4 Ways to Build a Culture of Project Success
When contemplating the consequences of project failure, people usually think of the budget, which is warranted. A 2021 PMI survey found that, on average, poor project performance can waste 9.4% of a company’s investment.
Although that’s concerning, it’s far from the only consequence of project failure. In fact, you can usually recoup the money. But those “black swan” events can be catastrophic, especially if the project was necessary to fix a fatal flaw, for example. Failure takes a toll on everything from processes, workflows, and productivity to resource management, data insights, and customer experience.
When project failure sets a business back too far, it can take years to catch up with the competition.
Heads will likely roll as a result — and not only the project manager’s head, but also the heads of the directors, VPs, COO, and anyone else associated with the project. Board of directors can get ruthless, even when the reasons projects fail have nothing to do with the people on the project team.
A failed project can take the form of a boogeyman, just waiting to punish those who dare to venture into a similar initiative.
But fear not! When you put the people and resources in place to make projects a strength instead of a weakness, success can become the norm within your organization.
How to Gear Your Project Management Culture Toward Success
The expectation shouldn’t be that all projects hit every baseline, but organizations have come to take failure too much for granted. However, according to the same PMI survey mentioned above, project managers reported that 73% of projects met their original goals or business intent. That’s a solid enough starting point to help organizations close the gaps in their portfolios.
It all starts with effective leadership in project management. You need to instill project managers in a solid infrastructure from the C-suite down to the smallest team. Here are the best ways to do that:
1. Embrace organizational change management.
Organizational change management (or OCM) is essentially a framework for managing any business change. But the focus isn’t just on the processes and procedures involved in bringing a project across the finish line.
It’s more about the people side of change and addressing areas such as training, communication, and readiness for a given change.
Treat OCM as an opportunity to continually foster a flexible and success-driven project culture. Adopt project management and oversight software to help shepherd things along.
It’s almost inevitable that project elements will change at a moment’s notice. But, with OCM in place, those changes won’t throw you or your team off track too much. If anything, it’ll prepare employees to roll with the punches and continue pushing toward the finish line.
2. Follow the VIA methodology.
People tend to use the word “evolution” when discussing organizational change, but change should really look more like intelligent design. Instead of accidentally arriving at an optimal state through a series of fatal errors (like in evolution), you should take deliberate steps toward a planned change to better adjust to the environment.
The Vision-Implement-Adopt (or VIA) methodology is a way to design and realize that change intelligently.
The process is relatively straightforward: Start by assessing your current state then define the desired future state of operations. Once that’s complete, you must develop a plan to bridge the gap between the two states. From there, it’s a matter of executing the roadmap and adopting the changes long-term.
3. Support project management.
Though this might sound like obvious advice, only two out of five organizations value project management as an operational discipline. As a result, you might need to reevaluate whether your organization is providing project managers with the necessary resources to lead the charge.
Project management support comes down to the six roles and responsibilities of project management: leadership, expertise, analysis, scheduling, coordination, and administration. Leadership is chief among them and the one that helps the other five aspects engage and stay harmonious.
Leaders connect with every aspect of a project and ensure everyone has what they need to succeed.
Expertise is the on-the-ground knowledge a team needs to execute a project from every angle. The analysis looks at all of a project’s essential insights and how they impact completion. Scheduling ensures deadlines are prioritized, while coordination and administration work to keep all the logistics on track. If any one role is missing or ineffective, the whole project is off-kilter. So, start your problem-solving there.
4. Rethink the project management framework.
When you start to feel the effects of poor leadership in project management, it is often the result of the project management leadership paradox. This is when project managers traditionally have more accountability than authority.
To take project management seriously, executives need to equip project managers with the proper levers to lead. It’s almost the inverse of the adage, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Someone accountable for as much as a project manager is responsible for should have the power necessary to meet those expectations.
Think about how you can better equip project managers with more tangible power to drive productivity, hold team members accountable, and bring a project across the finish line.
Preparation is always key for any new initiative. Of course, you need a plan and clear direction for moving forward. But part of that preparation process should start well before the ideation phase, which means ensuring that anyone taking the helm is in the best position possible — with the proper framework, resources, and support to see the project through. That, in and of itself, can ensure effective leadership in project management.
