January's Get Organized Month. I'm sure that makes a lot of folks think about supplies like desk organizers and stuff, but the best organizational tool I have is a spreadsheet.

I wrote an extensive report on the Agile methodology last year and in the process picked up some great ideas for managing a large workflow and multiple concurrent projects. One of the most useful was the backlog, a giant list of deliverables and their current status. I break each assignment down to its key elements (Agile-ites call this atomicity), like brief/approval, query, interview/research, content review, draft, revise, edit, ship--all with due dates included. Team members have scheduled check-ins so I can chart their progress and know the status of any project at any time.

The backlog provides a macro view of all work to be completed and enables us to see at a glance where it is in the process, so I can assess the work in progress (WIP). WIP is not your friend, so keeping tabs on it is critical to moving quickly and efficiently--and keeping clients happy.

With this process, few things get off schedule (and none badly) because project increments are checked off frequently. If we need to make an adjustment, it's usually small and easy to manage. Because I know what we're doing and where it is, I can quickly rejigger schedules and assignments. And when new opportunities arise, it's very easy to  judge whether or not we can take them on because I have a real-time view of our current workload.

This communicative and transparent process has made a huge difference in my ability to increase our productivity without sacrificing quality or sanity.

Ready to give it a try for your content operation? How can I help?


How to plan and create with purpose

January 12, 2015

It's easier to produce results when your purpose is clearly defined. Here's a quick and easy way to determine what you want people to think, feel and do after they interact with you or your brand.

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New Year’s resolutions for content marketers

January 5, 2015

3 quick New Year's resolutions to help you get more from your content marketing efforts.

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Best wishes for 2015

December 22, 2014
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Closing out the year

December 15, 2014

Looking back over the year helps us learn what's working and what's not, and to make plans for increased success. Here's how we do it.

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More tips for tackling B2B & B2C content marketing challenges

December 8, 2014

Easy-to-implement strategies for creating a variety of content and measuring it more effectively.

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How to address B2B & B2C content marketing challenges

December 1, 2014

How to address major challenges facing B2B and B2C content marketers: Producing engaging and consistent content.

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How to keep your marketing fresh

November 24, 2014

Keep your marketing from putting customers to sleep with these tips.

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Quick tip for writing faster

November 24, 2014

How to keep the momentum going when you're writing. A quick tip from our content shop.

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Tips for better messaging

November 18, 2014

What's missing from your messaging? Here's how to integrate the customer perspective so your messaging has more impact.

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