Here at CCS, we take our content projects seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we have our very own superstar project manager tasked with ensuring each project stays on track.
Erin Larson, our expert Word Nerd Wrangler, is indeed a miracle worker. Each day, she moves mountains by keeping content projects moving forward, communicating with our customers, wrapping up projects and so much more.
We chatted with Erin recently via Zoom to talk about project management (and Schitt’s Creek episodes). Today, we’re delivering her hot tips that you can use to ensure content project success.
Erin’s Top 5 Website Content Project Management Tips
Erin has been working in project management for over 10 years and has been part of CCS for 2 years now. During this time, she’s gathered plenty of “to-dos” and “not-to-dos”. Here are her top five tips.
1. Communicate & Do It Well
Us: “How do you know a project is off-track? And what’s the first thing you do to fix it?”
Erin: “I know a project is off-track when I’m getting zero response about a project from anyone no matter how I reach out.”
Communication is important, especially when it comes to completing content projects. When a project runs off the rails, Erin’s first tip is to make sure you’ve exhausted all your communication options. If your point person doesn’t respond, try other team members.
She also says you must know when to fold, too: “Don’t waste time on a project that has been abandoned by the person who started it.” How do you know when a project has been truly abandoned? Get to know your customers!
According to Erin,
“It’s all about understanding the working relationship. Know who you’re working with and get to know their communication style.”
2. Stick to the Process
Us: “What’s one thing an agency could do today to improve project management?”
Erin: “Have a clear process for how you want to handle your projects and funnel everything through your project manager.”
If you want to improve your agency’s project management, you must have a clear, documented process in place. Once your process is in place, you must follow it. According to Erin,
“When you don’t follow your system or process, you have to go back and redo things the way they were supposed to be done.”
This is a surefire way to delay any content project.
It’s also important to ensure your project manager is updated with all facets of a project. Each task or step must be in your project manager’s system. Otherwise, things are bound to fall through the cracks. For example, if you send an email about a project, copy your project manager.
3. Update Your Process Whenever It’s Required
Speaking of process, Erin also believes in the importance of updating your system as often as you need to:
“Be hard on the process, not the person. This is what they say in management. Your people should be fine. It’s the process that’s giving them the opportunity to make a mistake.”
As you move through projects, process holes may show up. To keep project details from falling through these holes, update your process accordingly. And remember: Any changes to the process you make must be communicated to your team.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
Us: “What tools can you not live (or do your job) without?
Erin: “Technology for sure—a project management tool or system. It must be something that does the heavy lifting for you.”
Technology makes project management much easier. Task management systems such as Asana can do the heavy lifting involved in scheduling numerous tasks, tracking project status and more. According to Erin,
“If it weren’t for tech, project management would be a nightmare. We don’t have to know everything—technology can do it for us.”
5. Define a Clear Scope Before You Get Started
Us: “What’s one thing that can sabotage a project from the get-go?”
Erin: “Not having a clear scope of the project before you start.”
Content projects are often in-depth with many moving parts. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get excited and move forward with a project when you don’t fully understand the scope. For example, what looked like a simple five-page website might be a 10-page website.
Not having a clear picture of a project makes it impossible to manage properly. After all, how do you manage what you can’t see? To ensure you have a clear scope, you must communicate. Says Erin,
“If you have questions or concerns about the project, or if you’re unsure of how to move forward, talk it out. Don’t move forward until everyone’s on the same page.”
Struggling With Your Content Projects? We Can Help.
Content projects require a strong project management backbone for success. If you’re struggling with completing projects or if you have critical tasks falling through the cracks, we can help! To learn more about our white label copywriting services, send us a message.