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9 Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Attract and Engage Patients
If you’re a healthcare provider looking for new and effective ways to find and engage potential patients, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll look at nine healthcare marketing strategies that can help you attract more patients and increase your patient engagement. From leveraging social media to investing in search engine optimization, these healthcare marketing strategies will give you the tools to reach out to and build relationships with potential patients. So, let’s get started.
1) Define your audience
Identifying the target audience for your healthcare marketing efforts is an essential first step in any marketing strategy. You need to determine who your ideal patient is so you can craft effective messaging and use the right tactics to reach them.
Start by considering the demographics of your current patients and those most likely to be interested in your services. Take into account age, gender, income level, location, and other factors that might be relevant.
Then, think about the pain points or needs your services can address. It will help you identify potential customers who could benefit from your offer. For example, if you specialize in sports medicine, you’ll want to target athletes and active individuals who are likely looking for solutions to common injuries or health issues.
2) Foster relationships with referring physicians
Building relationships with referring physicians is great for your healthcare marketing strategy. Physicians are well-respected and highly trusted in the healthcare industry, so building meaningful relationships with them is important. Doing so will help you gain access to their patient referral networks and increase your visibility in the community.
Start by introducing yourself and your practice to referring physicians. Ask for their contact information and make sure to keep it up-to-date. Connect with them on social media, if appropriate. Offer to attend conferences and meetings they are attending, or invite them to yours. Offer them patient education materials, discounts on services, or other incentives that show your appreciation.
You can also offer referring physicians helpful resources and advice, such as regular updates on medical advances or educational materials related to their specialties. Make sure that your content is always accurate and up-to-date. Finally, be sure to follow up with referring physicians regularly. It will show them you value their relationship and help maintain positive working relationships.
3) Research your competition
Understanding your competitors is essential when it comes to healthcare marketing. Knowing what strategies they use and how successful they are can help you improve your tactics and stay ahead of the game.
Start by researching the demographics of your target market – who are they, what do they need, and how can you reach them? Analyze their services and offerings and evaluate their marketing tactics. Ask yourself how you can differentiate your services from theirs, what makes your product better, and how you can beat them in terms of quality, cost, or convenience.
Look for trends in their marketing campaigns and see what works for them. Analyze their approach and create a plan that capitalizes on their weaknesses and maximizes your strengths. Discover what makes them unique and use this knowledge to inform your marketing strategy.
4) Incorporate SEO into your website
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for healthcare marketing and can help increase organic traffic to your website. It involves optimizing keywords, phrases, titles, headings, images, and other elements on web pages to appear higher in search engine results.
Optimize your website for search engines to ensure that it ranks high when users search for topics related to your practice. The higher your site appears in the search results, the more traffic it will get –more opportunities to convert leads into appointments.
SEO helps you get found by potential patients and keep existing patients coming back. As an essential part of your healthcare marketing plan, it’s important to understand how to incorporate SEO into your website.
First, you’ll need to create content that is both informative and optimized for search engines. Research relevant keywords related to your practice and target audience, then use those keywords in your website content. Ensure you don’t overuse the keywords, which can negatively affect your rankings.
It’s also important to ensure your site is easy to navigate and contains fresh, unique content. It will improve user experience and encourage visitors to stay longer on your site. Additionally, ensure that your website works on all devices and browsers. It will maximize the number of people who can access your site, increasing your ranking in search engine results.
5) Use social media
Social media is another powerful tool when it comes to healthcare marketing. Not only does it allow you to interact with potential patients directly, but it also builds relationships with current and potential referral sources. Utilizing social media channels allows you to share valuable information about your practice and create content that engages with patients and drives new leads.
Regarding healthcare marketing, social media is important to your overall plan. With a well-executed social media strategy, you can reach a wide audience quickly and easily. It’s essential to have an active presence on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, as they provide excellent opportunities for reaching a wide range of audiences.
The key to success is to create content that resonates with your target audience and can convert leads into actual customers. Post relevant information about your services and helpful health tips, and answer questions from potential patients.
Ensure to include visuals whenever possible, as this will help grab your audience’s attention. Also, use hashtags to make your posts more visible and encourage user engagement. Responding quickly to comments and questions is important to foster relationships with potential patients. Finally, measure and track the results of your efforts through analytics software like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights.
6) Develop a strong brand
When it comes to healthcare marketing, creating a strong and unique brand is essential. It is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. Crafting an eye-catching logo and website and utilizing high-quality visuals can help you make a powerful impression on potential patients.
