Project management has been a part of my life for a very long time. Back in 1988 when I led the marketing team at Deloitte management consultants (it was called Touche Ross in those days) I helped put together the first marketing campaign for the new project management team.  I remember how we chose the Tower of Babel as our main image – to show how poor communication could impact on an ambitious construction project.  Happily, the team went on to become one of the largest (and most profitable) global consulting teams.

In 2008 it became apparent that in the professions, marketers and business developers spent most of their lives managing large and small projects – events, communications campaigns, research, printing, sales initiatives, database development (this was before specialist CRM systems for the professions existed), key account management programmes and then web development projects.

In some respects, every PR or marketing campaign we develop is a project – and the larger the firm, the larger the project.  As lead trainer at Professional Marketing Forum running various courses for junior and senior marketers and business developers I recognised this need and introduced two new courses – project management (for beginners to intermediate) and a closely related topic – change management (for advanced). Further details are here

Interestingly, in 2009 the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) fundamentally revised its syllabus. And one of the new diploma papers it introduced was “Project Management in Marketing”. It shows that the trend was clearly recognised. But it was unfortunate for those who had qualified in marketing before its introduction. Mind you, they would have no doubt learned the hard way!

Anyway, I am due to lecture on the Cambridge Marketing College’s Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Professional Diploma for professional services course in Germany in September and, for a change from marketing planning, marketing communications and case study courses which I have taught previously, I have opted to lead the Project Management in Marketing course.

People always ask me what books I recommend and here are a few that I have found useful:

Short pragmatic introduction

“HBR Guide to Project Management – Motivate your team, avoid scope creep and deliver results”. This is a short book and a quick read. It whizzes through the four phases (planning, build up, implementation and closeout) in 21 chapters from various contributors. Good for an initial overview.

Another short guide is the “Dorling Kindersley Essential Managers Project Management” by Andy Bruce and Ken Langdon. In just 70 pages, and with lots of great photos, it provides great tips and I like the project management skills assessment at the end.

And as a handy reminder, I downloaded the Prince2 (etpsolutions) app on my iPhone. It uses a diagram of the overall project management process to guide you to short text overviews of each stage. It contains a few templates too.

Detailed guide

“The complete idiot’s guide to project management” by Sunny and Kim Baker, at 375 pages, is a more detailed guide with 30 chapters in seven parts (project management power, project initiation process, project planning process, executing processes, controlling processes, closing processes, organisation and tools to make project management prosper). It really is quite good.

Academic guide

While 40% of the CIM course is on the nuts and bolts of mainstream project management there is a significant allocation on research and marketing information systems (15%) to build the business case (20%) and risk management (25%). Therefore, you really need the official CIM course book on Project Management in Marketing by Frank McKee, Elwyn Cox, Matthew Housden and Lynn Parkinson.

And if you are really keen, then you might want to consider developing your skills in the use of a project management system. I used Reed’s Microsoft Certified e-learning course on Microsoft Project.

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