The Benefits of Project Management and Process Governance

By Shift Paradigm

Published on 7 Jul, 2023

These days, we’re hearing a lot about restructuring and creating specialized teams to work faster, often leading businesses to shift to decentralized marketing teams to more quickly and effectively target new markets. In making this shift, organizations are often seeking to fill perceived talent gaps that are more likely the symptom of missing or ill-defined processes rather than the absence of particular skill sets. 

While moving towards decentralization does allow for increased flexibility and scalability, it often creates siloed teams and comes at the cost of some level of operational efficiency because so often the root problem – processes and the ownership and accountability therein – is never addressed. 

As marketing campaigns are planned and executed by these decentralized teams to reach these new markets, businesses are finding themselves charging ahead without a contingency plan, resulting in longer campaign turnaround times as the volume of campaigns increases to meet KPIs. The result is a lack of cohesive operation and disunified teams that are stretched thin from duplicative work.  

So how do you address the root problem to achieve faster, more efficient marketing operations without uprooting or alienating your entire organizational structure? Enter the partnership of Project Management and Process Governance.

Why Project Management?

Think of Project Managers as the central hub of your marketing efforts, navigating all critical campaign information and guiding execution efforts along the production process. Project Managers help define campaign goals, allocate resources, define roles and responsibilities for the execution team, identify risks that could affect the campaign’s success, and create strategies to mitigate them, all while holding the team to a predefined timeline and budget. 

Strong project management provides structure, organization, and direction to campaign execution to ensure the campaign succeeds and achieves its intended goals. With project management in place, disconnected marketing teams have a designated role in place helping inform campaign progress through standardized campaign lifecycles and milestones and identify overlaps in similar campaigns or strategies. Simultaneously, project managers can protect delivery teams from scope creep and repetitive tasks by overseeing the production process, reducing turnaround time and overall effort for campaign production. Whew! Project Managers have a lot on their plate!

So where does Process Governance come in? 

While Project Managers are your central hub moving everything forward, Process Governance should be the immovable foundation from which all teams can execute, the connecting framework decentralized teams (and their Project Managers!) can use to create standardization through shared process verbiage, consistent process phases, and typical campaign timelines. 

Process Governance refers to the framework that defines how business processes are designed, executed, monitored, and improved. It consists of the documentation that answers the questions “What?,” “Who?,” and “How?” and establishes the rules of engagement needed to enforce a particular process. While you don’t want Governance deliverables to be too detailed, complex, or unclear, simple, straightforward documentation can help explain and encourage how you want your team to flow through a particular process or function within an operating model, as well as setting guardrails for what not to do (Gartner).

A Center of Excellence (COE) is an excellent example of Process Governance in practice. COEs establish a team that owns, develops, and documents the innovation and best practices that executional teams leverage every day to be successful. Decentralized teams can use the governance of COEs as the source of truth for baseline processes, job aids, templates, and knowledge that are the building blocks from which customization can occur. 

The combined forces of Project Management and Process Governance 

Let’s say your marketing teams are split out regionally, each with a different audience target to reach, keeping local culture, language, and priorities in mind. It would be easy to fall into the trap of marketing siloes when each regional team might have its own unique audiences, campaigns, processes, and expectations for timelines. All that nuance leads to confusion, backlogged processes, and siloed resources, and ultimately increases the risk of error in campaign execution. 

Establishing a standardized approach to campaign execution (and storing that documentation in a COE 😉) and implementing Project Managers to oversee that execution across marketing teams creates the commonalities needed to connect otherwise disparate groups. A shared sandbox of frameworks, templates, and lexicon that Project Managers can enforce as they guide delivery teams through the production process means that resources can: 

  • Measure efficiencies against a baseline to better understand opportunities for improvement.
  • Move between regional teams faster and with less training, knowing that core processes and approaches remain the same.
  • Communicate more effectively about regional nuances because the foundational lexicon for the process or approach is straightforward.

Whether your organization is centralized or decentralized, if you want teams that work smarter, run faster, and that have more consistency in campaign quality, you need to combine strong Project Management to oversee Process Governance. Doing so is absolutely critical to finding those greater operational efficiencies with far-reaching implications on team morale and campaign ROI.

When Project Management and Process Governance come together, they are a powerhouse of operational effectiveness you can’t afford to miss out on. Before you spend the time and money restructuring or trying to fill mystery talent gaps, assess your processes, ownership, and accountability. 

Not sure where to start? This is just the sort of thing we love to help with! Connect with Shift Paradigm today!


Written By Shift Paradigm

Shift Paradigm is a business and growth partner that helps our clients see a true reflection of their business through the lens of technology & data. Armed with data-driven insights, we work with organizations to identify & accelerate opportunities for growth, efficiency, and innovation. For over 15 years, Shift has implemented, optimized, operationalized, and transformed marketing technology ecosystems and experiences for 1000s of global B2B and B2C organizations. Our comprehensive suite of services includes technology roadmaps & assessments, omnichannel campaign strategies & execution, reporting & analytics, and go-to-market strategy playbooks. We also proudly partner with industry technology leaders, like Adobe and Salesforce, to provide the right solutions for our clients.
Email Icon