Project Management: The Power of One

Let me begin by blowing your mind with one of the biggest “duhs” I can think of. We are living in an age of unbelievable speed and stimulus. I don’t remember a time we ever lived so outside of ourselves. The clutter and chaos we navigate daily is so remarkable it’s a miracle any of us keep from dissipating into the ether, pulled by so many forces. Our professions aside, the attention required to make meaningful work of our lives is overwhelming.

With that said, the world has never been so exciting. Our access to just about everything, almost instantaneously, has never before been seen and is only growing exponentially. But, speaking as a creative executive working in both the digital and physical world, this fury of evolution, rushing us to keep pace, litters our professional space with a cacophony of disparate paths zigging and zagging toward variable trends, chasing the latest industry buzzword. And, as I read article after article on these topics, it’s very evident that the importance of leadership and communication requires focusing efforts to achieve clearly defined marketing goals.

As you’re reading this article now, we likely share the profession of capturing imaginations. It’s our job to make an impression. To capture the consumer mid-step and keep our relevance as we communicate with them through various means and channels.

“Native advertising,” contextually relevant content, strategic convergence, and confluence aside, the integration of every team and their part in the execution is key to the success of any campaign, large or small. And, in this day and age, this is where the strength of a message is made or broken. Today brands and agencies have to stretch further than ever before to connect the dots, as different technical and creative groups produce disparate pieces of a campaign – and the brand manager’s task of packaging this neatly for audience consumption can be quite taxing.

To add fuel to this fire, over the past 12 years I’ve seen companies have to do more with less (less resources, less time, less money) and individuals have increasingly been leaned on to understand and work in multiple disciplines. Today, being a “Jack of all trades, master of none” is unacceptable. The digital landscape clearly expects us to be a master of all trades. And while this has its ceiling, I believe the answer is in building an agile group of award-winning leaders, with distinct passions and core competencies – all under one roof. A tall order, perhaps, but one that can be attained by securing, piece by piece, leaders who not only have multi-disciplinary experience, but have the ability to augment, dynamically build off of, and truly collaborate with other functional directors to achieve the dynamic needs of their clients.

It’s a lot for a brand to protect a product with the same single voice and vision under which it was conceived through manufacture, distribution, and marketing. When you begin to consider the fact that the brand’s voice has the potential to be diluted every time it’s handed off to a new partner, it’s no surprise we sometimes witness utter chaos in the realization of a marketing message behind the curtain.

With project management in mind, consider N(N-1)/2; a formula used to calculate the number of communication channels when evaluating the risk of noise and dilution that comes with adding individuals to the execution of a project. It takes synergy. The closer the teams working on a campaign, the longer they work together, the stronger the ability to leverage past experience to maximize efficiencies with the ultimate goal of executing beyond regular expectations for their clients’ dollar.

The time when it was acceptable for uniquely divergent entities to produce content without dynamic integration and integral access to the actual production of that content is long gone.

Our space is much too fast and broad to forgo agility and cross-functional efficiencies. Simply consider the information you glean from a passing conversation or the energy you carry forward after catching sight of progress happening just down the hallway from you. The value that communication can add to the direction of your work is difficult to capture in phone synchs. Hence the importance of doing whatever possible to employ multi-dimensional teams with vision and collaborative leadership to truly focus efforts against meaningful executions instead of losing time managing communication channels.

Power of One image on home page via Shutterstock.

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