3 Lessons We Learned From Last Year’s State of Enterprise Work Report

You might not be able to see it, but you’ve felt it creeping up.

Your work—and your workplace—have somehow become less simple than they used to be. Maybe it’s the tighter competition in your market. Maybe it’s that your team is interfacing and integrating with more departments and teams than ever before—this is especially true if you work in marketing. Maybe it’s that you have to dot more i’s and cross more t’s, in terms of brand messaging and compliance, than you ever had to previously.

Yes, the work and the way you work has shifted slowly but surely beneath your feet.

For the last two years, Workfront, ProofHQ’s parent company, has reached out to enterprise workers across the U.S. to understand how they manage their work and the barriers keeping them from getting work done. Next week, the company will release the 2016-2017 edition of their report, but before the big unveiling we wanted to revisit three of the most eye-opening findings from last year’s edition—especially because they highlight the challenges in communication and collaboration that we often cover here at the ProofHQ blog:

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Change Management Checklist: Overcome 3 Common Enemies of Change

change-mgmt

Globalization and continuous technological innovation have resulted in a rapidly evolving business environment. Social media and mobile adaptability have revolutionized business, creating an ever-increasing need for change–and change management.

With the business environment experiencing so much upheaval, organizations must learn to manage and adapt to change, a feat that remains profoundly difficult. The structure, culture, and routines of many work teams reflect a persistent and difficult-to-remove “imprint” of the past, making them resistant to radical change, even if the current environment of the organization is constantly shifting.

We’ve all heard the saying: “But we’ve always done it this way!” This short sentence is the enemy of change, and so is fear, rush, and lack of consistency, to name the main few.

Enemy #1: Fear of the Unknown

There’s a wide range of reasons why people do not embrace change, but they often relate back to fear. Fear of the unknown is something we can all relate to in one way or another. It’s often difficult to leave the well-known comfort zone, especially if we’ve been in it for a long time:

“Will I lose my job?”
“Will my working hours be reduced?”
“Will we now need to learn new programs, processes and rules?”

These are some of the most common questions that employees ask themselves but are often afraid to voice. Managing change is not a one way street; employee involvement is a necessary and integral part of managing change. Feedback from employees as a change is being implemented is a key element of the change management process. The more information that is shared, the less threatening and scary the process is.

Enemy #2: Rushing Into Change

When implementing change, organizations often make one crucial mistake—they want to act fast, and they assume everyone will follow at the same speed. Managers responsible for change make theoretical assumptions as to how things will look like at the end of the road. They see the final goal and want to move toward it as soon as possible, forgetting that that there may be employee, departmental or system obstacles along the way.

Enemy #3: Lack of Consistency

The change management process involves a lot of elements which, if used correctly, should naturally and smoothly complement one another. That’s the theory, but what about reality? How often do we hear random pieces of information being shared around the office about an upcoming change? Or conflicting statements and rumors? Inconsistency while managing change will inevitably lead to failure.

According to Kotter International:

“More than 70% of all major transformation efforts fail. Why? Because organizations do not take a consistent, holistic approach to changing themselves, nor do they engage their workforces effectively.”

Your Change Management Checklist

So what’s the best approach then? To help you manage change the right way, we’ve created a handy change management checklist that will help you get started on the path to successful change management. It is not an easy process, but it can be painless and smooth when approached with care and preparation.

Change Management A How-to Checklist


4 KPIs Every Creative Team Should Track

4 KPIs Every Creative Team Should Track

Why Should Creative Leaders Care About KPIs?

Not everyone understands or appreciates creative work—especially executives, who often make it to the C-suite because of their unwavering focus on numbers, numbers, numbers.

It’s an unfortunate reality that those who control the purse strings often lack a natural understanding of the creative process. If it can’t be measured, counted, or quantified, it doesn’t matter. And there are certain parts of the marketing and creative worlds that will always resist measurement.

But if you’d like to be able to prove the value of your in-house creative team—and protect your jobs from being outsourced—there are certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can and should measure.

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Your Marketing Team Needs More Structure, Not Creativity

marketing needs structure

One of the core foundations of marketing is creativity, so it should come as no surprise that many organizations blame their marketing department’s “lack of creativity” when problems arise, or a campaign fails to produce the results they sought. However, if you look around at your marketing team, chances are you’re surrounded by people who have good, and often brilliant, ideas. So then, why, with a team full of creative individuals, do you see so few creative projects come to fruition? The answer may surprise you as it seems to contradict the entire creative process.

