PPC Project Management

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “PPC Project Management.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is the number one reason you don’t delegate to others when you know you can/should?

  • Want it done my way (which is “better”). – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Time spent delegating/checking is close to the total time it would take you anyway. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Mastering delegation is a MUST. Time sensitivity or specialized knowledge not on my team is my only reason not to. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • Lack the time to teach someone else. I know that’s the wrong thing but it happens. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • I could do it faster is a big one to get over. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Often, takes longer to explain & relay info properly vs. doing it yourself. Not that that’s always the right way. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Quality Assurance. (and perfectionism) I’ll sometimes end up doing the work twice, which I like to avoid. – Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
  • Used to be b/c I trust my own work more, but It’s something I’m gotten MUCH better at as a Manager. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • Primarily because I think I can do it better or quicker. – Josh Devlin (@JayPeeDevlin)
  • I like things done my way – especially if I’m going to be the one optimizing down the road. – Matt Umbro
  • I won’t delegate when i need to show someone how to do it. once they know, it becomes their job. – Siddhartha Naithani (@noeticsound)
  • I’m picky and I like things done a specific way. That’s my biggest reason for not delegating. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • I do but may end up doing it anyways because of efficiency, correctness. There is always a bit more time in the day for that. – Philip (@philip_a)
  • Realistically, we all learned with others delegating to us – we made mistakes but we learned and did things better! – Matt Umbro
  • Training and managing the delegated tasks takes time. But it’s worth it in the long run if you have good peeps! – Heather Cooan
  • On the flip side, sometimes different eyes see or do something great you might not have done/thought of. – Julie Bacchini
  • I’m often the only one left here when it needs doing. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • Time. Sometimes it takes longer to explain it to others than to do it myself. Takes discipline to focuson the long-term benefits. – Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
  • I think a common misconception is that it’s easier to delegate when you are being pulled in so many directions. It’s when you are most busy that you fret the most about delegation (at least I do) – Matt Umbro
  • One of the best books on delegation is The Pumpkin Plan. SEMs tend to be control freaks & that’s a hard habit to break. – Andrew McGarry (@beyondcontent)
  • Delegation is an investment. If you view it that way, it becomes easier to implement. – Julie Bacchini
  • If i can/should I usually will. Only reason not to would be the importance of the change i have to make. – Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
  • Teaching has it’s own benefits as well; I’ve found that concepts become solidified in my own mind while teaching them. – Leo Sussan
  • If you delegate be prepared to take time to review and critique the work – often forgotten part about delegation. – Matt Umbro
  • ALWAYS takes longer to explain than to do. But if you explain clearly, you only have to do that once. – Theresa Zook
  • Do you tend to overcomplicate things? Cause you can’t when you’re getting someone else up to speed. – Julie Bacchini
    • Yes, because I’m being picky about the end product. So the start up explanation takes even longer. – Michelle Morgan
  • A lot of the points being made is why interns are not worth it, in some cases. Cost benefit is too low, and short term. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

Q2: When thought about logically, what is your biggest fear of delegating a project/task?

