For service agencies – whether that’s PR, marketing or advertising, for example – keeping track of projects, progress, reports and outputs is key to achieving client satisfaction. However, when you find yourself spending more time keeping track of a project than working towards its deliverables, something needs to change.
Changing demands for project managers
Currently, just under 1 in 4 organisations use any kind of project management software to track and automate time-intensive management processes. Yet, demands on project managers’ time is increasing, with 59% of project managers running between two and five projects (11% running 6-10 projects).
Keeping control is key, but we can often find ourselves spending long periods of time on repetitive tasks, which don’t make the most of the creativity our marketers are paid for. A recent survey found that 54% of workers spend 5 or more hours per week on such tasks, and for 16%, that rises to 10 or more hours per week. These tasks – and the time they consume – leave many project managers and client services directors under even more time pressures.
Tracking project management time
If you’re not sure how much time you’re spending on ‘project management’ vs ‘project delivery’, you can:
- Assess team timesheets:
Often, it’s not only senior team members contributing to a project’s management. Take a look at the whole team’s time tracking.
If you don’t record your team’s work time already, ask them to keep a note of their times for one week – recording ‘chargeable’ (ie what the client is paying for) and ‘admin’ (ie project management time and client calls, etc) separately.
- Calculate ‘fee vs time spent’:
If you feel there’s a particular client or project that’s taking more time than you anticipated, go back to your original proposal and take a look at your budgeted time (ie how long you expected to spend on outputs to reach the deliverables).
Then, compare this with the actual time spent delivering the project. This will enable you to work out how much you’re actually earning per hour (vs what you budgeted).
- Talk to your team:
Often, the people with the best grip on how long things are taking, and where time is being spent is your team. Open conversations with them to understand the progress being made and invite ideas to streamline things.
Streamlining project management
Often, project management is just one part of a client service directors role, but sometimes, it can feel like the whole thing.
Project management software is designed to alleviate pressures on marketing teams, enabling them to focus on the delivery of projects. When things feel like they’re going over budget or time estimates, you can pull of automated reports generated from team-inputted data at the click of a button.
Concept’s project management software is designed around the way you work, so you don’t need to reinvent your processes. Your team simply need to plan the project, record their activity, and Concept takes care of the rest for you.
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