At Solid Digital, Our PM (Project Management) Best Practice documentation is our gold standard. We’ve outlined guidelines, requirements, quick tips, tricks and lessons learned. The goal is to help each of us manage our projects consistently so all clients and team members have the same experience regardless of which Project Manager and team they are working with. This also helps to improve any pain points or confusion we could come across on a day to day basis. Solutions and process improvements are shared and implemented across the team. It also reduces the time spent on repetitive tasks to allow us to focus more on unique elements and needs of each of our clients and projects. This improves our efficiency and allows us to provide a high level of customer service and value to our clients.
In addition, we use shared Google Docs both internally and shared docs with our client teams. Internally, we keep a record of ongoing notes and other documents multiple team members need to see. Google Docs allows us to not only share the information, it allows everyone to have quick access and edit as needed. We also keep folders of documents that we share with our clients and that the clients share with our team. Again, allowing everyone on a team – both internally and on the client team – to access the same information makes for clear communication in a project with many moving parts.
In addition, for our web projects some of the more important documentation we leverage covers a wide variety of topics. We start with a consolidated notes document capturing all of the various discussions throughout the project. We create a breakdown of our estimates and compare these to actual results allowing us to keep an eye on the budget as we progress through the project. As we work through discovery and strategy we create an implementation plan that is used to hand off work from our creative to our development teams outlining the functionality and plan to implement the designs. We also utilize a decision log, noting important decisions made along the way, when and who was a part of those decisions.
Each website or Digital Growth™ project is certainly unique, however they also have a lot of similarities. We adjusted our process to standardize as many items as we can. Our goal is to create repetitive steps that are easy to train our teams on that allow us to provide the same level of service and deliverables for each project and client. We create templates capturing this information with the goal of capturing 80% of what is needed for each of our service offerings, knowing that each project and client will require something custom. This understanding allows our team the flexibility to adjust based on that variation.
For our task management and resourcing our team uses ClickUp™ to create and manage these templates. The templates clearly communicate to team members what is required of them at each step in the process and can easily be applied to any project going forward.
We continually evaluate these steps, tools and templates and how they fit into the overall process to make improvements. This allows us to easily tackle the standard aspects of our projects and free up time for the unique and more custom elements for our clients.
The phrase “drip marketing” is said to be derived from “drip irrigation”, an agriculture/gardening technique in which small amounts of water are fed to plants over long periods of time. Similar to a “drip campaign” we provide small pieces of information that are relevant to each phase of our projects to provide guidance to our clients as we move through our process. We know our clients and their teams all have a variety of expertise and we want to ensure we’re clearly communicating between our teams. This information is intended to provide a common foundation of understanding as we work together.
We believe that providing this information in small ‘chunks’ is less overwhelming and allows our clients to more efficiently focus on the needs at hand. This is an easy way for us to keep in touch and aligned on upcoming milestones and next steps so that everyone is clear and has what they need to keep moving forward.
Our team utilizes Basecamp to manage client communication and tasks. In addition to effectively managing communication this tool provides an all-in-one location for our clients to access key project information such as meeting recaps, important project links and status updates.
Similar to the ease of sharing Google Docs, messages and to dos in Basecamp are visible and editable to the entire Solid Digital team and client team. Again, this transparency helps with communication as we move through projects and everyone know what needs to be done next as well as having the ability to look back to confirm what was already decided.
Why It’s Important
These are just a few of the tools we use to deliver the consistent and high level of quality and service we aim for. It also allows us to create a consistent foundation for our teams around the basic requirements. Removing the focus from recreating repeatable tasks allows room for continual evaluation and improvement. It also allows our team time for a deeper level of focus and attention on the most important elements of each project.