Another new client has signed on, and you know the drill. The team meets to brainstorm messaging, discuss rankings and SEO as well as other efforts to boost the client’s online image and visibility.
Once the details are mapped out, and the client gives the go ahead, everyone hits the ground running. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to happen. But somehow somewhere, the whole project falls apart.
What went wrong? Chances are that the glitch was related to how the agency handles workflow management. One misstep can threaten an entire campaign, and managers need to identify issues before they threaten to sabotage the project.
Is your agency’s workflow management clear and concise? Does everyone know their role and the next steps to a project?
Here are five signs that your workflow management efforts are failing…big time!
1. The agency uses old-school spreadsheets to track tasks
Things were going so well. Everyone had their tasks, the messaging was clear. Everything was ironed out, right? It was all detailed…on that big master spreadsheet.
Spreadsheets—old school spreadsheets—that are stored on the server are simply way too cumbersome and disjointed. The problem? Everyone has to update the spreadsheet so that it’s understood when tasks are completed or that a task is ready to move on to the next phase.
Some co-workers are on the ball, others not so much. Plus, not everyone always has access to the spreadsheet, and this makes tracking even more disastrous.
The solution: You can track your projects with workflow management software. Unlike spreadsheets, software allows you to build workspaces where you can add projects and tasks and assign them to team members.
Managers can keep the work flowing by setting prompts for the next task to begin after each step is completed and approved. Now the press release goes from the writing stage, to the editing stage and then the publishing stage seamlessly. Each person receives a prompt when their role begins.
2. Email is the standard way the team communicates about tasks.
Email is a great way to send private correspondence to co-workers and team members. However, when there are multiple people tied to a project, and everyone sends individual emails, information can get lost in the shuffle.
Or worse. Did you ever cc the wrong person? Or not realize that someone was bcc’d to an email and go off on a stressed out rant? Yeah. Emails are filled with ‘fails.’
You’ve also likely scrolled through your inbox desperate to find an approval, a change or some random note from a team member that you need. Uh, oh, though. You deleted the email, and you can’t recover it!
The Solution: Try software that incorporates a chat function for every task and project on your workspace. This allows the team to communicate with each other and see all the responses and feedback.
Managers can hide chat messages from anyone who doesn’t need to see this communication by simply adjusting the page view privileges. Easy!
3. Your team members track due dates to their mobile calendars.
Smartphones are amazing at helping us keep track of due dates, appointments and other big events. However, when the agency is trying to track deadlines, setting reminders on phones can become disjointed.
Suzy in marketing might have a reminder on her phone, but Dave in creative might not have set the due date anywhere on his device. Multiple devices mean mixed messages. How can managers keep it all straight?
They can’t! Managers need to be able to visualize all open due dates to help effectively track a project and keep workflow running on target. While personal reminders keep one person on task, the big picture is important.
The Solution: Use a master calendar via workflow software so managers and team members can view upcoming due dates and project deadlines.
4. Pieces of the project aren’t in one place.
Where’s the video for the marketing campaign? Or the infographic that needs to accompany a blog entry? Does anyone know?
If the company has pieces of the project stored in different files on the server, team members may have to go on a marketing scavenger hunt. Tracking down important documents and campaign components is a waste of time. All the information should be accessible and in one place.
The Solution: Use software that allows team members to attach videos, emails and other important files to a task or workspace. This lets everyone view the necessary files that they may need to complete their part of the project.
5. You can’t easily see how SEO efforts are helping or hurting your content.
So looking at the client’s blog right now, let’s talk about how the rankings stack up. How are those page views? We know you’ve spent time clicking between Google Analytics and your own work software to try to make sense of those rankings.
It’s a headache when the info you need isn’t in one place. You’ve probably tried to pull together a report only to go back and forth between data pages, media calendars and other client info. When the data isn’t easily accessible to the team when they need it, the job is going to take longer…and everyone’s going to get frustrated. .
The Solution: Choose software like Gryffin that includes SEO data and metrics from Google Analytics and Search Console. This allows the team to get the big picture now and make the necessary keyword and content changes to the campaign so that the failure becomes a success.
There are always projects that somehow derail; it happens simply, innocently. Someone might head off to vacation, and, oops, they forgot to send a draft to the client. Or write a major blog article detailing a new launch. Some misstep occurs, and, suddenly, the client is irate, the managers are sweating, and the big picture seems to be blurring.
Agencies can develop a number of bad habits that affect workflow management and lead to a massive campaign failure. To keep the work flowing smoothly, choose comprehensive workflow software that tracks every task, keeps the project on deadline and allows the team to have all the necessary tools at their fingertips. Get your workflow in order and try Gryffin today!