The current version of Microsoft’s Project software (2013) has really improve marketers ability to manage even better projects, campaigns, NPD, events and launches. With great new pre formated reports, communication and stakeholder engagement has never been more available and as we all know, keeping people informed and motivated is critical to project success.
While on the surface Microsoft Project 2013 (MS Project) can look like a complex piece of software, you need to make conscious decisions about how you are going to use it and then stick with that plan – you can base this on your stakeholder needs and use the software as a tool to help deliver on those. Its true, you can let the software bog you down, but if you have a goal on want you want out of it, and focus on that, it’ll be a great asset for you.
Reporting with Microsoft Project
For marketers, the software really only needs 4 things to work for you – that list of jobs to be completed, your estimated duration of each of those jobs, your best ideas on how the project needs to flow or the precedence of tasks, and finally who (individuals or teams) is doing each task. With this, you then have a project schedule, important start and finish dates, duration and if you have costs for your resources, a cashflow budget for your project also.
Then you can do some of your own work on the look and feel of the project – milestones, add in some notes on Goals, Scope and Assumptions and the strategic alignment of the project with the businesses needs. You then have a portfolio of reports to build your presentations and communications with, that will get sign off, win over sponsors, motivate your team and other stakeholders and generally make you look like someone who is completely on top of the projects they are responsible for.
There is a lot of tracking and reporting options for when the project is underway, but often in the fast paced marketing environment where you are running multiple, short term projects, its the proposal and baseline plan that is used to run the project.
While it sounds pretty nerdy, we are big fans of MS Project 2013 for Marketing Projects and can help though our facilitated sessions around 1 of your actual, upcoming projects or through our Project Reporting & Communicating 1 day course or the 2 day Project Management Skills for Marketers session.
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