2012-03-25 18:31 by Brian Berlin (comments: 0)
Jerry Bruckheimer may be the most successful project leader of all time. Project leader? Do I mean film and TV producer? Well, that’s his job title. But what he does is develop and oversee many projects--lots of them, and quite successfully. One could say that Jerry Bruckheimer has cracked the code on scalable project management.
Maybe he’s a control freak or a micro-manager, but I suspect he’s put a structure in place that’s followed closely regardless of project type.
As of 2010 Jerry Bruckheimer had produced over 40 feature films, among them Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Armageddon, Remember the Titans, and the Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure franchises. Television successes include the CSI series and the reality game show The Amazing Race.
The original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was so popular it generated two other versions, CSI:NY and CSI:Miami. Viewers of all these series will notice that each episode follows the same structure.
So what does it take to manage that many projects at once?
Everyone involved in the project must understand their roles, responsibilities and deliverables. Bruckheimer has obviously figured out how to hire great people and provide them with structure so that milestones, deadlines and statuses can be achieved and observed.
It’s the same with B2B teleprospecting projects. My team has deliverables, and so does my client. Over the past 5 years I’ve worked hard to distill these projects down to a set of common denominators and deliverables so that everyone knows their jobs.
For instance, for me the 3 critical components of any successful B2B teleprospecting campaign are list, message and caller. List comes first because it tells us if the market is big enough to sustain a calling campaign.
The responsibility of the list is either mine or the client’s. One of my client does an outstanding job of generating inquiries from a variety of marketing programs, which solves the question of who we’re going to call.
To keep everyone on track, a few years back I developed a pre-launch checklist that I distribute to the teams. The list also shows dependencies. As an example, the list dependency is that we can’t start calling until we have it. The checklist prevents us from cutting corners just to get the project launched.
Once the project is launched, it’s critical to conference weekly to maintain continuity, check status, figure out what’s working and not, and calibrate accordingly.
I’m a big user of software programs to help me manage aspects of my business, but I use a low-tech, paper-based version of the project dashboard to stay on top of multiple projects. Managing projects is not strategic--it’s tactical.
While I may not yet be the Jerry Bruckheimer of project management, I feel like I’ve figured out how he does it, and that I’m doing a pretty good job of emulating his process.