When it comes to managing projects in an agency many people find themselves missing out on opportunities or even losing current clients. Mismanagement is common in smaller to medium-size agencies because many of them do not have a project manager or have never understood the roles of project management. Like larger companies, managing projects can be tedious and sometimes stressful on a team. Here are a few simple exercises you and your team can do to make sure deadlines, deliverables and meetings run smoothly.
- Expectations. Expectations. Expectations. Whether they are Clients, Internal or External team member’s expectations need to be set. Remember your “behind the scenes” team is going to have your back to make sure the account services team represents not only the company brand, but keeps a strong relationship with the client for future services. It is also the responsibility of the account services team to keep the expectations of the client reasonable. In turn it is the entire team’s job to keep each other in check to maintain a level of excellence internally. This will be win-win all the way around and will cause fewer headaches in the future.
- Deadlines. It is always a goal to make sure each project or deliverable gets to the client in pristine condition in an appropriate time frame. A smart question is, what is a good time frame? One week? One Day? One Hour? This is where your project manager comes heavily into play. This person will be your saving grace. Find a way that best suites your team. Many people go the route of saying to the client; “Yes we would be happy to do a social media plan for you, let me get with our project manager so I can get you a date for that deliverable.” Again, win-win. The client gets what they want and essentially your team dictates when the deliverable will be complete.
- Team Check Ins. It is not just enough to give the team goals and then ship them off and hope they get the deliverables to you with the correct branding, best quality and the company award winning stamp on it. Snags and hang ups happen all the time and it is best to check in with your team on a regular basis. Plan a “standing meeting”, which is just how it sounds, where everyone takes 5 minutes in the morning, stands up, and does a quick recap on where they are. This way there is always a clear line of communication and if someone is lagging behind or needs information it is aired out first thing.
These are just 3 recommendations to a list of things that can help your agency or company engage in positive project management processes. The key is to remember that this is a team effort and everyone is accountable for their own projects. Designating someone internally to oversee projects and deliverables creates a common point of contact for the team to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Image by koroushth via The Week