Marketing and Technical Project Management, Part 2

The following formula can be frustrating at times for the technical project manager and development team: a large amount of demand for success, plus minimal information, plus an often tight and rigid deadline. That formula is why in the beginning of the process, the project team must focus more on goals than details. Every team member must understand what needs to happen and when it's due. From the standpoint of the technology, it's important that we're producing what the marketer is envisioning, while at the same time making sure the code base is secure, error free, and adaptive. The necessary level of precision is why it's imperative to communicate often with both the client and the development teams as new information and goals are met. Everyone must be on the same page.

Needing something complex produced in a short time period often turns project managers and their teams into magicians. Continuing down that path of the magician analogy, here’s a magical project management scenario:

We know the magic trick we’re going to perform at the beginning of the 8pm show is pulling a rabbit out of a hat. We start by building a shell for the hat, but we’re not sure yet if we need a top hat or a baseball cap. Instead of waiting for the hat answer, we then move on to building the rabbit’s skeleton and muscles, but we don’t know what color fur the rabbit is supposed to have yet. Then, while gathering some of the answers we need to make this trick work (plus look the way they want), a little twist enters into the equation to make the trick more interesting. Fortunately, the request is still within the scope of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Finally, right before show time backstage, we’ll find out that the hat is required to be a white top hat and the rabbit needs have black fur. So, we’ll finish up the final touches as quickly as possible, and it is off to perform the trick live.

The above analogy shows why a Scrum approach to marketing project management is so helpful and important. Short, and regular, communication between team members helps us know what everyone is working on, what direction the project is taking, and where we’re at in getting the information and creative we need to deliver the project as a whole and on time.

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