Archive for: May, 2022

Getting Started in Project Management

May 06 2022 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Project management, the process of guiding a project from the beginning through the middle to the end is indeed very taxing. This is because the project manager coordinates other professionals to achieve results. It is therefore a big intellectual relief that Paula Martin and Karen Tate, two project management experts, have proffered a solution in this text entitled “Getting Started in Project Management”.Martin is the chief executive officer of MartinTate, a management consulting and training company. Martin is the co-author of six books. She works with project teams to help them improve on performance. Martin has been a consultant on issues related to improving organisational performance for more than ten years.Tate is the president of MartinTate as well as a project management professional. She has more than 20 years of project management experience and teaches project management to teams in organisations around the world. According to Martin and Tate, project management is a valuable component of both professional and personal life.They educate that whether you are working on an international project for a Fortune 500 company or organising a family reunion, project management is essential to ensuring timely and efficient completion of any project.Martin and Tate remark that if you are new to project management, you are definitely not alone. They say lots of people are discovering that project management is a tool that can help make their projects more successful.These authors illuminate that for many people, working on a project can be frustrating as team members refuse to agree on what should be done or how to do it and deadlines are missed. Martin and Tate however stress that projects can be both fun and successful if you use an effective method for helping your work through the steps of the project.Using their Collaborative, Open architecture, Results-oriented and Easy-to-use Project Management methodology called “CORE Project Management methodology” for short, these authors offer a foundation for anyone willing to learn or enhance his or her project management skills.Martin and Tate identify four phases of project management as project initiation, planning, execution and close-out. They say besides outlining the project management process, this text teaches you how to utilise the tools that drive it.
Martin and Tate submit that you will also learn in this text, the seven keys to project management success; different approaches to the process; how to assess risk and avoid pitfalls by identifying them early; scheduling and budgeting techniques that will keep your project on time and on the money.Structurally, this text is segmented into 14 chapters. Chapter one is entitled “The basics”. According to these authors here, before we can begin our journey through the land of project management, we need to cover a few basics. The first question we need to address is, “What exactly is project?” In the words of these authors, “For example, is building a custom house a project? What if you’re a developer and you have a crew that builds a standard house over and over again? Is that a project?”Martin and Tate say obviously, projects and business processes are not the same thing. They educate that project management is a set of tools, techniques and knowledge that, when applied, will help you produce better results for your project. Martin and Tate add that trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play football without a game plan. “The coach would get the players together and say, ‘How should we play this game? We’re supposed to get more points than the other team and to do that we have to score goals. Now everyone go out and do what you think needs to be done in order to win’,” stress these experts.Chapter two is based on the subject matter of initiating a project. Here, these authors educate that the first phase of a project, which is called “initiation”, begins after management decides to authorise the project. According to them, the goal of initiation is to set the direction for your project and define any constraints on the project.They add that both project direction and constraints should come from the sponsor, because the sponsor is the management person who is accountable for ensuring that the project meets the strategic goals of the organisation and that the benefits of the project outweigh its costs. Martin and Tate say the direction and constraints for the project are outlined in a document called the “charter” and this document is the responsibility of the sponsor.They add that however, many sponsors either do not know how to write a charter or claim not to have the time to do so. Martin and Tate say as a result, it is very probable that you will find yourself writing the charter for the sponsor and then have the sponsor review and approve it when you are through.These authors stress that in the customer-needs section of your charter, you are trying to define the real reason why the project is being undertaken for the customers.In chapters three to nine, Martin and Tate examine concepts such as leading the project team; kicking off the project; planning the scope; organising the project; assessing risk; developing a schedule and developing a budget.Chapter 10 is entitled “Assembling the project plan”. According to these authors, after the planning activities, it is time to assemble the plan. Martin and Tate add that the project plan is the output of the planning phase. They educate that it captures the information you have compiled with the team and lays out how the project will be executed. In their words, “If the charter represents the expectations and wishes for the project, the project plan represents the projected reality. Therefore, it’s the plan that you will use to guide the project as you move forward into execution.”These experts also discuss the scope plan. They educate that the scope plan defines what will be produced for the customers, adding that in order to produce the final deliverable, you have to organise the work of the project. Martin and Tate say you need to break down the final deliverable into interim deliverables and someone in the team is assigned accountability for each one.They add that then, you define the sub-projects and assign each deliverable to a sub-project. These experts guide that finally, you need to make sure you have the right people in the team. They stress that you now assess the skills you need to create the deliverables and review your list of stakeholders to make sure they have representation in the team or a team member liaison assigned to keep them involved in the project.In chapters 11 to 14, Martin and Tate analytically X-ray concepts such as team-based tools; executing the plan; closing out the project and summing up.Stylistically, this text is fantastic. The language is simple, embroidered with standard punctuation while the 14 chapters are brilliantly handled. What’s more, Martin and Tate make use of an acronym by collapsing their Collaborative, Open architecture, Results-oriented and Easy-to-use Project Management Methodology into CORE Project Management Methodology for short. This is a conceptual amplification and creative structural compression. They employ graphics, especially the one on the outside front cover, to achieve visual enhancement of readers’ understanding. The layout of the text is also visually appealing.However, some concepts are repeated in this text. Probably these authors deliberately use this style to create emphasis and ensure long memory on readers’ part. It is also written in Standard American English. That is why you have “…someone on the team…” (page 156), instead of the Standard British English “…Someone in the team…”, etc.On a note of analytical finality, this text is intellectually revealing. It is a must-read for those who want to achieve success in project implementation.