Another great way to build your brand is by creating custom content. Leveraging educational materials like blog posts and videos can help showcase your expertise. Sharing success stories and patient testimonials can also be effective in building trust with potential patients. Look for opportunities to get your name out in the local community. Attending events and partnering with other organizations are great ways to boost your visibility.
Participating in local events is a great way to interact with potential patients and show them why your services are superior. It also allows you to network with local healthcare professionals and gain referrals.
You can also host educational webinars or live chats to educate your patients and generate leads (healthcaremailing dotcom). Tools like Zoom or YouTube Live will allow you to stream the content and engage with people who aren’t physically present in the room. It can also help you reach a wider audience since many patients won’t be able to attend in person and may not have access to your event unless they know it beforehand.
You can ask questions during the webinar or chat and collect data from those who participate through their answers before ending the session with an action plan for following up with those who respond positively. It allows for better follow-up than just sending automated emails out afterward – you’ll get actual feedback from real people.
7) Invest in content marketing
Healthcare Content marketing is a powerful tool for healthcare providers to attract and engage new patients. It involves creating and distributing content related to your business’s services or products. It aims to educate and inform potential patients about your practice, services, and how you can help them.
Content marketing can take the form of articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, social media posts, and other forms of media. This type of content provides value to potential patients and can help establish you as an authority figure in the industry. By creating high-quality content that is informative and engaging, you can help potential patients learn more about your practice and its offerings. You can also use content marketing to build trust with current and prospective patients.
Content marketing can be done in-house or outsourced to a content creation agency. If you choose to outsource, select an agency with expertise in the healthcare industry that can create accurate, relevant, and up-to-date content.
No matter your approach, content marketing can be an effective strategy for reaching new patients and building relationships with them. By investing in content marketing, you’ll be able to keep your website updated, attract more organic traffic from search engines, and give your current and prospective patients the information they need to make an informed decision about their healthcare.
8) Advertise online
Online advertising can be a great way to reach potential patients and those in your care. You can use platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to target potential patients based on location, age, gender, interests, and more.
Online advertising can help you promote awareness of your practice and services, increase brand visibility, and even drive conversions. You can also ensure your messages reach the right people with the right targeting. Just do your research and understand the different types of ad formats available.
For example, some formats are better suited to creating brand awareness, while others may be better for lead generation. Additionally, have clear, concise messaging with strong call-to-action (CTA). It will help ensure that your online ads are effective in driving conversions.
Paid advertising on social media channels or platforms like Google Ads is another great way to reach potential patients. Setting up ads allows you to target specific population segments, which increases the likelihood of getting clicks and converting leads into customers.
9) Implement lead capture forms
Lead capture forms are essential in any successful healthcare marketing strategy. They allow you to collect information from potential patients, such as name, email address, phone number, and other contact information. This data allows you to track your leads and nurture them into becoming paying customers.
To get the most out of lead capture forms, design them for maximum conversion. It means providing an easy-to-use interface with a clear call to action that encourages users to take action. You should also include a field for additional comments or questions so that you can gather more detailed information about your leads.
Your lead capture forms should also be strategically placed throughout your website. Place them prominently on your homepage, or add them to key service and contact pages. Additionally, consider offering incentives to encourage people to fill out the forms, such as discounts or free consultations.
By investing in lead capture forms, you can track your leads and nurture them into becoming loyal customers. The right combination of design, placement, and incentives can make all the difference in finding and engaging patients.
Healthcare marketing is a unique opportunity to build relationships and connections with your audience. These people will benefit from your products and services to be incredibly loyal customers. By putting yourself out there in a way that resonates best with your target demographic — and by keeping an eye on what makes them tick — you’ll find that you have a much easier time engaging them on social media or in person at events like conferences or expositions.
Hopefully, we leave you with insights on the marketing strategies that can help you find and engage patients in a way that leads them to take action.
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Alternatives to Layoffs in Tech: Maintaining a Stable Workforce
The tech industry is volatile and subject to the whims of the market. With the recession that’s predicted to hit the global economy in late 2023, companies everywhere, from small startups to major enterprises, are already taking countermeasures to combat it. Ironically, the most commonly employed countermeasure is large-scale layoffs.
