We’ve all heard jokes about consultants. Something along the lines of “what does a consultant even do? That’s so vague.”
“Project manager” has the same reputation. It’s intangible, so some folks find it hard to understand. This article will give context and outline the three things that small business owners need to know about project management.
Project Management is like Marketing, Accounting or IT
You probably can’t fathom the idea of running your business without the internet. And when a computer gets cranky, the human who uses it gets even crankier.
Can you even imagine if you missed payroll because you don’t know how to process the accounts? Think of how upset your employees would be and the personal embarrassment to you as a small business owner.
So, while the enormity of the internet may be beyond your personal understanding, you respect that it’s essential to your business. And while accounting may not be your favorite pastime, you know that it’s central to your operations. The same can be said of project management; it’s critical to your success.
Project Management is more than deadlines and checklists. It connects the dots between people and tasks. A good project manager is also a stellar communicator. It’s more than paying attention to the the details, its knowing which details warrant attention.
While every employee carries a portion of project management, truly successful companies hire a dedicated project manager to make sure everyone—and everything—else funnels through their vigilant eye.
Project Management Doesn’t Just Happen – You Have to Make it Happen
Let’s say that your company makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You have an assembly line to build the sandwiches, and a sourcing department to order the ingredients. But you need project management—in some form or another—to get the ingredients from the loading dock to the assembly line. And from the assembly line to the customer. Logistics, project management, detail-oriented, whatever you call it, they’re cousins.
Your small business needs a dedicated person—or team—of project managers. People who think about connecting the dots. Each department is a dot and they focus on their dot very intensely and with great skill. But when it’s time to draw the line from one dot to another, we need someone to introduce the two dots and navigate the transition. Project management is active, it’s a verb, it’s something that happens purposefully, not by happenstance.
Project Management is Central to Marketing
You need a new website and know that your in-house team doesn’t have the technical skills, so you hire a freelance web developer. You need a new logo, so you hire a graphic designer. You may not have considered this, but you need a strong project manager too, which is why it’s more efficient to hire a marketing agency than a freelance contractor.
No matter how talented the freelancer is, they’re primarily focused on their singular dot. And you need someone to connect the dots between the logo, tradeshow booth, website, email campaign, etc. This is where a marketing firm can shine – they’ve brought together all three types of talent: creative, strategic, and project management.
- Project management connects the dots between people and tasks.
- Project management doesn’t happen on its own, you must make it happen.
- Outsource your marketing and project management when you can.
Is your company ready to take on a marketing campaign? Then reach out to 8Bend Marketing – we approach marketing from all disciplines.
Paul Dzik is 8Bend Marketing’s Campaign Manager. A critical thinker and problem solver, Paula oversees the 8Bend Marketing team’s projects to ensure they are done in a timely manner and helps keep the day-to-day of the agency running smoothly.