As a Project Manager, starting a brand new project from scratch is full of challenges, but at least being on board from the beginning allows you to give life to a well-organized being.
When taking over an existing project, on the other hand, it’s hard to know what to expect. Sometimes, these projects have been guided by a great PM. Other times, they’ve been bungled by a terrible PM, or even multiple PMs that have each inserted a little bit of their own style along the way.
These PM-schizophrenic projects are often the most difficult ones, full of mass confusion. But they can be salvaged.
Do you remember Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill”? I loved this song growing up. In it, the bill starts as an idea and by going through a defined process becomes a real bill and eventually a law! To me, this ties in closely with the job of a PM. As the project manager for some unique and very fun clients, I get to take projects from an idea to a real bill!. Or PPC campaign. Or nonprofit website promoting animal welfare. Or any number of exciting outcomes.
I may be completely biased, but I think project managers are amazing. I mean, think about it. Project managers take a thought in someone’s head, plan out all the details, work to make sure there aren’t any major roadblocks in the way, motivate their team to complete the work, and then present a fully finished project at the end to their clients or stakeholders. Just like the bill from Schoolhouse Rock.
At a lot of places, though, PMs can be a bit undervalued. On the surface, our job is easy. Some might think that all PMs do is assign deliverables for other team members to complete or nag people about when they’re going to be finished. When you think of it that way, are Project Managers really necessary?
The answer is yes… of course! But it’s not because you need someone to define scope, assess potential risks, and manage timelines for deliverables. Good PMs do those things and do them well. However, it’s the PMs that go beyond just getting the project completed and out the door that make themselves indispensable to their teams. To become a Great PM, you have to learn to put the end user first.
In a few weeks, Google Analytics is expected to roll out a new user interface. We were lucky enough to beta-test the new GA prior to its release, but before we give you the inside scoop on all the new features, we think its important to understand the reasoning behind some of the changes Google is making. It’s not just aesthetics. It’s not just a simple UX update. This time around, Google is substantially altering the way in which they’re presenting information, and if we know anything about Google, it’s that they don’t do anything without a purpose.
Google wants users to start thinking beyond just visits. They want people to account for the entire conversion funnel, how users behave on their site and how it all ties together. They want to help people move beyond just measuring overall traffic numbers by making conversion information more visible than ever before. It is clear that the focus of this update is to change the analytics paradigm in a forceful way. Google is done trying to educate people. Now they’re changing their product and forcing everyone to adapt.
Our office recently resurrected the all-but-forgotten Nebo Ping-Pong Tournament and, needless to say, it was quite the show. Lots were cast, alliances formed, and 35 rounds later a winner emerged (we’ll talk about him later). While the tournament was entertaining, it’s interesting to note how teachable an experience it was as it relates to our industry. Rule changes in the games of ping-pong and table tennis come about in order to adjust to the ever-changing advancements of the game—not unlike the field of digital marketing. Throughout the tournament, I couldn’t help but notice how many winning ping-pong strategies could easily be applied to our ever-evolving industry.
We know you. You love analytics. You love the graphs and charts and statistics. But often too much of our time in Google Analytics is spent pulling up reports, debugging and testing implementations.
The following are some browser tools and Google Analytics features that will save you time when reporting, troubleshooting, auditing and testing GA implementations. After all, the less time we spend doing this stuff, the more time we’ll have to spend on what’s really important: analyzing data and taking action.