If you’ve managed a project in any capacity you’ll know that’s hardly the case. The good news is that there’s a myriad of tools out there to help you through it. The bad news is that the tools need a bit of work, too, and if not managed properly you can easily lose track of a project.
We’ve tried 8 different project management tools and they’ve all ended the same way: cluttered and too disorganised for anyone to want to use them anymore. But with Breeze we have had far more positive experiences! Despite a lot of activity on it, projects remain organized and so were more efficient and that turns into better managed client projects!
This is a guide on how use use Breeze:
- To keep things simple leave the current “To Do” “Doing” “Done” setup.
- Only the project manager for that particular project should add tasks and assign them to people.
- If the project manager has missed a task that you feel should be listed, ask them to add it in. This will ensure that projects remain uncluttered and tasks are not duplicated. It will also give accountability to one person.
- Resources for projects should only mark tasks as complete, move them to “Doing” or “Done”, and log work done.
- On Fridays, the project manager should run a task report and a time tracking report for that week so they know if the project is running on schedule and within budget. If something is not working allocate resources where needed and ask for help.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to let a project manager know if you do not have the time to complete a certain task.
- It is the project manager’s responsibility to make sure the project board is kept up to date.
- Add an additional list called “Read this first”, this is where you’ll add any documents that don’t belong in individual tags – mainly last month’s end of meeting report and meeting notes.
- The project name should be just the client name
- Under project settings, add a time budget. This should be calculated based on how much the client is paying. For most projects our hourly rate is £62.50, there are some projects where our hourly rate is £75. If you are unsure, ask.
This will allow us to keep track of whether we are being profitable or not.
When adding a new card:
- The name of a card should just be a title of a task eg. ‘Outreach’, ‘Prospecting’, ‘Conversion Optimisation’
- Any further information describing the task should be reserved for the description.
- Add as much information in the description as necessary – this should be informative enough for somebody that is not involved in the project to understand what this task is about.
- Enter a tag – this is the category that it falls into, so: “reputation”, “linkbuilding”, “ppc” etc (you can find a full list of tags to use across all projects below, only use these ones)
Assign people to the task:
- Enter an achievable due date – refrain from just using the end of the month, instead divide up projects into weekly due dates. If you have estimated this project to run over several days such as with linkbuilding, then add a start date as well. This should have already been decided on at the start of the month.
- Add an estimate of how long this task should take based on the original project time budget. This should have already been decided on at the start of the month.
- Breakdown this project into a list of to do’s based on what it will take to complete this task in its entirety.
- When allocating tasks to people check the Breeze calendar first to make sure that the tasks you are assigning don’t conflict with other tasks. If they do, and you feel your task is time sensitive or urgent then speak to the person that will be carrying out the task to coordinate with them and reach a compromise.
- Generate reports at the end of each week to make sure project is on track.
- Under the ‘Reports’ tab in ‘Tasks’, type in project name and click ‘Run it’
- Do the same thing for ‘Time tracking’
- Make sure everyone assigned to the project is updating tasks as and when required.
- Review tasks marked as done.
- If you’ve been assigned a task that you cannot complete by the recommended due date, let the project manager know right away.
- When you are going to work on a task drag it to the ‘Doing’ list so everyone knows it’s being worked on.
- When you start a task always click on the play button on the top right hand corner of the task box. This will start a timer. My making sure you do this each time you work on a task means that by the end of the month we can see if we’ve been spending too much time working on a particular client or if we’re on budget.
- If you forget to press the play button try and remember how long you spent on that particular task and write in the time manually in ‘Log work’ found under time tracking.
- Tick off any to do’s as and when complete.
- If you have any questions, feedback, or need to add updates or comments to the task you’re doing add them to the discussion section at the bottom. You can type ‘@’ and then somebody’s name to tag them to your comment if you want them to respond to something.
- Once a task has been completed, under ‘Mark’ in the sidebar, select ‘mark as done’ and move it to the done list.
- Do not add any of your own tasks or lists if you are not the project manager. If you feel a task is missing, speak to the project manager.
- You can and are encouraged to update tasks with to-do’s, any supporting documentation, discussions, etc.
The upshot is we have a defined process for using this really useful project management tool. And in case you wondered… we love tight processes and methodologies!
- Task Tags
- A list of all the tags to use on tasks
- Web Dev
- Onsite SEO