Hello! We began using monday.com a few months ago. I am officially in a state of overwhelm with a department of 6 who is new to project management. A lot of the overwhelm would be fixed by a duplicate item that updates live on multiple boards.
To be honest the mirroring and linking of columns completely confuses me. Here is our situation and I would welcome hearing about your workflow structure and what works for you/suggestions.
Marketing department of 6 at a consulting firm of about 300.
We have a marketing master board that has groups based on categories - ops, events, digital, creative, etc.
When assignments come in we assign them and put them into the group with a date. However this doesnt capture things at once, so creating a webinar for ABC department is on the master marketing board - but since we are launching a webinar series shouldnt it be on a webinar board?
Additionally we have one page marketing plans for each service line. These marketing plans lay out our plan for the year and include tactics and items that will go within the marketing board. Currently when we have a piece of the plan - like thought leadership or a webinar, or a handout to create - it goes into marketing master. But there is no way to capture that as a marketing plan item as a whole.
Question is - are we better off creating separate boards instead of groups?
- Start with a project request/triage board, and once assigned it goes to the appropriate other function project boards: like ops, or creative, events, etc. AS long as we tag by what division we are creating the project for that should help us capture the correct data?
- Then the separate boards should be setup more of a kanban style to easily track what is happening at what stage?
- I have debated outlining the marketing plan mostly to just view it by quarter and not link it directly.
At this point looking for any suggestions or how you have a workflow that works best. HELP!
Sorry that you’re having so much trouble with monday.com.
To be totally honest, it sounds like you need some consultation on your architecture and some monday.com training! It’s hard to fully understand the problems you’re facing without a deeper look at your solution through some discovery.
Nevertheless, here are some tips:
- That idea of a single item updating across different boards could be achieved by connections. So different boards would all be connected to that board and mirror data from that item.
- Try using dashboards and views to hold filters that will show different data to different actors or for different activities.
- Related to the above: Think about the different activities that different users perform in your solution. What are their inputs/outputs in these processes? This can help inform how you create views and dashboards.
- In general, it’s better to work with fewer boards (in my experience). One concept (such as an “event”, “task”, “campaign”, “client”) should usually correspond to one item. In this way, you only need one board per “concept”. This is where solution design becomes a mix of art and science! How can you define and model these concepts and processes effectively?
As I said above, it’s totally fine to reach out for help. I’d be more than happy to book in some consultations and collaborate on your monday.com solution (you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org). monday.com can also put you in touch with one of their partners. For a company, particularly of your size, it would be totally normal to seek specialist help with a piece of software like monday.com.
Sounds like your marketing master board is a collection point for new assignments. Once these assignments get kicked off as a project, then create an individual board for that project, event, webinar, etc. You can create a template for each type of assignment (ops, events, digital, creative). This would speed up the process of making a new board. I have done this with my projects, and it makes board creation super easy.
I agree with the comments above, and with the premise that one or more workable solutions exist using current functionality.
However, I wanted to take this opportunity to chime in about how insanely counterintuitive Board Connects + Mirror Columns are for the average user (they’re great once you get the hang of them, but that takes far more time and effort than feels reasonable).
To any product teams that may come across this thread: PLEASE consider releasing the ability to multi-home individual items (let them “live” in multiple boards concurrently)! This is one of a few glaring functionality deficits Monday still has when compared to Asana, which has offered multi-homing for years. I’ve trained employees on both platforms, and the difference is night and day: people understand multi-homing much faster and more naturally than they can understand Board Connect + Mirror fields. IMO, both have legitimate use cases.
We’re also in Marketing and we’ve tried a few different models and each extreme end and now we have a hybrid model.
If each project/campaign has it’s own board then it more aligns with how Monday is designed originally. However we have hundreds of campaigns which means it’s impossible to feed them all into dashboards. We also tried minimising the boards, but once they get large they become very slow. It does make it easier to set up dashboards that pull in lots of data.
A big determiner is how important/complex are your reporting dashboards. Our reporting is quite complex and Monday is really insufficent for this.
Our current model is:
Campaign requests are done via a form which goes to a request board for review. This also allows us to capture when campaigns were submitted/approved etc for us to calculate the campaigns length.
When a campaign is approved, a new group is created using a template. The group is on one of about 30 boards. These boards are divided by business area (could be each departement/client has their own board, or several if they’re a big client) These boards are static, as in we rarely (if ever) create new boards, our departments don’t change. This is because if you have many dashboards then it’s a time waster to manually connect and remove new boards. But be careful as there is a maximum number of boards you can connect to dashboards.
Our events and campaigns are seperate boards, but most of our creative, digital etc is just assigned to items on the campaigns and events boards; they have a few boards for adhoc tasks and regularly scheduled “general activities” like general social media updates.
We try to avoid mirror columns as they are another layer of complexity and slow the reporting system down considerably.
When a campaign is complete we move it to a single yearly archive board, we don’t use the archive function. This makes it easier to use the data.
I agree that really this is the hard part of Monday, designing the structure of your company’s system. It would be great if Monday actually provided case studies and had experts to help with this. We’re on the 3rd iteration of our design and are currently working on Power BI integration to have more powerful reporting.
I hear you. I feel like there are a few things that could assist you in simplifying and centralising all of that, and as a Platinum Partner of monday.com and last year’s professional services partner of the year winner, would be happy to sit with you half an hour and suggest a few considerations.
I understand that balance you’ve found is delicate and you may not be looking to overhaul or even readdress your set up again, but we are one of those experts who can help as you said.
I’m also currently working with a client in bringing monday.com and Power BI together for enhanced reporting - let me know if you’re up for a chat.
Thanks for the offer, but we’ve finally got a model that works pretty well and we know which parts of it need improvement and (for the most part) how to do it.
When a new enterprise customer starts using Monday, that’s when a company like yours really should get involved; Monday should make a point of pushing that, perhaps funding a couple of free sessions with an external agency who can then continue to provide paid support and development as needed.
With the amount I’ve learned about Monday I should start my own company!
Adam Raphael (he/him)
Thanks SO much @Adam Raphael. Would you be willing to chat on the side and share any of your group templates for boards or what works for you? How do you manage the general day-to-day marketing tasks with different team members. The campaigns is one area, but then there is our regular marketing requests?
We were debating one giant triage board, and then once discussed and assigned out - the task would go to the marketing planner board and then each group is a different function area? For instance - when a brochure request comes through, or a new hire needs a press release, etc. it starts in triage, then gest assigned a lead - and goes to the appropriate group within a marketing planner board?
We do also have two publishing boards - one for external content and internal content. But yes - same page as its very hard to work with someone externally now when we are so deep into what works best.