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Project Management 101: Project Request Intake

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Marketing teams are starting to get more serious about project management, but wasteful practices still persist. As a marketer, your environment is very dynamic. Naturally, your project requests—and the ways you receive them—tend to also be very dynamic. Right from the start, this can get your projects off on the wrong foot. Ultimately, it hurts yoru productivity, makes your projects late, and wastes time and money.
For the sake of your team’s success—and with a little help from PM expert Hala Saleh—it’s time to get your project request intake process process in order…

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Project Management 101: Project Request Intake

  1. 1. PM 101: Project Request Intake A crash course from project management pro Hala Saleh
  2. 2. Introduction Marketing teams are starting to get more serious about project management, bu twasteful practices still persist. As a marketer, your environment is very dynamic. Naturally, your project requests—and the ways you receive them—tend to also be very dynamic. Right from the start, this can get your projects off on the wrong foot. Ultimately, it hurts yoru productivity, makes your projects late, and wastes time and money. For the sake of your team’s success—and with a little help from PM expert Hala Saleh—it’s time to get your project request intake process process in order…
  3. 3. Why doesn’t your project request intake process work?
  4. 4. Email Abuse If you want to understand how the misuse of email can cause your projects to go haywire, you need only watch your own inbox…
  5. 5. “Email is problematic because somebody will decide they want to email the director. But it hasn’t gone through the stages of vetting. Email can be a great way to ensure we’re not all on the same page.” --Hala Saleh, President, 27Sprints
  6. 6. Drive=By Requests This is where someone with authority or somebody who has the ability to drive where you go with your work comes by and says, “Hey, can you get this thing done for me?”
  7. 7. “Unless we make very visible what is on our plate and what things are high priority, then those interruptions will continue happening.” --Hala Saleh, President, 27Sprints
  8. 8. Sticky Notes It’s not just about sticking a note on somebody’s desk and saying, “Get this done.”
  9. 9. “It’s more about how we make our work more visible. There is benefit to using sticky notes, but only if you’re using a very specific process.” --Hala Saleh, President, 27Sprints
  10. 10. Hallway Conversations These can be start of a conversation, but they don’t ensure that you and everybody else on the team are on the same page with regard to priority and specifics of what the requests are.
  11. 11. How to handle these request intake problems?
  12. 12. 1. Spread the word One of the most important things is to spread the word about what the process is—or what the process changes are that you intend to make.
  13. 13. “You can adopt any process you want, but the only way it’s going to work is if you and everybody else on your team are on the same page. You want to make sure to educate your requestors on your process, why you’re changing it, and how it works.” --Hala Saleh, president, 27Sprints
  14. 14. And then hold firm, especially when it comes to things like pushing back on requestors and saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t work on that unless you go through the process the way that we agreed on it.” Repeat this again and again until it becomes second nature.
  15. 15. 2. Streamline requests Of course, you need to make your request intake process as simple and uncluttered as possible. Here are some suggestions, which may or may not be what you need for your environment…
  16. 16. Shared email If you set up an email address where all project requests are received, make sure you also have the following: • A clear process for how that email folder is managed and who’s responsible for managing it • Regular organizing and prioritizing of the requests in the folder • A strong project request form, so that all request submissions are uniform and consistent
  17. 17. Shared folders Just like it sounds, you can have a shared folder where all requests are submitted before getting reviewed.
  18. 18. Project or Work Management Software Before you run out and purchase work management software, take a minute.
  19. 19. “There’s always going to be a time and place for utilizing project management software. But if you don’t have your process nailed down first, then you’re just exacerbating the problem. First step, figure out your process. Make sure everybody agrees on how you receive project requests and then put a toll in place that actually serves your needs.” --Hala Saleh, President, 27Sprints
  20. 20. Google Docs This works well with smaller teams, but the same principles apply. Make sure you nail down who’s managing that Google Doc and who’s looking into the prioritization of the list. Also, make sure that other people aren’t overriding or making updates and changes to the Google Doc.
  21. 21. Request Form Whatever method you try to implement in order to streamline your requests, make sure that you’re using a strong request form that captures the data and the information that you need to execute what you’re being asked to do.
  22. 22. Apply the Goldilocks Principle: make you’re capturing just the right amount of information, not too much and not too little.
  23. 23. Think about who’ S benefitting from this request. Who’s your customer? Who’s your user? What benefit do you expect to deliver with this request?
  24. 24. Finally, build your request form to help the requestor show the value that their request will create. This will help those will be prioritizing and working on fulfilling the request.
  25. 25. “Start to think through the business justification and giving the people doing the work a sense of purpose of why they’re actually working on a task—versus just turning it into a task and asking somebody to execute that. Giving people context that way helps them understand the value that they’re driving.” --Hala Saleh, President, 27Sprints

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