Team collaboration is important when your creative output is connected to marketing. Creating content involves art, science, and strategy, and they’re all equally important, all of which can benefit from various kinds of collaboration.
However, virtual collaboration can be challenging since not everyone can effectively explain their ideas. Not to mention the challenges that come with remote work arrangements.
Being on the same page as the team allows you to see the same overall picture. Not only that but each member can understand what matters to which stakeholders. This creates the groundwork for people to understand one another’s feedback and ideas. As a result, they will feel like a valuable member of the project.
While there are many communication tools you can use online, these won’t be enough. Kanban is a visual project management method that helps you keep everyone in the loop. You can improve team productivity and simplify work by making collaboration simpler. But what more can Kanban do?
The article talks about Kanban and its features that can improve your team’s virtual collaboration. It also outlines the best practices your team should use to make the most out of the software.
Why is Virtual Collaboration Important for Your Content Marketing Team?
Generating content is not an easy feat. While you have the talent to produce great content, it’s not all the time you can do it on your own. Additionally, it’s not the best practice to put out the same idea for your audience. They may like your blogs, but to widen your audience, you’ll have to produce other forms of content.
Most of the time, you’ll need a few members of a team to help you. After all, producing great content includes a lot of research and brand awareness.
It will be a lot easier to create a content marketing strategy by partnering with a third-party company. A content marketing agency can help you generate ideas for the content that your company needs. Not only that but it can also help you create and distribute these materials across multiple platforms.
These marketing agencies don’t only employ writers. They also have project managers and content strategists, which you can rely on to produce a good content strategy.
If you already have a content team, then you need to have an environment that fosters team collaboration. That means having a system that lets them communicate and work together even in the digital world. Besides this, they need to see the workflow in action to be able to work together effectively.
By doing so, you can reap the benefits of a strong collaboration among your remote teams.
However, team collaboration is easier said than done, especially for hybrid or remote working arrangements. How, then, will virtual collaboration exist for your remote content teams? This is where Kanban comes into play.
How Kanban Solves Virtual Collaboration Problems
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies to employ work-from-home arrangements. While this has given workers a lot of benefits, it also comes with some challenges. By ignoring these concerns, your team cannot collaborate effectively. Let’s see how the Kanban method helps a lot when it comes to concerns like these.
Problem 1: Lacks Organization
Being organized does a lot for a content marketing team. Most project managers handle multiple projects, which means they need to take in a lot of information. Content strategists, on the other hand, need to be able to see the bigger picture of the project.
But remote teams can lose track of all this information, especially if they have different ways of storing it. You need to have a single storage system to organize projects where it allows access for each team member.
Solution 1: Kanban Board, Cards, and Columns
The most prominent feature of Kanban is its board. It is a digital space where every piece of information on a project is laid out. Your team can also see the entire workflow of every project they’re responsible for. What makes this a good feature for organizations is its use of cards and columns.
Kanban columns are a way to divide different phases of the project workflow. A simple Kanban board includes three columns: To-Do, Work in Progress, and Complete.
The cards represent a specific task in a project. For example, you can assign a card for content distribution on a project. They contain details on the work, including its name and description. Members of the board can move cards to their respective columns, depending on the status of the tasks.
By understanding how to create a Kanban board, you can maximize the use of cards and columns for better organization and virtual collaboration.
Solution 2 : Card Categorization
Cards in a Kanban list or board gain another degree of organization thanks to “labels” or “tags”. A label can be useful if a card falls under a specific type or category that isn’t covered by its listing position.
You can use labels or tags to show the author of the article. They can be an internal writer, a freelancer, or guest posts. You can also use labels to show jobs that need help from other teams or to show the difficulty of a given work.
But remember that not all boards should include labels, tags, and color coding. You can customize this feature depending on a specific board’s workflow.
Problem 2: Late Deliveries
There are tasks that need to be done earlier, and some that are not so much a priority. But if your team is handling multiple projects at once, how can they remember all the deadlines for each task?
Working from home also doesn’t help in this case. Not all members have a post-it board to keep them updated on all the deadlines. And even if they do, they don’t always look at the board.
Solution: Notifications and Due Dates
To help your team meet goals and deadlines, Kanban apps have a notification feature. Not only that but you can also set up a due date for a card to let your members know when you can expect them to finish the task.
Some apps even notify members included in the card when the due date is approaching. But they have to be invited to the card to receive a due date notification. You can set the reminder to go off, for example, one day before the deadline you set.
Problem 3: Miscommunication
Another problem that hinders collaboration among remote teams is miscommunication. That is, they often misinterpret or misunderstand some specifics of a task.
Solution: Member Invitation
Whether they’re inside or outside of the company, you can invite others to work with you on a project. You can do this with Kanban boards and cards, which contain all the details they need to meet the goals of the project.