  • It will get messed up, then I will have to end up doing it, then 2 people paid to do what I could have done in 1st place once. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Conversions are going to suffer. Period. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • That I’ll have to redo the whole thing. – Melissa Mackey
  • My biggest fear is that I’ll have to do over myself and waste that much more time. – Matt Umbro
  • No fear, nothing is permanent. This is not brain surgery. No one dies in advertising. – Heather Cooan
  • Isn’t done correctly, no follow up, will take even more time in the end. – Luke Alley
    • So short-sighted. If no one trains the next gen, how will they learn? It’s a necessary investment in your industry. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • They’ll screw it up and I’m responsible for it. – Robert Brady
  • Biggest fear is a major screw up that costs client big $$. Ultimately the responsibility is mine. – Julie Bacchini
  • Potentially losing a client based on mistakes. – Rory Witt (@Rory_Witt)
  • Review/corrections will take as long as the actual task. Wasted time & resources. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Realistically, if you have too many doubts about delegating to someone should that person even be on your team? – Matt Umbro
    • If someone is growing/stretching, they’re at the edge of skills. Always potential for failure. – Robert Brady
  • Usually time, but again, that worry’s gone away recently. I trust my people; I’ve trained them all very well. – Leo Sussan
  • If you’re in charge – errors still fall on you. You’re responsible for others work – scary when $$ on the line. – Conrad O’Connell (@conradoconnell)
  • They might find out I’ve been doing it all wrong. – Theresa Zook
  • I always tell people that I’m OK with them making mistakes as long as they can defend why they made them. If someone can’t defend their mistakes (at least partially) that’s when I get frustrated. – Matt Umbro
  • The person doing the task could mess up something I won’t notice. Change history does not show everything. – Roxana Hassel
  • Other than wasted time & bad results, I also worry about percieved “gopher delegation” where partner feels I dump chores on them. – Chris Haleua
  • I don’t usually doubt the good job part, it’s the not forgetting and get it done on time part that worries me. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Much depending on person delegated to. I fear bad output quality, losing time to fix issues. Even with profs: meeting deadline. – Philip
  • Mostly concerned with things not be done right and I’ll have to back track. – Michelle Morgan
  • Not all doubts are about the person you’re delegating to – there’s also the worry you’re not explaining well enough. – Tamsin Mehew (@TamsinMehew)
    • Valid point, but I would hope that person would let me know that I’m not being clear enough. – Matt Umbro
  • Also, expect a double effort period. Using training wheels pays off, i.e. work in Editor & don’t update w/out my sign off. – Julie Bacchini
  • Even the worst, most awful mistakes can create some fascinating data. Ask me about the”Bid everything up by 25%” rule fiasco. – Leo Sussan
  • When delegation is most important it’s a matter of ‘maybe it’ll actually get done on time if I let someone else do it’. – Heather Cooan
    • In the same thought, I delegate to get round 1 of build outs going then I step in and optimize from there. – Michelle Morgan

Q3: Are your PPC accounts assigned a project manager (or a similar title)? Why or why not?

  • Yes. Me. (I’m all I have.) – Theresa Zook
  • Ours are assigned to teams with a client facing strategy person who owns the account and people to support. Need all the brains. – Heather Cooan
  • Yes, one main point of contact. However, we have a group to strategize/troubleshoot. Get the best of both worlds. – Luke Alley
  • Bigger accounts should definitely have a PM to keep up with the communication and bigger picture ideas. – Matt Umbro
  • If I am working on it – I’m the Account Manager. – Roxana Hassel
  • We have project managers for every client. Rarely is PPC the only service we’re providing. – Amy Middleton
  • We are a smaller firm, so our structure is pretty uncomplicated. Designated contact point is key for both sides! – Julie Bacchini
  • For most accounts yes, one AM/PM to manage client expectations and prioritize work from multiple clients is a big help. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • I manage the accounts with input from other team members who get more client face time than I do. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Up until this point I have been a ‘1 man band’, however as I grow vision is for strategic acct mnger with assistnts underneath. – Josh Devlin

Q4: What tips would you offer the “delegee” being trained and/or having projects assigned to him/her? Why?

  • Ask Questions. – John Budzynski
  • NO question is dumb. I’d rather you ask & be sure we are on the same page than have them make assumptions. – Julie Bacchini
  • Over communicate with questions, follow ups, etc. – Luke Alley
  • Ask as many questions as you need to get the job done, but look things up that have universal answers. – Michelle Morgan
  • Always read through the task when you get it and make sure you understand and have everything you need. – Heather Cooan
  • I track major/strategic acct edits in a spreadsheet. I’d say understanding that info before making changes is key. – Theresa Zook
  • If you need to know adwords policy, look it up. If you need to know my preference, ask me. – Michelle Morgan
  • Spend time 1st getting acquainted with account. Look at historic trends, oddities, past mgmt styles, anything that will impact. – Kirk Williams
  • I actually disagree with asking tons of questions. I would rather someone think through the task, provide me their work, and then I can critique. I actually thinking the delegee asking too many questions is a negative for the delegator – takes away from his/her time. – Matt Umbro
    • I think the process evolves as they work more w you. Ask more early & really absorb & apply. – Julie Bacchini
  • Document what you’ve done and changes made. Not everything shows up in change history. Notes on Why are very important. – James Svoboda
  • Manage expectations. Under commit. Over deliver. Build trust by always keeping promises. – Chris Haleua
  • Be vocal about what you need, when you need it, and whether the deadline is doable sooner rather than later. – Heather Cooan
  • Let me see your plan before you build it out or take it live. – Amy Middleton (@amyxmiddleton)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, be critical, offer input, etc. Keep communication open. – Timothy Jensen
  • Experiment all you want. But if you are not sure – Search online – If still not sure – ASK. – Roxana Hassel
  • There’s an infinite amount of work you can do on a PPC account. Ask mentors/trainers how to best prioritize. – Sam Turner (@turnersam000)
  • Balance asking questions with self-driven learning. Don’t bug, but don’t spin your wheels. – Robert Brady
  • Do some research, then ask questions, ask for help, ask for examples until you get it down. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Just do it. When I was learning I found so many answers by continuing to move forward rather than asking about every detail. – Sydney Robbins (@robbinssydney)
  • Part of this is you have to decide if you want to manage people, b/c it can be a pain & time suck. Can also up productivity a lot. – Julie Bacchini
  • ESPECIALLY don’t ask questions for which you could have gotten the answer from a 5 second Google search. – Kirk Williams
    • Nothing more frustrating than someone constantly coming to my desk to ask questions they could easily find answers to. – Matt Umbro
  • Read lots – There is a great community out there so immerse yourself and learn! – Josh Devlin
  • If you want empowered team members, you can’t micromanage either. Can’t have it both ways. – Julie Bacchini
  • Newbies are afraid to make mistakes. set everything up however it makes sense to you and we’ll correct when done. – Sydney Robbins

