing the project plan is well constructed, it will practically run itself. You'll only become aware that the manager is...
Nothing is worse than a stuck programmer delving into the Internet, finding a bit of code to get him around a problem, embedding it into the program, and plodding on. You have no idea of the implications of quality, source, support, updates, and copyright, to say nothing of the licence fees. You can't expect new programmers to understand these issues. Finding solutions via the Internet is a black art and uses up a lot of time. It's far better that the developers tell the project manager what the problem is and for him to find, screen, and assess any potential solution. This is an excellent topic to bring up at your weekly meetings. With many people around the table, they might already know of solutions that they have used on previous occasions. Who knows, your organization might have a valid license to use it already.
You obviously need top people in the skeletal team from a very early stage, and the project manager is a key position. The project manager is your full-time product champion, whose task it is to supervise the encoding and assembly of the program so it matches up to its specification in word and spirit. In an embryo firm, it's usually the marketing manager who assumes this role. Having a great project manager is your best way to ensure that your project will come in on time. He or she will know how to manage and schedule your project. In addition to doing his own share of the coding, he will help and advise programmers with new approaches and techniques, as required. Equally important, the project manager enables everyone to focus on the same dream and ensures that less tangential coding is accidentally produced. The project manager holds the pearls of wisdom about what the product does, how they're going to write it, and why it is so important. He interprets the company's vision of...
This book describes how Six Sigma works in the context of strategic, tactical, and operational marketing processes. It focuses on integrating marketing process structure, requirements, and deliverables (phases and gates for risk management), project management (for design and control of marketing task cycle time), and balanced sets of marketing tools, methods, and best practices.
Now let's explore the importance of project management. We suggest adding some Six Sigma tools to the traditional project management body of knowledge to better manage a project and its associated risk. Chapter 3 , Six Sigma-Enabled Project Management in Marketing Processes, features specific recommendations on how certain Six Sigma tools enhance project management.
This does not mean that marketing professionals get a free pass with regard to disciplined execution of tasks that have measurable results. It also does not mean that marketers can ignore rigorous project management to control their cycle time on projects. All teams must be accountable for delivering results, whether they are working on the future product portfolio architecture, commercializing a particular product, or supporting a product line in the post-launch environment. If you manage the critical parameters by what you do within marketing processes, you can control the results that are produced.
Conducting a Gate Review requires forethought and planning on the part of both the project team members and the reviewers. The project members' planning entails creating the meeting agenda distributing the pre-read and gathering, analyzing, and summarizing the project status in an appropriate presentation review format. The project members also need to pay close attention to who can participate in the review. Often who attends is as important as the content. At the beginning of the project, the sponsor(s) and the project manager ensure that the right players and the right roles are invited to participate in project reviews. If a project has multiple sponsors or multiple key management stakeholders, having them together in one forum to discuss and debate issues, implications, and impacts often yields different results than one-on-one discussions. The interchange among the key players in a single forum helps validate the legitimacy and feasibility of risk management concepts that need...
The last unique, value-adding method for traditional project management is applying FMEA to the cycle-time design. This is one item you almost never see used in project management, yet it is the easiest to apply, and you get a really good payback for the time invested in doing it. FMEA can be applied to any process it works great to help identify risks and respective consequences. Using the FMEA tool helps teams design a proactive approach to avoiding cycle-time problemsa key enhancement. Some people may use FMEAs to support developing reaction plans to address problems if and when they arise, but that is not the most effective way to use the tool. A risk analysis and mitigation tool from the project management discipline can be just as effective in contingency planning. Table 3.1 shows a classic FMEA template. Current Project Management Evaluation or Control Mechanism Develop and document a preventive and reactive control plan to lower the possibility of risk and the level of risk if...
Project management methods RACI Matrix As part of the overall project management of the commercialization process, the control, management of risk, and key decision-making are greatly enhanced when each commercialization phase clearly defines the requirements, deliverables, tasks, and enabling tools. Recall that as in the portfolio renewal process, any vague tools-tasks-deliverables-requirements combination erodes the ability to sustain growth. When these four elements disintegrate, so does your performance, eventually resulting in erratic growth from sources (see Figure 5.5 ).
As mentioned, four of the nine items are Six Sigma-based and go beyond traditional baseline project management methods. These four add incremental value in producing high-integrity project cycle time planning and results. Conducting a series of Monte Carlo Simulations on the designed critical path of tasks is a critical Six Sigma tool. The tool's importance justifies its own section consisting of eight key elements.