Just recently, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, impacting nearly 5% of its global workforce, as part of “workforce reduction” measures the company is taking. This was soon followed by a similar announcement from Google’s parent company, Alphabet. CEO Sundar Pichai commented on the downsizing, saying the company had “hired for a different economic reality” than what it’s up against today.
During times of economic hardship, it is important for companies to maintain a stable, employed workforce. This is why many businesses are searching for alternatives to layoffs as a method to get through these challenging times. Let’s explore what some of these potential alternatives could be.
A substitute for layoffs is to recruit fewer people each month in the first place. Companies might limit the pace of new recruits and concentrate on keeping their present employees. This is one of the factors that they can adapt to rather than reduce their current staff.
During the height of the pandemic, companies like Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft hired and grew their employee base significantly. In contrast, Apple hired at a more modest rate compared to its peers, adding only 17,000 new recruits between 2020 and 2022. Now that uncertain times are ahead, and we see the consequences of overhiring in the form of mass layoffs. On the other hand, Apple has avoided using layoffs as a tool to deal with these dire circumstances.
The implementation of a hiring freeze is an additional alternative to laying off present employees. This entails putting a temporary stop to all new hiring until the business’s financial situation improves. By doing so, companies can cut expenditures while maintaining the current staff.
Another reason why Apple is not laying off its employees like its counterparts — is that it implemented a hiring freeze in November 2022 to prepare for the turbulent times that are ahead. There’s no news on when the freeze will be lifted, with sources even saying that it could go on until September 2023.
Reducing Working Hours
Reducing the number of hours a worker works each week is one such option that can prove to be beneficial. This enables businesses to maintain their personnel while also cutting expenditures. Employees who are able to keep their jobs but with fewer hours worked may also benefit from it, freeing up more time for other activities.
Reducing hours, not workers, is the right for forward-looking business leaders to institute today. 73 companies in the UK ran an experiment with a four-day workweek. The results showed that managers and employees generally described being more or equally productive in a shortened week. A shorter work week gives employees more time to spend with their friends and family and also focuses on any hobbies or part-time ventures that they wish to cultivate.
Voluntary Separation or Leave
Offering voluntary unpaid leave is another substitute for permanently laying off workers. Although this reduces the number of employees, it also gives them the option to return to their positions later. This is advantageous for the employer and employee because it lets workers take a short break while businesses save money.
Alternatively, companies can also implement a voluntary separation program. This enables employees to willingly leave the organization in exchange for severance compensation. This may be a successful strategy for reducing the workforce while still treating the impacted workers with fairness and compassion. Coca-Cola offered voluntary separation packages to 4000 employees in North America, and it included some major incentives like at least a year’s pay plus a 20% bump.
Focusing on Employee Retention
The most optimal way to avoid layoffs is to reduce employee turnover. High turnover can lead to a constant need to fill available positions, which can be costly and time-consuming. Businesses can decrease the number of unfilled positions and the need to hire and train new employees by putting more emphasis on employee retention and taking measures to improve it. Employers can concentrate on keeping their present staff members by offering them competitive wage packages, flexible work schedules, and opportunities for career advancement.
When to layoff employees?
It’s crucial to remember that laying off employees should only be used as a last resort. Additionally, when layoffs are unavoidable, the business should manage the situation with transparency and empathy. It’s vital to avoid doing bad layoffs or for the wrong reasons. The recent Twitter layoffs are a prime example of a bad layoff, with employees either being informed by email that they have been laid off or finding out after discovering that they have been locked out of their work laptops or communication channels.
Layoffs are not always the best option and can often be detrimental to the organization as a whole. Companies can keep a steady workforce while still controlling expenses and adapting to market changes by thinking about possible alternatives to layoffs. Employers should be aware of their options and carefully consider them while putting the interests of their staff first.
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4 Software Tools Solopreneurs Need in 2023
Solopreneurs may be the pluckiest type of entrepreneur there is. They decide to bring their business idea to life on their own without the assistance of a team. Solopreneurs can start their companies as side hustles to develop additional career interests. Or they may go all in, hoping to reap the rewards of flexibility and autonomy.
While complete control can be a huge benefit of solopreneurship, it’s not a walk in the park. Since owners tackle everything alone, finding ways to streamline all the to-dos becomes paramount. Without essential software tools, tasks may pile up because they’re too challenging or time-consuming to complete alone. Below we’ll dive into four tools solopreneurs can use to make their jobs easier.
