Project Management in a Digital Marketing Sphere

Project Management

Project management is the backbone of any successful process, be it a marketing campaign, the implementation of new software by the IT department, or developing software--it’s important to get it right. Being so, the practice of project management amongst marketing teams or in marketing focused work is in an evolving state. Project management in the traditional sense has always been reserved for the IT Department, but we are now noticing a shifting trend with a rise in conversations about best practices.

The Pitfalls of Project Management

Project management is comprised of project documentation during the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closure of a project. These efforts are meant to increase development speed, expand collaboration and give teams the tools to respond to market trends. For IT departments these projects are development and installation based, while for Marketing teams these projects could be campaigns, research efforts, and new product launches.

XCentium has worked with a range of clients and have seen organizations either working off distinct and codified systems with extensive processes or organizations approaching project management more loosely. Both approaches work, but we’ve noted three areas where project management tends to fall apart. The first, struggle emerging because of a lack of process. Second, teams don’t have the proper background skills necessary to complete a project. And finally, stakeholders, VPs and CFOs stalling the review process.

Most delivery models are set up in a top-down hierarchical structure that requires higher levels of staff (stakeholders, CFOs, VPs, etc) to sign off on milestones. Due to the fact that most high levels of staff juggle various projects, this structure becomes the most notable obstacle to an efficient process.

Shifting the Culture of Project Management

A great project management system works when it drives progress. During one of my podcasts with my colleague Daulton, he proposes that it’s less the “how-to-do" of the management process and more about the culture surrounding the process. We recommend developing clear communication across the board and be specific and direct with your team and leadership on what is being accomplished within the project, how it’s being accomplished, and why. This keeps every member involved synced with the mission of the project and allows the team to constantly measure the delivery process and continue optimizing it.

We advocate for project managers to be single owners, someone accountable to knowing not only what is happening in the project but how the project fits in the grand scheme of their organization and what the organization is attempting to accomplish with the project. It’s the simplest way to create a visible process wherein everyone can be on the same page. It also allows the project manager to spend less time waiting and more time growing the team and expanding their skill sets.  


Having a process dependent on documentation, maintaining synchronicity and aligning the project with over-arching company goals, discovery becomes an easy by-product. Teams will be able to identify areas of improvement because they are actively learning from previous projects.

When the structure based on hierarchy is let go, it completely changes the execution and delivery of the project. There becomes much more accountability by and for everyone involved in the process and teams are better able to track milestones and expectations accurately.