Chapters 2 , Measuring Marketing Performance and Risk Accrual Using Scorecards, and 3 , Six Sigma-Enabled Project Management in Marketing Processes, work closely together. Chapter 2 is about a system of integrated marketing scorecards that measure risk accrual from tool use to task completion to gate deliverables for any of the three marketing processes. Chapter 3 is a great way to get a project management view of how marketing teams can design and manage their work with a little help from some very useful Six Sigma tools (Monte Carlo Simulations and Project Failure Modes & Effects Analysis FMEA ). Chapter 3 can help you lean out your marketing tasks and assess them for cycle-time risk.
You can measure awareness quickly, inexpensively, and simply by sampling 20 to 50 people who represent your target audience, depending on the circumstances and population size. In this way, you can measure the overall impact of your market communications plan, understand the most important drivers of awareness, and tailor current and future communications plans for greater effectiveness and efficiency. Otherwise, overspending on marketing and sales tactics becomes a risk.
Before exploring the details of each strategic, tactical, and operational method for marketing and sales, let's examine two foundational topics that transcend these three areas. The first fundamental subject involves the criticality of reporting and tracking performance and risk. Chapter 2 , Measuring Marketing Performance and Risk Accrual Using Scorecards, introduces a system of scorecards that build on Six Sigma principles to measure marketing's use of tools, completion of tasks, and the resulting deliverables across the strategic, tactical, and operational processes. Chapter 3 , Six Sigma-Enabled Project Management in Marketing Processes, addresses the importance of project management. We suggest adding some Six Sigma tools to the traditional project management body of knowledge to better manage a project and its associated risk.
For large, sophisticated projects, there are a number of complex, tiered, established procedures (for example, Prince2). Unfortunately, they don't scale down well as they tend to be managerially top-heavy and abstruse. So it isn't surprising that project management sometimes mushrooms into a function that threatens to dwarf the program development itself. Small and medium-sized projects need an approach that doesn't take up too much time yet addresses all key issues. This is where a template called the Unified Development Plan (UDP) comes in handy.
The process is the mechanism of getting from the start to the end of the coding. Nearly everyone has their own theory about it. The most important thing is to pick a working method that gives you the best chance of winning. A lot of the components typically associated with process, such as project feasibility, risk assessment, team structure, and project schedules, have already been sorted out in the project plan. As a standard precaution, the project manager should e-mail each member of the team asking if he or she is aware of any changes between the original project plan and where you stand now except those that everyone has already been made aware of (and list changes you are already aware of). Do not proceed until you receive categorical replies from all members and are agreed on what should be done.
Delays that are expressed in terms of time can be equally well expressed in terms of money, which is why every member of your team needs to keep a beady eye on the way the golden hourglass drips. The accounts people measure each item of expenditure. The managing director is concerned with the bottom and finishing lines. The project manager is concerned that he doesn't go over his ceiling in time or money. The staff are concerned that their expenses don't exceed their allowance and that they deliver on schedule. On a software project everyone has to pace their resources.
It's a good rule of thumb that if a writer has spent more than half an hour getting nowhere, he should start using Plan B, even though it may mean interrupting his colleagues. The first thing he should do is talk the problem through with his project manager it's what he's there for. If the project manager can't solve the problem, the pair should work out who (inside the team or outside the organization) is most likely to know the answer. If that doesn't yield results, they should put out a newsgroup message. The response time can be surprisingly prompt, but delays of up to four hours are common. If a programmer takes this route, he will naturally get on with something else in the interval, pausing to check every hour for a brainwave to emanate from the Internet.
Should an organisation have a separate e-marketing plan defining its strategic approach to the Internet, either for the organisation as a whole or for specific markets or brands Consider Figure 4.2. You will be familiar with the hierarchy of plans for an organisation, from a corporate or business plan which informs a marketing plan which in turn informs a communications plan and campaign briefs for different markets or brands. But where does the e-marketing plan fit Does the organisation need one Figure 4.2 suggests that an e-marketing plan may be useful to manage the 'e-campaign components' which refers to online communications tools such as online advertising or e-mail marketing or continuous e-marketing activities which may be conducted throughout the year to drive traffic, for example search engine marketing, affiliate marketing or online sponsorship.
Computers have made a significant impact on the process of project management and planning, and specialised software packages - more specifically, packages that run on desktop computers - have been developed. In applying the PERT technique, the networks produced are often large and require many revisions for replanning and updating. Making such revisions by hand can be time-consuming, confusing and costly. The process is much accelerated by the use of appropriate computer software, making changes and comparisons much easier. There are many relevant software packages available, some specifically designed for use with the desktop computer. A useful guide to have when selecting a package is that provided by Smith and Gupta.6 An example of a sophisticated project management computer software package is Time Line for Windows.7 It possesses convenient graphing tools that make it easy to build and revise schedules and to assign and coordinate resources, dependencies and due dates across...
