Pretty sure you didn't wake up today thinking, "If only I had a great marketing scorecard template to help me prioritize!" But let's talk about a common scenario.
On your way back in from lunch, you pass a project manager who asks for your help on an upcoming article for a product launch. You make it to your desk to find a sticky note on your keyboard asking you to set up a new email campaign. Scribbled on the note is a send date and something illegible about landing pages. Before you even log back in to your computer, your director asks if you saw her email with the outline for a new eBook. You didn't even get a chance to sort out these requests before heading to a status meeting on a current campaign.
Sound familiar? Over 1/3 of marketers say random work requests are a top work inefficiency that kills productivity. That scorecard might sound a little more helpful, right?
Work requests often come in the form of unclear emails, vague hallway requests, and incomplete notes. For projects to start the right way—or even get in line—a marketing department needs to have a standardized method of accepting work. And, once team members have a request, it's not always clear how to prioritize the work. Projects can't just be tackled in the order they are received. And it's a mistake to work on the easiest task—delaying more pressing work.
Without a solid process to prioritize, new work requests may sit ignored, projects may start late, and deadlines get missed. Poor prioritization methods get in the way of work, according to over one-third of marketing teams. In fact, among B2B companies, 32 percent cite inefficient processes or workflows as one of the most challenging obstacles to marketing success.
How can you establish some consistency and order to the mess? How do you set priorities in the middle of mayhem? Fortunately, there are remedies for these common work challenges.
Your goal should be to centralize, prioritize, and standardize. Adjusting your work request process and how you prioritize will improve the efficiency—and stress levels—of every phase of project work.
Create one place to receive your work requests.
Overcome the constant barrage of random requests by implementing a central work request management system where all incoming work requests can be sent. There will be one place to locate, track, and prioritize what needs to be done. One way this could be done—since 63 percent of marketers still receive most work requests by email—is to create an alias email account, like [email protected]
Use scorecards to identify priority.
Once you see the work in one place, you need to determine how you will prioritize work. Scorecards are a great way to rank projects based on pre-determined criteria. This method eliminates preferential treatment, political lobbying, and doing what is easiest first. For example, designate your top considerations: requestor, urgency, and value to the business. Then give a numeric value to each consideration based on previously agreed upon factors.
In this example, the requestor would be ranked from 1 to 5, with a 1 being an entry-level requestor and 5 a chief officer. For business value, you would score between a 1 and 5, with 1 having little effect on business goals and 5 aligning with all business goals. For urgency, 1 could mean there is no deadline and 5 represents the request is due as soon as possible. In your own organization, you may include other important factors as well as decide to give more or less weight to certain considerations.
Use briefs to clarify and plan.
Once you have all established the specifics, create a standard marketing brief to document the project information from the request. Only 23% of in-house teams use briefs for all projects, despite the fact that everyone wants to get work done right the first time. Without a brief, rework is inevitable and time consuming. If you want to create consistency, take a look at this free creative brief template for some ideas to get you started.
It make take a few attempts and some valuable feedback to refine your processes, but with some adjustments in how you handle work requests you can enjoy a more organized approach to tackle the constant stream of work requests and what you work on first.
Download a free scorecard and get started today!
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