If your company already uses the app internally, you’ll see a brief list of your coworkers. This feature helps you choose one member to add to your board. If your board settings permit it, you can enter someone’s email address to invite them. Some content marketing agencies do this to keep their clients in the loop.
The people you add to a board can create their own cards, move cards, comment on, and edit cards. They can also see the board’s activity stream, which lets them follow the project.
Many Kanban board apps also allow you to “follow” or “watch” a card. This way, you can keep track of card activity even when you’re not directly in charge of it. This helps solve miscommunication among your team members. By following or watching a card, you’re permitting the app to send you notifications of any new card action.
Solution: Card Descriptions, Comments, and Chat Features
Most Kanban apps let you describe the task, add extra notes, and comment on the card. You can notify other users when you mention their usernames in a card description or comment. This way, they can see all the specifics they need to know about the task they’re responsible for.
Some apps have a chat element within the cards. This feature helps you and your team members discuss a task’s specifics and keep track of all conversations in one place. Other apps have a project board chat function that allows more open conversation between users for easier virtual collaboration.
Problem 4: Not Updated With Project Status
Some members of your content team need to be able to know the status of each of the projects they’re handling. This way, they can identify problems with some tasks and processes and come up with a solution early on.
Solution: Kanban Calendar Feature
The Kanban method not only helps you see different tasks of a project but also streamlines them. So you can expect project management software to include a calendar to oversee if the deadlines are met.
As part of the content marketing team, meeting deadlines is critical to your strategy. Your team can brainstorm ideas forever, but deadlines help you put these ideas onto paper. It doesn’t hinder the creative process. In fact, it helps team members put the project into perspective.
The calendar feature of each Kanban software has a very flexible view filter option. This is useful if you’re managing larger projects with a lot of team members working to meet deadlines.
Additionally, every member of the content team can also check the calendar. This way, they will know if they need to pick up their pace or if they’re past the deadline.
Solution: Card Checklist
Content creation involves a lot of processes, and this varies between organizations. And these processes are set to meet specific goals. To communicate important steps of a project, Kanban apps let project managers create a checklist within the card.
Other members responsible for these goals can tick off the checklist box when they’ve accomplished a goal. Some apps even show a progress bar to indicate where you are in the process.
Kanban Best Practices for Effective Virtual Collaboration
The Kanban system is a proven way to maximize collaboration within content teams. But this does not mean instant results without effort from the team. You still need to use some of the best practices to enjoy its benefits when it comes to team collaboration.
1. Keep the Board Clean and in Order
You need to establish a Kanban strategy for your team before setting up your first board. Avoid adding a workflow column for every process. Set aside some time to brainstorm how and when each task will progress through the different processes of the project.
The content marketing process includes a lot of components. Make sure all your members know how each of these works. After that, let them know how tasks enter each stage and when they are ready to go on to the next one.
2. Record Everything Right Away
Just like any other project management tool, you need to update your team’s Kanban Board. Your team members should always have your Kanban tool open so they can shift tasks from column to column.
3. Add Deadlines
It can be hard to see when certain tasks are due in a Kanban Board. While most apps have a calendar feature, Kanban emphasizes the stage of a task more. You can assign deadlines to individual tasks to avoid missing them.
4. Assign Team Members of Their Own Duties
You should also include the person in charge of carrying out a task on each card. The easiest method to handle this is to have a project manager in a card. They can add and remove team members as the task progresses through the process.
5. Keep an Eye on and Improve Your Processes
One way to identify bottlenecks and enhance your workflow is to check your WIP limits. Other things you should track in a Kanban board include:
- How long it often takes to move a task through the workflow and complete it
- The ratio of work-in-progress to work completed within a time frame
- How many activities are completed in a given amount of time on average
- How long do jobs remain on your project’s Kanban Board during each phase
Workflow improvement isn’t just a manager’s job. Kanban allows every team member to identify areas for improvement and report issues as they develop.
6. Take Advantage of Kanban Integration Features
Most Kanban apps sync with other tools and software like Gmail and Google Drive. This means you can keep your project information inside the tools you already use. You don’t have to install another Kanban Board tool to do this.
By doing so, you can prevent information silos and copy-pasting everything between apps.
It’s important to recognize the relationship between team collaboration and the Kanban method. That is, stronger virtual collaboration makes teams more adept at implementing Kanban.
But, high-value collaboration doesn’t happen overnight. To succeed, the entire team also needs to put an effort into making it possible.
Employing the Kanban system in your content marketing team helps you a lot. More specifically, it allows team members to understand their roles in the process. It also offers a framework that helps teams find ways for a successful collaboration.
This was a guest blog. Please review our guest blog disclaimer.