Our project creation/management methods were in need of an overhaul recently so the whiteboard was cleaned off and a map began to emerge. For me, I like to keep the project scope short and simple with tasks beneath for completion by the team.
Naming conventions can get carried away sometimes, so for us we stuck with what we know, which was months. Months give us something tangible to look at and let us plan for holidays, vacations etc… Within each month is a series of tasks (touch-points) that well complete and have ready (hopefully) a week or two ahead of the 1st. This will give us time to tweak any weaker ends add anything that may be needed.
Touch-points = tasks and here is why. A whitepaper is a touchpoint and therefore a task. Same with email, social media, website updates, etc… If we start thinking of tasks as ways well touch the customer, then we can more effectively craft the right message for the month and make sure inter-connectedness exists. For internal tracking purposes, Ill start applying the same naming convention (months) and then create child campaigns (for each touch-point). We currently do something very similar to keep our spend in check and to be able to quickly assess the effectiveness of the campaign as a whole and per individual touch-points, so not much changing here.
What about non-month related projects? Well, certain things like launches and conferences will still fall into the naming convention and be planned into the month project frame. It is important to work with product development so we know ahead of time what is in the release, how the feature works etc…
Im hoping this new method will help us keep things more streamlined than they already are and let us work on really fun touch-points within a month. I hope to write a follow-up post on the effectiveness/ineffectiveness with this approach.
months = projects
touch-points = tasks