A Job List or Project List has the power to keep competing deadlines off your back.
Start keeping a list of every project or job people request of your department. The list should have the project name, the person who requested it, their department, the date they requested it and the date they want it done by.
If you are like most internal marketing departments or internal IT departments, this list will get very long, very fast. It will become the living embodiment of all the competing pressures on you as a director or team member, and of the demands on your resources.
Of course, you probably already keep a list like this for managing your work, for keeping track of all your projects and the tasks everyone has to do. It might be a paper list or in project management software.
The difference with this list is that this is a list you share.
This is a list that is openly available and public for every “client” to see.
If you are an internal department, your clients are your internal clients and it’s up to you to navigate the political territory.
If you are an independent agency, please don’t really show it to your clients. Show it to the account managers and salespeople who are asking on behalf of the clients.
It is the list you bring out when someone else from another department asks you to get another project done, to squeeze in another job. It is the list you pull out when they make that job request and you say:
I’d love to get that job done for you. Here is a list of everything I’ve got going in the department right now. Some of them are from you. Some are from other people. Which one should I bump? Which one should I move to fit yours in?
Wait for the answer.
Nothing gets a process going for better project management or for more thoughtful allocation of resources and better decision making, than making people prioritize the work they want you to do for them.
It is also an outstanding exercise for an independent agency. It helps you evaluate which are the highest value clients, the highest value projects and it can help you better understand what makes them so valuable (so you can do more of that).