One of the classic market positioning strategies is to create a new category of product or service and thereby establish your organization as a market leader in a redefined market. In some ways this strategy has already been put into effect by other service providers in the construction industry. The redefined category of project management has been established by, among others, surveyors who have established market leader-ship in this market. Of course design professionals are still free to register their project management capabilities with prospective clients but in terms of market positioning they are now seen by clients as coming from behind rather than being the leader of the pack
Consider separate managers if major in-house staff and a service firm are both required. Teleservicing even its supervision is a time-intensive job 17. Selection. Personal rapport is vital in your working relationship with the account executive, especially during start-up. Let management set parameters for the decision on which firm to choose. Let the actual choice be made by the project manager.
The content refresh cycle is related to content lifecycle but is not the same. It describes how frequently content needs to be updated during its lifecycle. A course about project management or safe driving theory will be on a long refresh cycle and, as a result, justify an investment in a large self-paced e-learning course. In contrast, the bulk of courses about fast changing e-business processes might be best confined to virtual classes and mini-courses with inexpensive development costs and fast updates.
Process consulting skills Many pro bono projects are staffed with part-time volunteers, consultants, and the nonprofit's employees. This creates the need for strong process skills like meeting facilitation, data analysis, and project management. Creating a cohesive and productive team from a disparate group is challenging and provides volunteer consultants with invaluable project skills for future assignments.
Based on our learning to date it would appear that despite the consultative and learner focused nature of many of the theories of situated learning, the adoption of such an approach does not necessarily lend itself to virtual project work relying on collaboration. As researchers and practitioner working within this field, we have been keen to learn from the lessons of ESeN as we carry out new projects. Particular project management styles which involve strong facilitation and personal influence seem to be called for, in the place of more participative approaches which had less impact in the case of ESeN.
When business units have aggressive deadlines for the delivery of e-learning content, they often propose extremely short turnaround times for scheduled reviews of content, for example ''If we have the document by close of business Friday, you'll have our comments back first thing Monday morning.'' If you believe that the material can't be adequately reviewed in 2 days, say so up front, politely but firmly. When feedback turns up 4 or 5 days late, it's the development team who will be asked to make up for lost time. Add up all the slippage from missed review dates and you can easily lose a month out of your development schedule. Aim to define reasonable review periods in the SLA between business units and the learning department. Liase with the sponsor and your SME's line manager to ensure that time scheduled for reviews has been cleared. At the same time, the project manager should keep the SME informed of any changes to the delivery dates of content for review. Springing last minute...
There is an expectation on the part of sponsors that e-learning will move at what we used to call e-speed. E-learning certainly delivers content faster than other channels but many sponsors are unaware of the complexities and time parameters of the development process. As a result, they will propose unrealistic schedules. If you are certain that applying all your energies, skills, experience, resources and determination will not ensure the delivery date is met, you need to make that point before committing yourself. I am not suggesting a complacent approach to scheduling but there really is only so much development that can take place in a given period of time. Increasing the size of the development team looks like a good idea but as IBM mega-project manager Frederick Brooks pointed out more than 25 years ago Since software construction is inherently a systems effort an exercise in complex interrelationships communication effort is great, and it quickly dominates the decrease in...
Having determined its selection criteria, management proceeds to recruit the desired candidate. The human resources department looks for applicants by getting names from current salespeople, using employment agencies and placing classified ads. Recruiting will attract many applicants, from which the company must select the best. The selection procedure can vary from a single informal interview to lengthy testing and interviewing. Many companies give formal tests to sales applicants. Tests typically measure sales aptitude, analytical and organizational skills, personality traits and other characteristics.8 Companies generally take test results seriously. Gillette, for example, claims that tests have reduced turnover by 42 per cent and that tost scores have correlated well with the later performance of new salespeople. But test scores provide only one piece of information in a set that includes personal characteristics, references, past employment historv and interviewer reactions.
Walter Thompson, the agency's CEO, Chris Jones, has championed a program called Thompson Total Branding (TTB) that makes JWT the manager of a client's brand. TTB involves taking what the agency calls a Branding Idea and developing a total communications plan that helps decide which integrated marketing tools can most powerfully and persuasively communicate it. One of the company executives notes, Agencies are finally realizing that our job is creating branding solutions and, while those may involve advertising, it's not necessarily about advertising. That's a fundamental change in the way we operate. The ability to use various IMC tools has helped the agency secure new accounts and strengthen relationships with existing clients.
Specific promotional objectives also guide development of the integrated marketing communications plan. All phases of a firm's promotional strategy should be based on the established objectives, including budgeting, creative, and media decisions as well as supportive programs such as direct marketing, public relations publicity, sales promotion, and or reseller support.
