How do you Brand your Project?

While I was looking for something to write about this week, I came across this blog on Branding your Project by Method123 Project Management Methodology. It got me wondering about my own projects and how actively, or subconsciously I do project branding.

At first I was hesitant to acknowledge that I actively branded my projects. However, as I thought about it more, I realized that everything I do to manage a project is done to effectively get the project to its finish line, and make it successful in the eyes of the project stakeholders. If the point, as the blog says, is “to associate an emotion or a feeling with your project”, then every deliberate action I take contributes to the positive project brand. This includes:

  • conscious communication, almost to the point of over-communication– There is a balance between airing dirty laundry and being honest about issues as they arise.
  • consistent and thorough documentation– the more you can document the project process and make available to stakeholders, users and those expected to support it builds credibility and goodwill.
  • building the bridge between business and technology-Removing perceived obstacles and making sure technical solutions meet the business needs results in better solutions, and happier stakeholders.
  • actively acknowledging hard work– project members, both from the implementation teams and the business teams, need to be recognized for a job well done. This could be as simple as thanking them for their flexibility as you manage meeting times across global resources. Or it could be for figuring out a really complicated problem.

I think establishing your project brand is a lot like the things you do to establish your personal brand. It reminds me of the phrase “do your job, do it well and you’ll be asked to do it again.” By doing the things you need to do as a project manager to effectively manage your project, you lay the groundwork for the project brand. Each artifact, milestone and decision point are opportunities to present the project in the best possible light. If you can’t, or choose not to, capitalize on those opportunities, you leave project perception up to fate. I would rather be deliberate in my message and my management, controlling the project image. You can do this successfully even when you need to deliver bad news.

So, what do you think? Do you actively or passively manage your project brand?