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7 Game-Changing Marketing Trends You Need To Know About

May 06 2022 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Over the last few years, technology has changed a lot. The pace of change in technology is very fast. It is getting even more difficult for marketing firms to keep up with this change in technology. So what kind of technological change should you expect soon? You need to be prepared for these upcoming changes. Here are some, coming very soon:1. Relationship MarketingRelationship marketing is also known as customer relationship management (CRM). It is focused on long-term engagement and relationships with the customers instead of short term relations. The aim of relationship marketing is to emotionally engage customers with the brands. This leads to free word of mouth marketing and loyalty. It is different from traditional marketing approach because it is not focused on individual profit generation.2. Marketing AutomationMarket automation refers to the latest technologies and software that are designed for marketing departments. These software and online channels are used to promote products at different platforms like emails, blogs, social media and websites.3. Location-Based Marketing TechnologyThe location-based technology uses mobile phone location for marketing the products. It is another direct marketing strategy. An opt-in is usually activated to process this type of marketing. What actually happens is that when opt-in is activated it starts tracking the location of device holder and sends a text about nearby product or service which is available. This includes any free coupon schemes or any discount deals. This technology actually bridges the physical gap between customers and the available products in their nearby places.4. Virtual RealityOne of the most prominent marketing strategies that should be utilized by every marketer is virtual reality. Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences. It can be aimed at sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch. It is used in the depiction of business products, games, movies, and arts.5. Ephemeral MarketingSnapchat is one of the best examples of ephemeral marketing. It is one of the latest leaps in technological development. Marketing firms and businesses can use it for their own benefit. Ephemeral marketing means providing something to the customers for a very short period of time. This has many advantages. For instance, when discounts and special offers are announced like this for a limited time period it will enhance the excitement of customers. Similarly giving a sneak peek of the new product, which is not yet launched in the market, could also increase the excitement of people. In this way, people will be more attracted towards the product.6. Search Past Search EnginesMany social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are trying to create their own search engines. It will also boost the marketing opportunities for the marketers so they need to be prepared for this change.7. The Internet of ThingsInternet of things is actually a network of physical objects. For instance vehicles, devices, buildings etc. which are electronically connected with each other. For marketers, it means that their data is more easily accessible to the customers so they can market their products more efficiently.

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Top 3 Reasons Small Businesses Fail at Marketing

May 06 2022 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I often speak to groups of small business owners and I keep hearing the same comment over and over again with many of them saying that marketers don’t matter or marketing doesn’t matter anymore.There are many reasons I’ve heard as to why marketing doesn’t matter: “all my business comes by referral,” “I never spent money on marketing and my business grew,” “marketing is a waste of money,” “I see no value in marketing,” “marketing is all luck so why spend money on it,” and so on.Oh, how they are so very wrong! Below are the top 3 reasons why:1. Their definition of marketing is wrongWhen business owners tell me that marketing doesn’t matter, they usually have a totally different understanding of what marketing is than those who recognise how marketing contributes to business goals where it enables you to charge the most money you can for your services and products.Marketing is first about spending time building a solid foundation based on strategy before proposing a series of tactics aimed at lifting sales. Until the business finds a way to change the context of how their ideal customer views what they do, and then becomes become the obvious choice provider, they’ll find that their marketing efforts never seem to build momentum or gain any return on investment.You must be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your customers. Or, to look at it in a different way, to be able to address the number one question on your customer’s mind at exactly the right time.So, how do you do this? The conversation that is taking place in every prospective customer’s mind revolves around two major points. There is a problem they have, and that they don’t want… and there is a result that they want, and they don’t have.Those who often misunderstand marketing believe that it is only about advertising campaigns, brochures, flyers, website, email marketing, SEO, tradeshows, social media, copy, etc. These are the tactics – the way you implement your marketing. I’d argue that marketing is essentially the core of business strategy because it is about understanding the current customer, tapping into their fears, their goals and their aspirations and then creating products and services that the ideal customer is willing to buy from a brand they now they know, like and trust.2. They believe either they or their co-worker can do itSometimes in the “do it all yourself” world of small business (or even big business when it comes to it), it’s difficult to identify the areas that require outside help. A business may be able to set up their newsletter, add plugins to WordPress, write a Facebook or LinkedIn post, and clumsily create header graphics, but you need somebody who is trained, practiced, and skilled at looking strategically and holistically at the marketplace, understanding the customer, and then creating unique opportunities based on this understanding.Just think about it for a minute; just because you have a calculator and excel does that mean you are an accountant? If you have a ruler, pencil and have watched some episodes of Grand Designs – does that make you an architect? If you post regularly to your friends on Facebook and Instagram – does that mean you are a social media expert?So why do small businesses believe that by buying a Mac and some software they will become a designer, marketer and communications expert?It needs to be led by a strategic marketer who can then develop an integrated marketing approach. Can you or your co-worker do this? In some cases, you can. But those who can are most likely to either come from marketing or consulting backgrounds where they have transferable skills and experience defining AND delivering against a growth strategy.If you are a small business, you need somebody who will have a very solid, process, streamlined, consistent, repeatable approach. First, they will research and learn about your company in great depth, the dynamics of the marketplace and identify shifts, trends, and changes. From there, the strategic marketer will be able to present the different elements of your marketing plan in logical order of how you should construct them, update them, or revise them; and identify the key areas you should be focusing on – be it generating leads, converting leads, increasing transactions right down to changing prices.3. They hire the wrong marketing helpThere is a huge misunderstanding around marketing strategy, marketing tactics, and marketing execution.There is a difference between being strategically capable, creatively capable and executionally capable.Small business owners don’t hire a strategic marketing coach/firm to develop creative graphics and headers; nor should you hire an advertising/graphic design agency to handle marketing strategy. A small business doesn’t need to hire a consultant or a firm who is a strong marketing executor when their biggest need is a strategy for sustainable growth. You may get more attention, but not the best results.

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