One of the biggest problems with project management, for PPC accounts, for me and for others that I have talked to is sticking to it. It is easy to just fall into making whatever optimization that the account needs today without planing or checking back to see if the optimization worked. Here I will discuss the best way to avoid this problem.
The key to making all of this work is flexibility. The reason why project management may have failed in the past for you is that it didn’t fit with something new that came up. Continuous projects tend to evolve and mature over time. New is inevitable. You will not have the same list of tasks to do 6 months into the project that you did at the beginning.
We know that change is going to happen. Therefore, we need to build change into our system. Make sure to schedule an opportunity to evaluate how your system is working and make changes. You should evaluate your system after every cycle.
I am not saying that you should throw everything out and start over. What I am saying is that you stop doing what doesn’t need to be done and do what does. This may sound obvious, but don’t stop using the system because it doesn’t fit the situation anymore. Adapt it to your current needs.
First, using whatever tool that you have chosen, plan when you will evaluate your current system. Planning it makes it more sure that it will get done. That is part of why we use project management in the first place.
This evaluation should be similar to how you created your system the first time. List all the tasks that you think need to be performed. Select a new cycle time for your project. This could be the same as the initial cycle you chose or it may grow or shrink over time. Then plan your tasks using your tool.
Here are some Questions to ask yourself while you evaluate your system:
Remember to be flexible with your system. Change is inevitable. It is a lot easier to be the one with some control over it in stead of the one just reacting to it. The time required to set up your system will pay off by making it easier to manage multiple PPC accounts, making your results more repeatable and consistent.
This is the final article in a four part series on Project Management for PPC managers.