Content writers and editors are often brought onto projects to simply produce content. As writers, we are sometimes led to believe the project and content strategy have already been determined. Believe it or not, that’s not always the case. When we start digging into the project, our questions tend to surface process gaps that were not addressed early on. That’s when an experienced project strategist comes in handy. A project strategist should be at your side even before kick-off to ensure all bases are covered from a digital perspective – not just content.
The role of a project strategist is to focus on Five Big Qs:
- Does your project plan align with your business goals? Answering this requires an in-depth understanding of your business and the environment in which it operates. A project strategist will get to know the ins and outs of your business fairly quickly. The number one question a strategist will ask is, “why?”
- Do you have the right tools in place for efficiency and scale? Projects tends to take longer than planned. With the right tools, a smart project strategist will help you stay on track, on budget and within scope. And she will help you scale for the long term. Basic tools like content management software keep all communications and processes documented in one place.
- Have we missed any steps? As project strategists, we always take the time to map out every step, including roles and responsibilities on both team’s side, and on the client side. During project kick-off, we use this roadmap as our agenda to identify any steps we might be missing along the way. We also review the timeline to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Do we have the best (and most efficient) team on the job? What goes on behind the scenes is just as important as what’s communicated to the client. Each and every team member plays a vital role to the success (or failure) of any project. An experienced project strategist will evaluate all team members to ensure the project is staffed appropriately. If risks arise, it’s the project strategist’s responsibility to shift gears quickly if needed.
- How often should we communicate? Weekly if a project is underway, even if it’s just a 15-minute touch base. Doing so keeps everyone accountable, including us.
As your primary point of contact, a project strategist will become one of your most valuable partners. We know our: clients, partners, tools, workflows, processes, capabilities. Make sure your project strategist has the right relationships and the ability to pull all of it together quickly and efficiently for you.