Efficiency is a critical part of a productive working environment. Employees whose schedules are packed with unnecessary emails, meetings, and ‘catch-ups’ are typically less engaged than those who feel their time is spent meaningfully.
Fortunately, a wide range of marketing technology tools exist to help marketing leaders tackle this problem within their teams. Here are ten project management tools that can lead to a more productive, efficient and satisfied workforce.
Research by McKinsey has shown that 14% of an average workweek is spent communicating and collaborating with internal team members.
Sending and receiving emails forms a large part of this. In fact, the average worker spends 13 hours a week on emails alone, a number which continues to rise year-on-year. However, while this may be an integral part of collaborative working, it’s far from perfect: 96% of workers saying that unnecessary emails waste their time.
Reducing time spent on tasks like replying to emails doesn’t just improve employee engagement, it translates to profitability, too. A business with 100 employees will spend an average 17 hours a week clarifying communication which, research by Siemens shows, translates to an annual cost of $528,443.
For managers and senior team members, improving channels of communication should be a top priority. 86% of corporate executives, employees and educators say that ineffective communication is a big reason for failures in the workplace.
Social technology already provides a way for large groups of people to communicate efficiently in a non-professional context. But that same technology can also be used in the workplace to enable collaborative working, helping teams to reduce time spent on unnecessary administrative tasks.
McKinsey estimates that were companies to fully utilize social tools to improve internal communications, workers’ productivity could be raised by as much as 20-25%.
So what technologies are available to marketers looking to optimize their team’s efficiency?
Project planning software
This project management tool lets you create and assign tasks to team members, organized into ‘boards’. Boards can be customized and categorized – e.g. by status (not started, in progress, completed).
The platform includes a direct and group messaging feature, and messages sent in conversation can be turned into actionable tasks in one click. A calendar view allows you to schedule tasks in advance and to see upcoming deadlines at a glance.
This online whiteboard tool lets your team add shapes, drawings and media to themed boards – ideal for brainstorming abstract ideas at an early stage.
For example, it can be used as a shared canvas to accompany a conference call or when planning and researching content strategy. It also includes templates, icons, and colour schemes to help organize content.
Task management software
This is a tool I use as my personal to-do list every day. Tasks (in the form of ‘cards’) can be easily added, categorized, dragged and dropped. Boards can be shared with team members, who can add and remove cards based on permissions you set. Its interface is completely intuitive – even for those with no digital skills.
‘Power-ups’ let you use calendars, time-decay and voting among a host of other features – including integrations with everything from Google Drive to Salesforce.
Designed to help teams plan and manage resource for collaborative projects. A shared interface shows what everyone is working on, when, and for how long. A drag-and-drop interface and sharing permissions makes assigning tasks quick and simple.
Reporting and utilization stats are available for each team member, making it ideal for agencies billing by the hour.
Slack is a messaging platform designed to help teams communicate more efficiently.
Conversions can be organized into channels, documents can be shared instantly and a whole host of integrations are available to enhance productivity (read: send cat gifs to your colleagues on a Friday afternoon).
This free webcasting tool allows teams to video chat quickly and easily. Everything is hosted online, meaning no downloads are required, which is great when video calling clients or suppliers who may not have the same systems as you.
Screen sharing comes as standard, as does the ability to customize sharing links.
Built specifically to help amass and analyze data from disparate sources – like comparing a spreadsheet with your marketing spend with sales data from your CRM system – before displauing it in a custom report.
Access local data from most filetypes (CSV, Excel, XML) and cloud data from most major platforms (Drive, Dropbox, MS OneDrive).
A drag-and-drop report creator lets you choose from charts, widgets, pivot tables and dashboards. Share with colleagues online, embed to webpages and email / print PDF versions.
This business intelligence (BI) platform also crunches data – allowing users to create dashboards, scorecards, data warehouses and reports from most data sets.
Offering a variety of visualization tools, it can be deployed locally or as a SaaS application. The application has online community support and supports both mobiles and desktop access.
All-in one project management platforms
An end-to-end ‘work management’ platform, Scoro is built to do everything from planning and tracking projects to sending quotes, contracts, and invoices.
Day-to-day, it allows employees to track time and bill for hourly work, as well as produce detailed reports and analyze utilization metrics for each user.
Notion is another one all-in-one solution. Ideal for project managers who need to liaise with several team members when delivering a project, it can handle ‘docs’ (file sharing and organization), ‘wikis’ (centralized knowledge sharing) and ‘tasks’ (project management)
A task board helps the whole team to track project progress and assign responsibility for tasks. What’s more, it’s designed to integrate with Slack.
Although this list is by no means comprehensive, for marketing leaders looking to optimize the way their team operates, these tools should be a helpful starting point.
What tools does your brand use to maximize productivity? Leave a comment with your recommendations below!