Marketing and Technical Project Management, Part 1

The technical project management approach is affected by which department initiates a project. In the next couple of posts I'll highlight some ways a marketing-requested technical project changes the overall approach.
In an IT driven project, the approach is usually very rigid. The plans are normally carried out with military precision. Because there’s no room for error, they take on a formal development process with highly detailed specifications and concrete timelines that are supported by regimented milestones and minutely detailed tasks. These projects are normally hidden behind a Wizard of OZ-like curtain in the IT department where teams that all speak the same “geeky” language understand the ins and outs of the technology, making the process like an assembly line.

In marketing-driven projects, the approach is usually very fluid. The plans have a rigid deadline and are carried out with an agile process. Project team members can vary in technical competence, so these projects can be very organic and may branch out into new, but controlled directions as participants increasingly grasp the technology better. The marketing technical project management process can at times be very reactive, rather than proactive.

Another way a marketing-driven project is different is that marketing-requested technical projects are normally less detailed when initially started, but are usually very constrained on time. Also, there is often no creative started for a project, but you still have to meet that hard project deadline (which is usually approaching quickly). So, it’s very important to establish the goals of the project first, and let the rest of the project take shape. Then do your best to be agile with the changing requirements while keeping the project scope in place. It’s also quite helpful to provide wireframes (based upon the technical specifications) to visually communicate what the workflow and screens will consist of to both the development and marketing teams. This quick sprint mentality, combined with necessary flexibility, is why we take a Scrum approach to marketing-requested technical projects here at Knotice.

I’ll discuss more ways a marketing-requested project impacts the technical manager’s approach on Friday.

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