When it comes to producing your marketing materials, there are a few key tools you’ll need to have set in place to ensure you’re keeping track of all the pieces needed to produce a killer product. If you constantly find your team falling short in production, here is what we recommend using to stay on track.
- A skilled production manager. Having someone within your organization that can keep track of all tasks and projects is vital to keeping your team on the schedule. The production manager should know where all projects are in terms of stages, such as the initial launch, in production, review, and the final steps to completion. The manager will keep the timelines on track and budgets in check. This person should be passionate and eager to help their team members stay accountable and responsible for each individual project and task.
- A production management tool. It is fundamental to the success of your production to keep all your projects and tasks organized, detailed, and updated according to timelines. Online tools are a great way to have your team work together and collaborate on projects, and it’s especially effective when everyone can see what needs to be completed, and by whom. Try checking out tools like Basecamp, Zoho, and Clarizen. We also recommend looking for a reporting feature in your project management tool. Reporting is a great way to keep track of weekly completion rates and KPIs, so you can see where you need to improve and what to congratulate your team on.
- A team-wide to-do list. Your project management tool can keep detailed information about each project in one space, but it makes it so much easier to see deadlines and plan the production team’s day when each deadline is lined up, side by side. This list can be a simple Excel spreadsheet that is managed by the Production Manager, who works on setting up the spreadsheet on a daily basis. This spreadsheet will list out daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual tasks. The tasks are linked to the project description in your project management tool so each team member can reference project details and direction.
- A calendar. We know, we know, it’s not a revolutionary tool or tactic. But our team refers to a calendar to keep ourselves ahead of tasks by at least a month in advance. For example, if we have a newsletter due in August, we plan to complete the copy in June and have the design done by July. This is especially helpful since you can’t always control all aspects of production, like last-minute client feedback or having too many cooks in the kitchen. If we started all our projects the month they are due, then we may not meet the deadline. It’s far better to forecast out and set internal due dates to make sure work gets completed on time!
Discipline is the biggest factor to take into account in production. Projects are always changing and new requests are always coming in. Staying on top of these factors is vital to having your projects completed on time and keeping your customers happy.
And Always Remember….Keep It disciplined.