What’s the Plan if your Project Manager Leaves?
Everything is running smoothly… projects are always on time and under budget because you have a rock star project manager. But where would you be if you lost your star player?
People move on for all sorts of reasons such as professional advancement or personal reasons. Even if the departure isn’t permanent, you need a contingency plan for the departure of a key team member. Here are steps that can make any absence or transition easier on you and the rest of the team.
Document Everything About the Project in a Central Location
When team communications stray offline into paper and email, it becomes difficult to track and record them for reference during the project or after. The goal is being in the position where anyone can step in, familiarize themselves, and pick up where someone left off. First of all, everyone should work in the same system. Pulling together fragmented information from several platforms is inefficient for any team member and close to impossible for a new employee.
Communications and assignments should be associated with the corresponding project. So should any financial information such as estimates, budgets, purchase orders and invoices. Be sure your project management system does this automatically. Then anyone can run with ongoing projects quickly and easily.
Have a Defined Workflow
If everyone adheres to a common workflow, it makes the transition with a new project manager much easier. Your agency workflow should be clear and easy for every team member to follow. Test it by running it through various scenarios and be sure it works for every type of project. Use software that makes it easy for team members to work within the process. Just as you would design a workflow that works for your traditional and agile teams, you should implement a system that all project management styles can use. Once you have established your workflow, put it in a document that your new project manager (or any new team member) can reference.
Training a new employee on software is always challenging because everyone on your staff is busy. No one has the time for one-to-one training. But someone needs to be responsible for this extremely important step. Don’t leave it up to the new project manager to ask questions. If they begin running in circles they will quickly become burned out and unproductive - and that would be very costly.
If your new project manager must learn multiple systems that various team use, this will slow the training process. One central system that accommodates all teams will not only streamline training, it will simplify your workflow.
Software providers usually offer training, either online or in person. If this exceeds your budget, training videos are an economical and smart solution, especially as video training has become more common. Videos also provide consistent training content. If your agency software has a video library, it saves you from having to produce training videos.
Searching for an all-in-one solution for your team? Advantage is purpose-built for full-service advertising agencies, creative teams, public relations firms, and marketing firms of all sizes. Over 850 agencies use Advantage for Accounting, Project Management and Media. With features like a built-in document management repository, schedules, agile boards and a training video library, it has everything you need to manage your business. We’ve been helping our clients maximize productivity, efficiency and profitability for over 40 years. Find out how we can help you by contacting us for a demo.