TLDR: Projects like marketing automation platform (MAP) implementations and migrations are often heavy to plan and coordinate. An agency-side project manager (PM) bridges the gaps between your organization and agency partners throughout a project, ensuring you’re on track to deliver the project on time, within budget and scope. During a project, an agency PM will help your organization plan deliverables and timelines, follow coherent processes, communicate effectively between teams, troubleshoot issues, and monitor and mitigate risks to the things you want to achieve.
Projects like marketing automation platform (MAP) implementations and migrations are often heavy to plan and coordinate. Migrations and implementations involve bringing many different stakeholders together throughout the project to share updates, deliverables, and decisions against agreed timelines and scope—a particularly complex task in larger organizations.
Before collaborating with an agency to deliver a migration or implementation, it’s easy to underestimate the demands of keeping communications and actions aligned between various accountable stakeholders. As a result, organizations can err away from involving an agency’s project manager (PM) to steer the progress of a project, a decision that risks a migration or implementation coming off track.Even if your organization has an internal PM assigned to the project, having an agency-side PM is essential to keep your internal teams and agency partners on the same page. In this Tough Talks Made Easy, you’ll learn to explain to key stakeholders and decision-makers—Marketing, Sales, IT, Digital—how agency-side project management helps to deliver projects and how PMs work to keep the likes of migrations and implementations on track.
THE PM’S VALUE
At a high level, PMs ensure that your teams work with agency stakeholders towards the same goals to deliver a project on time, within the budget and scope. PMs accomplish this by planning and setting up meetings between teams, coordinating the delivery of action items, raising awareness of risks and causes for delay, and pushing stakeholders to make timely decisions to keep the project moving as planned.
Stakeholder alignment is the key area where PMs make a constructive impact. Migrations and implementations involve many different tasks and decisions, and various teams in your organization, such as Marketing, Sales, IT, and Digital, may each have responsibilities and decision-making power. PMs track when input and decisions need to be received and connect these teams to provide timely and relevant updates. Without an agency-side PM to play this role, deliverables and decisions can slip under the radar and delay the completion of a project.
HOW PMS WORK
Involving a PM right from the beginning of a project maximizes your ability to succeed. During the initial kickoff session, PMs create the spine of a project by constructing a plan for deliverables, responsibilities, and timelines. A clear understanding of these pieces is essential for stakeholders to deliver and communicate as needed to progress the project.
PMs bridge the gaps between your organization and the agency throughout the project. Initially, they’ll ensure that the agency has captured all the relevant discoveries and established who, from your organization, is required to participate. PMs then follow up with stakeholders to ensure that input and decisions follow the agreed timelines, helping to identify, mitigate, and monitor delivery risks.
Through mediation, agency PMs help you achieve success. Stakeholders from your workplace can go to the agency PM to discuss and address feedback on the project’s progression. Should a colleague raise concerns about the project or develop new requirements, PMs work with agency teams to find solutions. Is your organization’s request in scope? How can we make this work? What impact will any changes have? How can we address any risks? Having a PM to ask these questions lets teams get organized, make improvements on the move, and solve potential issues as they arise.
ALLEVIATING PROJECT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
PMs experience some persistent challenges when project managing MAP migrations and implementations. Timelines are often compromised when organizations lack the resources to participate and provide input as planned or juggle competing projects (e.g. a web launch) that are likely to interfere with the process. Unclear ownership o
f tasks and scope creep born from underestimating complexity can also cause disruption and delay.
In these scenarios, PMs proactively work to anticipate and minimize risks to project delivery. For example, an agency PM can help your organization involve the most relevant stakeholders and sensibly delegate tasks and responsibilities. PMs can also factor competing projects into the initial plan and continuously monitor the risk of interference.
To help PMs manage migrations or implementations as effectively as possible, encourage the relevant stakeholders in your organization to approach the project with a few considerations in mind. To avoid strain from scope creep, advise colleagues to take time before the project kicks off to go over the steps involved and the support viable for the agency to offer.
Entering a project with clear goals and priorities will help the PM organize stakeholders to deliver the most pressing items and achievements. And the clearer your organization can identify the people who need to be involved and establish ownership and accountabilities for the project, the better the PM can align these various stakeholders to deliver on track.
STEERING PROJECTS TO SUCCESS
MAP migrations and implementations are complex undertakings, and the agency PM plays an indispensable role in guiding them to success. From the start to the end of a project, agency PMs contribute effective planning, process management, risk mitigation, troubleshooting, and alignment between your teams and the agency to deliver results on time, within scope, and within budget.
For any further guidance with MAP migrations and implementations, Revenue Pulse is here to help.