Q5: As a project manager and/or delegator, what do you believe to be your biggest weakness? Why?

  • This quote has helped me on this… “Judge your results and others intentions.” – Luke Alley
  • Prioritizing tasks across multiple projects so that everything gets done. I’m better than I was, but not where I want to be. – John Budzynski
  • Everyone’s answer should be “I am a control freak.” – Sydney Robbins
  • Having to think farther ahead to put right resources on right tasks in right sequence. – Julie Bacchini
  • Talking too much. Motor mouth wastes time. Forget that hear = forget, see= remember, do=understand. Need more focus on examples. – Chris Haleua
  • My weakness is I’m too quick to answer client or internal questions that I should let team members answer. – Matt Umbro
  • I have unreasonable expectations of self which bleed into my expectations of others. – Heather Cooan
  • Explaining historical data can help a newbie understand WHY (strategy wise) gotta take the time to do this. – Sydney Robbins

Q6: How do you define PPC project management?

  • Getting Work Done! – John Budzynski
  • Overseeing the big picture of campaigns: budget, schedule, high level goals, etc. – Timothy Jensen
  • Having an overall strategy & approach & making sure these are kept in mind as ongoing edits are made. – Theresa Zook
  • Probably SHOULD think of it as seeing project thru beginning to end. Sometimes it turns into assigning one-off tasks. – Sydney Robbins
  • Project management is keeping everything on schedule & moving forward. It is not the actual acct work itself. – Julie Bacchini
  • I’d say project management is more about _how_ you get the work done, rather than actually doing the work. – Tamsin Mehew
  • Project management is balancing the iron triangle of time, money, & quality. – Chris Haleua
  • Project mgmt is a distinct skill set from PPC skills too. Just cause you can do one doesn’t mean you’re good at the other. – Julie Bacchini

Q7: What third party tools/software do you use for project management and/or time tracking? Why do they work?

  • We use Basecamp. I can never find anything in there. I use Producteev personally. – Heather Cooan
    • I’ve used basecamp with the same result– where is everything/ANYthing? – Sydney Robbins
  • Oh man, TeamWorkPM is my second home. – Leo Sussan
  • I did read about Slack last night, it sounds great for managing communication. – Heather Cooan
  • If your needs are simple and team is small, Google Docs can work well. – Julie Bacchini
  • Basecamp is been our go-to here lately. – Conrad O’Connell
  • Basecamp – Robert Brady & Sam Turner
  • Proj mgmt: Google Docs; time tracking = AtTask. Time tracking is the bane of my existence. Probably true at every agency. – Melissa Mackey
  • Combo of Basecamp and Google Docs. for me. – John Budzynski
  • We use Harvest for time-tracking (and I find myself using it as a reference on what I’ve done to an account). – Tamsin Mehew


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Middleton (@amyxmiddleton)
• Andrew McGarry (@beyondcontent)
• Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
• Conrad O’Connell (@conradoconnell)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Josh Devlin (@JayPeeDevlin)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
• Philip (@philip_a)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Rory Witt (@Rory_Witt)
• Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
• Sam Turner (@turnersam000)
• Siddhartha Naithani (@noeticsound)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Sydney Robbins (@robbinssydney)
• Tamsin Mehew (@TamsinMehew)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Streamcap Project Managment Provided By

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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