Tactical Tips from a Project Manager at a Digital Marketing Agency
Part of being on a collaborative, driven team such as Avenue means that we wear many hats, and do it proudly and efficiently. Project Management is a key to any agency, but especially at Avenue. When I first joined Avenue, I was asked to take the Make a Difference Personality Profile, created to help you understand yourself and your teammates. When I first took the test, I got the Tranquil Turtle, who is categorized by being relationship-oriented, thoughtful, and a quiet listener.
I still carry some of those Tranquil Turtle traits, but after two years as a project manager, I took the test again. This time around, turns out I have become a Competent Camel. Here’s how the website describes me now: “The Competent Camel tends to focus on the details, and on how a project is completed. They prefer to focus on the smaller tasks and on creating and working within processes and systems, and they generally have a logical, processing, analytical mindset...Above all else, the Camel is motivated by the details and wants to ensure the quality of the work.”
So a Competent Camel is the Project Manager at Avenue...yep, that checks out! But what's fascinating to me is that those traits were truly learned, not fixed. The change in my results after two years showed me that the traits to being a successful Project Manager at a digital agency are not instilled, but rather a learned quality that takes time to grow and flex, like a muscle. Thus, I wanted to share a couple project management practices we use at Avenue to keep our team motivated, productive, and always on track.
Tip #1: Daily Huddle
No matter the size of your team, it’s important for project management to touch base and get aligned on what is in the pipeline, what’s in progress, and what has been completed. When there are so many moving parts, it can be easy to get caught up in the weeds and forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. That’s what daily huddle is for. The project manager should aim to facilitate daily huddle meetings, where the biggest questions are:
What are you working on today?
How can I support you?
Do you need to connect with anyone else on the team to achieve your daily goal?
Tip #2: Kanban Method
Speaking of “what’s in the pipeline, what’s in progress, and what has been completed,” we highly recommend using Kanban method, which essentially describes a process of visualizing work in a set of columns, and categorizing them through visual signals, commitment points, columns, delivery points, and WIP limits:
At Avenue, Kanban is used as simply as the previously described,
but this method can also be scaled to a setup more complex, like the following:
The best part about the Kanban method is that it is completely scalable for essentially every profession, as its focus is centered around productivity, simplification, and organization.
Tip #3: Find the project management tool that works for you and your team
Digital Marketing professionals have hundreds of tools at our disposal and sometimes it can be hard to narrow down the choices. Like any other service, there is typically not a one-size fits all tool for project management. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the project management tool for you.
What is the size of your team?
How many clients and/or projects are you working on at any given time?
Do you have a certain structure in mind for how you’d like your projects to be laid out?
What factors are the most important to you (ex. price, number of users allowed, calendar feature, visual appeal, design and dashboard flexibility)?
Are there other suites or platforms that must be able to integrate with your project management tool?
Some of our favorite project management tools are Trello, Asana, and Basecamp, because we find that you can flex a lot of different company structures and needs into any one of these three options. It’s important that you factor in your own needs, so we recommend testing out any of the free trial options available for making your final decision.
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Please note that Avenue has no affiliation with any products, services, or websites referenced in this blog post. Avenue is a woman and BIPOC-owned digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon using business as a force for good. Our proprietary suite of paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media services help brands and businesses of all sizes grow sustainably and successfully. For more information, we invite you to visit ourservices page.