Lack of structure.

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Stop Scope Creep in Its Tracks: 10 Tips For Getting Client Approval

stop scope creep with client approval tips

Scope creep. Unfortunately, it’s a real problem for many project managers. Uncontrolled revisions and continuous growth during the life of a project can lead to a lot of frustration and displeasure for both parties. If you’re a project manager, avoiding scope creep can be the difference between completing a project on time and budget – and potentially losing a client altogether.

What is scope creep? Here is a general definition from Wikipedia:

Scope creep (also called requirement creep, function creep and feature creep) in project management refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful.

 

Generally considered harmful? Makes you wonder if the editors at Wikipedia have ever worked at a marketing agency. So, let’s take a closer look at scope creeping and some practical ways to minimize its harmful effects.

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10 Ways Project Management Can Improve with Communication

improve project management

As a project manager, there is a lot of responsibility that falls into your lap. However, communication is arguably your single most important task–aside from project management. It is through effective communication that a team is able to collaborate with each other, with management, and with clients. The idea of communication sounds simple enough, but many project managers find that it is the skill that is most difficult to perfect. Perhaps this is because communication goes far beyond talking. We’re offering a list of 10 applications, processes, and practices that we think will go a long way in facilitating communication in order to improve your project management skills.

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8 Reasons Why Your Marketing Campaign Failed

why your marketing campaign failed

After weeks of planning, strategizing, and creating your marketing campaign, it falls flat after it launches. What do you do now? Throw in the towel? Look for a new career path? Of course not. Failure is a reality of content marketing and we’re all bound to experience it at some point. What’s important is how you respond. Figure out what went wrong so you can make necessary adjustments. We’ve compiled a list of eight reasons your marketing campaign may have failed, and how to avoid these mistakes the next time around.

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5 Project Management Skills Every Marketing Manager Should Have

project management skills every marketing manager should have

A good project manager can save time, money, and help keep a project in line and on time. By comparison, a marketing manager tends to be more of a creative director and client representative – he or she will oversee campaigns and marketing initiatives while communicating with clients to ensure the best possible results. Thus, we can see project and marketing management as being two distinct roles with two distinct skill sets.

If you wish to transform the marketing department into one that is as efficient and effective as it is creative and communicative, it pays to learn a thing or two from the project management side of the business. Project managers tend to be disciplined and logical; they are always thinking in terms of how to more efficiently and effectively complete a task or implement a project. It’s a set of skills that can be valuable to an organization.

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3 Things CMOs Should Know About Project Management

cmo project management

Coordinating the many facets of a brand’s marketing campaign can be a daunting task. The larger your business and the more high profile your brand, the more balls you’ll have in the air at any given time. Keeping all of these processes and individual components going can seem impossible. To succeed, projects must have proper oversight and someone at the helm.

Project management can be just the thing your team needs to achieve its goals. Unfortunately, many executives are hesitant to bring project managers on board for one reason or another. CFOs tend to see project managers are an unnecessary expense while CMOs tend to think they can fill this role themselves. In both cases, an opportunity is being squandered. Here are three things to help convince your CMO of the value of proper project management.

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4 Costly Mistakes You Can Avoid with Online Proofing

online proofing

Setting out on a new marketing initiative is never easy. In fact, it can be downright challenging. You need to brainstorm with collaborators, conceive a fresh and original idea, take action to implement your plan, and review the end results. And then do it all over again until you get it right. In the world of marketing, the old saying, “Wash, rinse, repeat,” isn’t far off the mark.

And yet, though the conception, implementation, and review and approval stages can be difficult, you may be the architect of your downfall. Some of the processes you are using may be increasing the amount of time that is needed to deliver a product or service to the customer – rather than helping. The key is to use the right tools and to implement the right processes. Is your review and approval process efficient? Or effective?

With an online, cloud-based proofing application, your team can streamline its review and approval process. By eliminating traditional hurdles, online proofing apps can help increase productivity while enabling greater feedback and collaboration. Online proofing can help you avoid these four key mistakes.

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