A contribution to business profitability is always the ultimate aim of e-commerce. To assess this, leading companies set an Internet contribution target of achieving a certain proportion of sales via the channel. When easyJet (www.easviet.com) launched its e-commerce facility in 1998, it set an Internet contribution target of 30 by 2000. They put the resources and communications plan in place to achieve this and their target was reached in 1999. Assessing contribution is more difficult for a company that cannot sell products online, but the role of the Internet in influencing purchase should be assessed. Discounted cash flow techniques are used to assess the rate of return over time.
Project Manager 4. Project manager. When in-house technical expertise is available, use it, always asking to be a spectator permitted to learn. When printing decisions are thrust on you before you feel quite ready for them, ask the printer to be your guide. Never involve yourself in how-to questions Remember the client's magic words I know what we have to achieve. I couldn't begin to tell you how to get there.
The approval steps in creating and producing the catalog constitute a process rather than a specific number of persons. Whether you do it all yourself or have a staff, the procedure is the same. No matter how large the staff, the project manager should be the person with the most advertising expertise. Assign this function first, to let that person play a key role in filling the other slots.
Their costs are predictable, and the financial risks are shifted to the consultant. If a project schedule is delayed or the objectives change in the middle of the project, the consultant may have to perform more work than originally budgeted, at the fixed price. Most clients will recognize the need to renegotiate fees in this situation, but they have also been known to refuse to pay more. It's also essential to define the role of the client's team in meeting the project schedule. In one case, a client's team members were pulled off a fixed-fee project after the first two weeks because the client needed them to analyze a potential company acquisition. The assignment of the new client team slowed the project down so much that it took several weeks longer to complete the work. The consultant and the client ended up in heated argument about the additional costs that the consultant incurred shuffling the team and orienting the new team members.
There are two ways to get good specialists hire them or grow them yourself. Project management is a skill. If you have a brilliant programmer who displays no aptitude for management, do not promote him beyond his capabilities. You are better off leaving him with what he does best. Training may help in bridging the gap but don't rely on short-term training to overcome a natural human limitation.
Although few do it, one of the most important tasks of a project manager is to hold his programmers' hands whenever they get stuck. To be effective, the project manager has to be conversant with the languages and techniques being employed. The project manager can then work alongside the programmer, get him or her to explain the problem, discuss solutions, and together work through the answer.
The project manager should verify and sign the minutes and distribute them to all concerned. Larger projects benefit from a short report at the end of each week noting progress and issues. Such reports, normally prepared by the project manager, do not have to be overtly formal and can either be handed around or distributed by e-mail.
According to the Project Management Institute, a program is a group of projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually''.3 It's a good high level description of the work of the build team. While there are a number of separate projects in the build, they are all interrelated so it makes sense to coordinate them through one person. It's the responsibility of the programme manager to work with all project managers to track their progress against programme milestones, to ensure coordination of effort, to guard against robbing Peter to pay Paul whether in time, money or resources, to ensure awareness of project dependencies, and to prevent each project team from reinventing the wheel. The programme manager should be experienced in the management of enterprise-wide initiatives.
Project Manager Every content development project requires a Project Manager who carries out all the tasks you would associate with project management budgeting, scheduling, tracking milestones and spend, ensuring that the agreed design specification is realized without compromise. If development is outsourced, the Project Manager owns the business and operational relationship with the vendor if development is in house, the relationship with the studio. If a large number of courses are being developed concurrently, a requirement for a lead project manager is likely to emerge to ensure efforts are coordinated and duplicate effort avoided. Production Manager Large content development projects, whether outsourced or in house, can benefit from the contribution of a Production Manager who works to the project manager and who owns responsibility for day-to-day operations and processes, and the managements of assets. The quantity of assets in even a medium sized course can be huge code,...
If you're a learning manager or project manager, you don't have to become a standards expert. You need to know only enough to make informed decisions that won't lock you out of the specific benefits standards can deliver to your e-learning implementation. That means you should know the areas current draft standards cover
Use your network to be at least one step ahead of the field on industry issues, trends, and the competitive environment. Master your skills and the delivery of your services. Regularly analyze every aspect of your consulting practice from initial prospect contacts and project management through project completion. Then take tangible steps to improve all deficiencies.
I work with copywriters, art directors, web designers, producers, printers, designers, photographers and other communication specialists. I also work closely with Savin's top management and our agency to develop a strategic communications plan that we can execute across many of the customer touch-points that are available. We extend our marketing communication strategy includes beyond advertising to our web site, direct marketing, electronic mail and other collateral.
|Project Management Documents Toolkit|
Project Management Made Easy
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.