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How Agencies Can Solve 3 Common Project Management Problems

June 15, 2020 in Projects 101

Agencies work within a unique set of constraints, from juggling multiple client projects to working with a rotating cast of SMEs (subject matter experts). When it comes to project management for agencies, many organizations struggle with some common challenges that threaten the delivery of their projects. Here are a few of the most common sticky situations and how to tackle them for good.

Problem: Your team doesn’t seem to share the same project vision

One common reason for project failure is a lack of clear goals. In an agency, where you might be handling several projects at once, each one with its own goals, this is something you must be strategic about. Projects that don’t have a defined vision often mean that tasks, project phases and deadlines have no meaning. They need clear, measurable goals to tie them together, give purpose to the work your team is doing and indicate what success looks like.

Solution: Establish clear goals before you launch your project

At your project kickoff meeting, ensure your team understands the specific goal your project seeks to meet, the metrics you plan to use to evaluate this and the value each role contributes to this end goal. Keep this information accessible in your project collaboration software so each team member can refer to it if needed. In fact, you can even break it down by project phase if you need, so your team understands their goals and responsibilities for each portion of the project.

Problem: Disorganized & ad-hoc communication

The amount of digital communication options – ranging from email to chat platforms to phone calls – can often mean your team’s communication is all over the place. When it comes to project management for agencies, this makes it harder to get updates, track progress and keep company workflow chugging along smoothly…especially if your team is juggling multiple projects, as is common for agencies.

As an agency, you’re likely dealing often with stakeholders or clients who have even less patience for disorganized communication. Providing prompt, professional and organized communication with your clients is the best way – aside from the project’s end results, of course – to keep them working with you long term.

Solution: Set guidelines for how & when your team communicates

When it comes to project management for agencies, choosing a program that makes your team’s life easier is key. Streamlining all communication and being able keep track of your team’s progress in real time goes a long way to making projects more effective. With project collaboration software, you can establish phases or milestones that require updates and your entire team can communicate and have access to files in a centralized location.

With TaskBranch, you can send status updates as group messages, and link your current priorities as To Do’s or Events. With any project, proactive and regularly scheduled communications are key to preventing problems down the line.

Problem: Tasks are bottlenecked, putting your deadlines at risk

Almost every project manager has struggled with hitting a deadline. With agencies, these deadlines are often fast and tight. Meeting a tight deadline requires every team member to work seamlessly and collaboratively, but this becomes a challenge when one team member is waiting on someone else to finish a task or share information. Sometimes this leads to rushed work to make that final deadline, which of course, doesn’t change just because one team member was late with a portion of their work.

Solution: Use project collaboration software to keep track of resources

One common reason people struggle to get tasks finished by a deadline is because their resources were stretched thin to begin with. This can be a problem in project management for agencies, because team members are often working on more than one project or client file at a time and, naturally, there are only so many hours in a day.

The best way to ensure your project is starting with optimal time, money and resources allocated to it is to map out workloads and set clear deadlines. Using project collaboration software like TaskBranch, you can establish this from the start by monitoring your team’s workloads across the board. This gives you a better starting point right out of the gate and ensures your project is set up to succeed.

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TaskBranch is a cloud-based project management suite that makes it easy for digital teams to manage multi-phase projects in one place.