Project managers need certain skills, such as leadership and critical thinking, as well as the right tools and ideas. Here are some smart project management examples to get you thinking creatively.
Project managers must possess a whole list of things to be successful in project management:
A Project Management Institute article by RMC Learning Solutions founder Rica Mulcahy found that great project managers “know that process is everything,” which when used with the essential leadership and skills non-technical, “gives the project manager the power to [prevent] problems.”
Even if you To do possess all of the above and recognize all of the project manager responsibilities expected of you throughout the various phases of a project, it is worth consulting project management examples for guidance and direction.
Below, we’ll discuss three real-world examples of great project management to inspire you, and project management tips to take away from each.
1. Streamlined Communications with Smartsheet
Domino’s is a widely recognized name in the pizza restaurant and delivery industry, operating over 17,000 stores in over 90 countries around the world. Worldwide, team members and franchisees total approximately 350,000.
So it’s no surprise that communication, collaboration, event management, and marketing — getting everyone on the same page, essentially — used to be a challenge.
Provide employees and franchise owners with timely updates on new processes, new technologies and changes to existing offerings. Awareness breeds efficiency, after all.
Domino’s internal communications team used multiple communication channels to disseminate key information, including newsletters, occasional emails for important updates, and the Worldwide Rally, an in-person event involving over 9,000 people every two years.
Worse, multiple people were communicating to the same people using multiple different platforms. The result was that recipients were bombarded with the same messages over and over, causing them to overlook the most important ones. As is usually the case with information overload, people were less informed instead of more.
According to Stacie Barrett, director of internal communications at Domino’s, “Everyone thought their message was the most important message,” so they sent out a separate communication to make sure it got out there.
Barrett knew his team needed to restructure its operations – too much time and effort was spent on less than desirable results.
With Smartsheet, they now create a multi-month work plan. The communications team enters stand-alone announcements and newsletter topics on a schedule.
Everyone has access to the same calendar, so team members can see what the calendar looks like, allowing for adjustments, if needed, to avoid inundating recipients with updates and messages.
Thanks to a better project plan and a more efficient email workflow, by a measly 4%, Domino’s newsletter read rate is now 100%.
Planning a project roadmap for the Global Rally is also done in Smartsheet. If someone is on vacation, someone else can step in with no problem because essential information – such as the project plan, deadlines and requirements – is in the system for easy reference.
Automated alerts remind task owners of upcoming due dates and managers of overdue activities.
Project planning is usually a team activity – as they say, two heads are better than one. From the start, all roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined, a project management best practice, to avoid confusion and duplication of tasks.
By using a central workspace for all project-related updates and information that the internal communications team can access on demand, they are better able to plan, delineate task roles and ownership, and to deploy messaging campaigns that benefit everyone.
More information on this story on the Smartsheet website.
2. Scaling Globally with Wrike
Airbnb Experiences aims to provide travelers with unique cultural experiences through multi-day trips led by experts from local communities. Among the many activities offered on the site are:
- A salsa night in Puerto Rico
- Stargazing and Local Wine Tasting in Baja, Mexico
- An exploration of the Cuban music scene with a famous DJ in Havana
- A hike in the Atlas Mountains in Marrakech, Morocco
But even for a popular brand like Airbnb, scaling a new service after launch has come with its own set of challenges.
Quadruple the production of video trailers, photos and other digital and print resources from the initial 12 cities to 50 worldwide.
At the time, creative output – we’re talking thousands of assets here – was managed using an online spreadsheet that couldn’t keep up with frequent changes, concurrent users, detailed transfer requirements and massive content volume.
According to Airbnb Creative Production Manager Hoon Kim, “[The spreadsheet] was constantly collapsing. So people duplicated the document “to manage their own little world of data.” But because the duplicates were not connected to the master document, the result was general confusion.
Kim and her team needed a tool that would streamline the way they work. They wanted a central work management platform that integrated with the other tools they were already using, including Salesforce and Gmail.
They needed a tool that would allow team members to communicate and collaborate no matter where they were in the world, and they chose Wrike, which offers such project tracking capabilities.
Effective communication is critical to project success, which is why about 90% of project management is devoted to communication. Ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal through a strong project communication plan allows services like Airbnb Experiences to scale seamlessly.
For more details on the Airbnb Experiences story, head over to Wrike.
3. Standardize processes with Asana
Hack Reactor is an educational program that offers in-person and remote software coding bootcamps. Hack Reactor locations in San Francisco, New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, Boulder, and Denver hold on-campus immersions.
As is often the case with businesses operating in multiple geographies, ensuring consistency of services across locations can be an uphill battle.
Standardize processes and ensure consistency of event types, feelings and emotions across different company locations at the same time.
In the beginning, Hack Reactor CEO Tony Phillips had no problem keeping control of many moving parts. But as the company grew and the team became more and more fragmented, he was not sure that all the details, including the smallest ones that made people feel that “a care meticulous had been brought to their upbringing”, were taken care of.
Asana has been instrumental in keeping things consistent for Hack Reactor. They have made detailed process documentation available on the platform for easy universal access.
This way, teams know where to find the guidelines they need to do their job well. Hack Reactor also makes extensive use of templates to “make [a project or process] exactly like that.
As a result, they are now more efficient in their processes, they have cut their operations in half, and Hack Reactor graduates are being hired at a 98% rate.
Staying organized is non-negotiable project management. You need to monitor and manage a whole host of things: schedule, project budget, team performance, deliverable requirements, resource availability, task updates, vendor reports and suppliers, stakeholder expectations; the list is long.
Create task and process templates, or even a sample project plan for future reference, so you don’t always have to start from scratch. Build systems to assign repeatable tasks to the right people at the right time, just like Hack Reactor did, so “every detail is covered”.
Learn more about Asana’s Hack Reactor case study here.
Enhance learning with project management examples
We all agree: learning is a continuous process. And what better way to learn project management concepts than through concrete, real-life examples? We hope you picked up something valuable — maybe some new project management tips — from the above.