One of the biggest advantages of Wrike lies within its flexible folder structure. I realized that mirroring the structure of my marketing teams offers a simplified and highly efficient way to manage and control their workload. This realization came as a result of dozens of interviews I conducted with various marketing teams. The information gathered from these interviews helped me better understand the key factors that inhibit the efficiency. This is key when you are doing JV’s or working in a team on new aff marketing campaigns. WRIKE can break down a task to sub-tasks, and even sub-tasks to deeper level tasks, and you can assign parts, or all of the ‘tree’ to different people to track. Best of all, this ensures that nothing will be missed. Click here to get a FREE Wrike account and test it yourself >>
The core of the problem
Marketing teams, no matter how big or small, almost as a rule suffer from being understaffed and/or burdened with excessive workload. This creates all sorts of problems on its own. Add to that the inherited cross-functional nature of the workflow and the problems keep piling on. With so many moving parts, having an inefficient resource and project management tool should not be one of them. I started using Wrike for high-performance marketing teams and that practice trickled all the way down through the ranks. Let me guide you through the basic setup I use and explain how each step makes everyone’s job easier.
Marketing teams, especially ones handling bigger campaigns, are segmented into various departments: Email marketing, Product and Content marketing, Research and Lead generation, etc. This creates sort of a tree structure within a marketing team. The best way to manage a set team is to mimic its structure using folders and recreate the tree from top to bottom. Creating parent folders and subsequent sub-folders will make it easier for you to issue tasks, control their progress, and communicate with other “branches”. And if there is ever a need to create additional branches, you can easily add a layer of subfolders regardless of the management level.
Take content marketing as an example. If you have a team working on case studies and blog posts, you can simply add infographics folder that can house projects under these labels. That way, you can introduce an entirely new department without messing with the existing team structure.
Progress report organization
Marketing teams produce a large number of data points. This is basically a constant stream of sortable data which carries multiple tags with it. One of these should be a weekly tag under which you can easily track the progress of each task. Here is why.
With a constant flow of deliverables, you can track whether the set milestones get completed and what causes the delays. Having the tasks on multiple locations can often cause a confusion and inefficient management. Housing all tasks into weekly folders offers a perfect solution and gives you the overview of missed and achieved goals.
Teams using this system proved to be more efficient than the ones who don’t. I would highly recommend implementing this into your Wrike setup, especially for high-performance marketing teams.
Running the meetings out of Wrike
This part is only the extension of the previous segment. Once you set up weekly folders, it is easy to run weekly meetings out of Wrike. Instead of having the teams submit their reports and slides, consider having them go into the weekly folder and show the completed tasks and lists. This will considerably shorten the time needed for teams to prepare for weekly meetings. You can also reschedule tasks by simply moving them to another week’s folder without losing the original timeline. This simplifies the process of tracking the history of the task.
Within the weekly folder, each team can add a meeting agenda note and collaborate with others on the issues needed to be addressed during the weekly meeting. That way, no overlapping or repeating issues will occur.
Establishing the leading roles
Every marketing team should have a person in charge. This is called a leading role. Create a management folder and organize teams into subfolders under the respective team leaders. Creating this distinction makes each team leader responsible for the sub-folders and for tagging the high priority tasks. Also, setting a tree like structure makes sure that teams under a certain team leader see his top priority tags and deliver the relevant information.
Setting the quarterly or annual goals for the teams is nothing new, but what I propose is creating a folder for set goals. That way, if team members deem a certain task to be relevant towards achieving the goal, they can add a tag to it and make it visible to collaborators. This makes it easier for everyone to keep track of the goal progression and it also keeps them motivated to contribute towards achieving it.
These are the key points I believe will help you create a more efficient project management environment. Besides all of the advantages I pointed out for every segment, there is also the an important one I didn’t mention so far.
Implementing this structure to an already existing management system won’t take up a lot of time. And from my experience, all the members of my staff were able to adopt these changes without an effort. Some of them were even using this system on their own and even suggested additional improvements that contributed towards better efficiency. If you feel like you reached the peak in your management efficiency, I believe implementing a similar folder structure will prove beneficial and open up new doors for streamlining ideas.