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Doing Better That Which is Already Being Done

Posted @ 5:07 pm by Adam Brill | Category: Marketing Analytics, Web Development Process | 0 Comments

As a project manager I don’t have a lot of time. That’s not to say that our designers or developers are brimming with free time, but we “PMs” like to get as much to fit into one day as possible. We crave efficiency. We bow to to the goddess Process (from the Latin prōcessus “having been advanced,” a perfect passive participle constructed from prō- “forward” and cēdō “I go, I occur, I yield”). So if you want to make your PM — or otherwise details-at-a-glance type friend — a happy camper, here are some quick tips and tricks I picked up in my previous world of public relations:

Email Optimization

  1. In Outlook, turn on color rules (eg. Blue for “sent only to me”). It makes choosing which email to read first a lot easier.
  2. Proceed to send email “To” the person who should respond and Cc: all others.
  3. Get to the point in the subject line. Keep it short and informative. Pretend your teammates or clients get 200 emails a day (they may) and yours has to stand out.

Follow Up

  1. Do it early and often.
  2. Use the preference of the person you are contacting. Some people really dislike IM while others won’t notice your response unless you call. Taking the time to ask for a preference makes an impact.

File Naming

As a department, the project managers recently adopted standards for file naming. Like many of our process decisions, it was a team effort. The results of this change have been promising as documents are now easier to find and sort.


Naming Versioned Documents

Includes: Requirements, reports, design documents, creative briefs


eg. acme-sow2-designdoc-v1-0-9.doc

In v1-0-9, it’s the first version accepted by the client with nine internal revisions before sending back to them for review (the version we’d send for review would be v1-1-0 and if accepted it would become v2-0-0).

Naming Dated Files

Includes: Agendas, meeting notes


eg. acme-sow1-agenda-2008-02-14.pdf

Try to follow these guidelines (more than you may already do) and see if it helps your day run smoother. I’m always interested to hear feedback so leave comments if you have suggestions for improvements or changes.

Photo by geishaboy500 on Flickr

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