Office workers of the world unite! Just for a few minutes so we can get our act together!
Flat organizations and ad hocracy have, on the balance, helped organizations adjust to the ever-increasing speed of business. However, they’ve also created more knots, or situations in which people with misaligned goals or approaches bring a project to a halt.
Some examples from my experience include:
A content tagging project that bogged down because the account manager and I didn’t interpret the second-hand instructions the same way
A social media production calendar that got messy because the creative team and the account team had different understandings of the approval process
An industry research project that went awry because the client changed the scope and the agency team never came to a consensus whether to push back or to attempt to complete the changed assignment
It hardly matters what business you work in; sure enough you will find yourself in a meeting in which the attendees all look at each other and say “well…now what?”
I’ve got four basic tools that I use to untie process knots and get things moving again.
Quick thought as I await confirmation as to whether I’m meeting with a client via Skype or Google Hangouts (or whatever the new name is): just as marketing technology has evolved into the marketing stack, project tools have now created a project stack. Not to add to everyone’s tech burden, but I really think every team or project should have a project stack.
This took me a while to find as I initially used “stacked” as an image search term
Since we have so many no-cost-to-user tools out there, marketers have redundant tools for communication (email, Slack, group texts [please don’t], POTS) as well as content creation (Office Suite, Google Suite, LibreOffice) and project management (seems every one of the above has some sort of sharing/management feature). I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves in a project where we friction develops because one or more persons uses one system while everyone else uses another.
Put another way, did you ever have that moment when you realized that a co-worker had five different ways to communicate with you and yet he used none of them? That, raised to the power of three because now there are two additional systems (content creation and project management) to get crossed up on.
The solution? Set expectations and define your project stack.