1. Legal Document Management Apps
Every business sells something. It could be intangible, such as bookkeeping services. Perhaps it’s something more physical, like a commissioned work of art. Or it’s a mixture where someone receives a finished product, but services like web development are a part of it.
In each case, a solopreneur has something to offer clients. But managing these relationships usually involves legal agreements, including contracts. Without them, it’s hard to hold either party accountable. Contracts spell out expectations for performance and payment, giving each side some protection and recourse.
The problem is that not many solopreneurs have a background in contract law. In addition, organizing all the paperwork associated with binding agreements can get messy. Most will find it easier to use a contract management platform to handle this side of the business. With the right app, the processes behind creating and signing contracts become more efficient. Owners can automate repetitive tasks, secure e-signatures, and gain cloud storage space.
2. Invoicing Software
Solopreneurship doesn’t eliminate the need for invoice management. Whether a business is a large enterprise or a one-person endeavor, it depends on the exchange of money. Funds flow out to vendors and other companies for supplies. More importantly, revenues come in from those purchasing what the business sells.
Money can exchange hands at the point of sale, but many solopreneurs offer services. With this type of business model, revenue usually comes in after the fact. A graphic designer may perform recurring work for six different clients. However, the designer won’t receive payment until each client approves the agreed-upon deliverables. This setup requires invoicing, which can become tedious for any business owner.
It’s even more cumbersome for solopreneurs, who must juggle projects and chase down payments at the same time. A report from the Independent Economy Council found getting paid is one of the top challenges for freelancers. An astonishing 74% of gig workers say they’re not receiving on-time payments. Unbelievably, 59% say they’re still waiting for $50,000 or more.
Yet 38% are still creating invoices from scratch using word processing tools, and such invoices must be tracked manually as well. Invoicing software saves solopreneurs from having to do this. They can reuse templates, track when invoices go out, and determine which payments are late. Invoicing apps streamline the process of following up with late or missed payments and signal the need for tough client conversations. Also, these software tools automatically make deposits into bank accounts and simplify income tax preparation.
3. Task Organizers
Making to-do lists takes time away from doing the work. Even so, it’s a necessary step in the planning process. Solopreneurs who devote their attention to every aspect of running a business will find it difficult to succeed without organization. Spreadsheets and word processing programs might seem like a convenient solution. But these software tools are often too simplistic to meet the needs of a busy owner handling it all.
Project management solutions are great for larger companies because they keep teams in collaboration mode. A business with one person may find project management apps too complex. After all, they’re the only ones tracking tasks, creating timelines, and delivering outcomes. Solutions that organize to-do lists are usually a better fit.
These apps let solopreneurs initiate tasks, categorize outstanding items, and establish priorities. They can see what’s on their plate each day before it begins. If a deadline needs reprioritizing, it’s not too difficult to rearrange. A business owner can immediately see how a shift in priorities will impact the rest of their scheduled responsibilities. Furthermore, task organizers will send reminders of critical deadlines so nothing gets missed.
4. Social Media Tools
Statistical research shows 33% of marketers spend between one and five hours weekly on social media. While this represents the majority, about 23% dedicate six to 10 hours weekly to social media marketing. This time may seem like a drop in the bucket for larger companies, but it can be more significant to solopreneurs.
Sole business operators aren’t relying on the talents of a social media manager to post for them. Marketing, including social media posts, is something they must plan as part of their day. Simultaneously, social media may become like a rabbit hole they can’t escape. A solopreneur’s productivity can take a nosedive if they get too caught up in posting content.
Fortunately, there are apps that can automate posts for owners who want to avoid distraction. Solopreneurs can still engage with their customer base while getting back a portion of their time. Social media software tools let them automatically schedule posts for each week. If business owners have a long-range content calendar, these platforms can execute it. Sudden changes aren’t a problem, as it’s possible to cancel or modify automated posts.
What Solopreneurs Need
Operating a business is daunting enough for owners who have teams to rely on. Those who do it by themselves are, without a doubt, a different breed. They’re not afraid to face challenges, knowing they can learn to handle whatever comes their way. But it doesn’t mean solopreneurs can’t gain advantages from adding specific software to their toolkits. Apps that make everyday processes less of a chore can also make running a solo venture less overwhelming.
Featured Image Credit: by Judit Peter; Pexels; Thanks!