Pardot Project Management – Framework to Improve your planning

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Identifying the role key stakeholders have in a project is the foundation for clear communication and ensures everyone knows how they contribute to the success of the project. As a project leader, it allows you to anticipate project workload and distribute it appropriately.

How can you structure your Pardot projects to work smoothly like this? A tool that is quick and easy to set up is the RACI matrix. I have used RACI in many of my client projects, which is why I want to explain what a RACI framework is and how you can apply it to Pardot projects.

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What is a RACI Matrix?

RACI stands for ‘responsible-accountable-consulted-informed’, and takes the format of a matrix. RACI untangles the complex web of roles and responsibilities in projects because it specifies the role participants have in completing each task.
When creating a RACI matrix, for each task/deliverable, you will place people into the following roles:

  • Responsible: the person assigned to complete the task/deliverable.
  • Accountable: has final decision-making authority and accountability for the task/deliverable completion.
  • Consulted: an adviser, stakeholder, or subject matter expert who is consulted before a decision or action.
  • Informed: anyone that must be informed after a decision or action.

Now you’re interested, you’re probably wondering how you can get started. Who are the right stakeholders to involve? How should the responsibilities of each stakeholder be allocated? Let’s now answer these questions.

1. Identify Key Stakeholders

If you’re hesitating to call a 3rd party consultancy to take charge of your Pardot implementation or update, first ask yourself if you have the appropriate resources internally to prepare and deliver the project.

There are 3 types of personas to involve in a Pardot project:

Marketing & sales personas:

  • These teams are the ones who will need to master the process that will be implemented.
  • They may (or may not) know what they want from Pardot; regardless they should be involved from the beginning of the project, especially to get them engaged with Pardot.
  • Typical job titles include: Marketing Executives/Coordinators, Marketing Managers, Business Development Representatives, Sales managers.

Functional personas:

  • These teams are in charge of translating the business requirements into technical specifications ready to be implemented.
  • They are also responsible for user adoption through communicating with/training each different type of user in the run up to go-live.
  • Typical job titles include: Business Analysts, Functional Consultants

Technical personas:

  • These teams are in charge of the configuration (for example, domain management, email authentication) and will provide support when Pardot goes live. Even if they are new to Pardot, there is plenty of Pardot documentation provided by Salesforce that will empower them to take on the job.
  • Typical job titles include: IT manager, Webmaster, Website agency.

Consider Salesforce admins and users as key stakeholders in your Pardot projects. You will need to involve them for license provisioning, feature activation, change management and data governance.

2. List the Implementation Tasks

If you are unfamiliar with Pardot implementation, then you should start by reading the Pardot Implementation Guide which provides a detailed view of the key tasks involved. You can continue referring back to this resource before, during and after your project since it is updated with each release.

List all of these tasks involved in your project, bearing in mind that the scope of your project could extend beyond the minimum Pardot implementation. For example, have you purchased Salesforce Engage, or customise B2BMA? Adjust your task list accordingly.

By splitting the key tasks by persona, you can match those involved in the project to the tasks most relevant to them. I’ve included some examples of what each team would be in charge of:

Marketing & sales personas:

  • Defining the marketing campaigns, the Pardot account organisation (folders, asset naming convention) and which marketing assets need to be created (images, landing pages, forms, emails). See more in the images below:

Functional personas:

  • Mapping the business needs with how the system should function, for example, how the Salesforce connector should behave (the field mapping, data sync behaviour, automation rules, etc.), Pardot deliverability, and compliance, user training.

Technical personas:

  • Technical configuration, for example tracking codes, email authentication, IP address whitelisting, etc.)

3. Assign Tasks and Responsibilities to Stakeholders

Remember we are aiming to build a RACI matrix. The end goal is to assign responsibilities to each profile involved in the project.

Remember what I said – creating a RACI matrix means you will place people against each task/deliverable with one of the following classifications:

  • (R) = Responsible: the person assigned to complete the task/deliverable.
  • (A) = Accountable: has final decision-making authority and accountability for the task/deliverable completion.
  • (C) = Consulted: an adviser, stakeholder, or subject matter expert who is consulted before a decision or action.
  • (I) = Informed: anyone that must be informed after a decision or action.

Here’s a full example of a RACI matrix from a recent project I worked on:

Final Thought

To summarise, you need the following to elements build your framework:

  1. Key personas to involve
  2. Tasks to perform
  3. Match profiles to tasks
  4. Assign different responsibilities (RACI)

A RACI matrix allows you to empower the different teams involved in your project, by untangling the complex web of roles and responsibilities in projects. You can choose to list more tasks than what I provided because, after all, it depends on your project scope.

Here’s my final thought: involving a 3rd party consultancy in your implementation means you risk your team becoming very lost when the end of the project is reached.

Even if a consultant knows Pardot better than you do, you (and your colleagues) certainly know your business better than they do!

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