Why project planning is crucial for any agency

Posted by Sarah Mills

Planning ahead allows you to create a great user experience, reduces stress and identify outsourcing opportunities. Here’s how we plan projects ahead at Spitfire Inbound.

Project management is essential for an inbound marketing agency as proper planning will greatly reduce the risk factors involved when planning a big (or small) project.

According to The Digital Project Manager, an online project management website, “Great project management means much more than keeping project management’s iron triangle in check, delivering on time, budget, and scope; it unites clients and teams, creates a vision for success and gets everyone on the same page of what’s needed to stay on track for success. When projects are managed properly, there’s a positive impact that reverberates beyond delivery of ‘the stuff’”.

It’s for these exact reasons we always try plan ahead and schedule deadlines in advance, because if you fail to plan, you will plan to fail!

Below is a step-by-step guide to creating successful projects:

When creating a project plan, always keep these factors in mind:

  • What are your goals?

  • What are the deliverables?

  • What are realistic deadlines?

  • Are you assigning tasks to team members? (You should!)

  • What is your budget?

  • Who is responsible for the project and approvals from both client and agency side?

  • What are some of the risk factors associated with the project and how can they be solved?

Here are some crucial things to keep in mind when planning any project:

1. Always plan ahead

We recommend that you always write down what needs to be included in a project plan, and document it everywhere. In our case, we use a collaborative document or spreadsheet that lives on Google Drive, which is a great way to write down what to include in your project plan. Write everything and have a timeline, with deadlines, down before you forget what needs to be done!

2. Get people involved

Don’t try complete a whole project by yourself as you will definitely set yourself up for failure. Agencies often have teams of people working together, so get everyone involved in the execution of the project. This will help save time and highlight everyone’s roles and responsibilities in the process.

Zenkit, a project management platform, believes, “A crucial aspect of any workplace, not only does successful teamwork benefit the group as a whole, but it can also enhance personal development for the individuals involved. Essential attributes of teamwork such as communication, commitment, providing support, and sharing ideas and responsibility are exercised and reinforced when working on teamwork projects. Once the project has been accomplished, members of the team can walk away with their improved skills and apply them elsewhere in their work or even personal life.” And we wholeheartedly agree! If you don’t have a proper team in place to help you with your projects, you’ll waste a lot of time and your clients will get a bad impression of you.

3. Use project management tools

Your to-do-list needs to be agile and you definitely need some form of time management tool, like Workflowmax, to make sure you’re not spending too much time on a specific task. However, you’ll need to find a tool that really works for you and your agency!

Read our blog "Our 4 collaborative tools for the modern office" for more insights. 

Basecamp is also a hugely successful tool that organises projects and tasks into projects, teams and to-do-lists. This is a great tool for checking what your responsibilities are and what you need to complete within a given timeframe.

HubSpot has a project management tool under the marketing tab called projects. There are some great pre-loaded project plans here that not only give you all the steps in the process but also link to knowledge base articles. You are able to customise your own projects and task the relevant team members. A great tool for any team or individual working within the portal.

If these tools don’t float your boat, you can always try keep notes on your phone and tick them off as you complete tasks or sync your Google calendar with your to-do-list.

Tip on project managment

As Dwight D Eisenhower would say, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything!”

We know you love planning ahead just as much as we do, so why not download our Marketing Calendar? Interested? Click below:

Download Marketing Calendar