Project Management for Creative Agencies

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Resource management within your creative agency has a direct impact on profits. Poor project efficiency and a failure to track progress leads to loss of control and can send your team on a downward spiral. An understanding of proper resource management techniques helps you avoid these problems and maximizes profitability while guaranteeing delivery of high-quality results to every client.

The Problem of Profitability

Creative projects such as web development and design require a great deal of time and effort, but you can’t always know exactly how long a project is going to take or how difficult it’s going to be. This presents a problem when it comes to quoting your final price to a client. Whether you charge by the hour or offer a fixed rate, you need to be sure it’s enough to generate a profit based on the amount of work your team is going to put in. However, agencies tend to make several mistakes when evaluating the potential workload of a project:

  • Not asking enough questions to understand what the client is looking for
  • Failing to understand the value of team expertise
  • Counting creative time as the only time spent on a project
  • Quoting unrealistically low prices to attract or keep clients

It’s essential to determine the exact extent of a project up front. That means asking specific questions of clients regarding what they expect from the finished product. This allows you to estimate how much you’ll have to build from the ground up, how much you can pull in from past projects and the amount of time you’ll spend on related administrative and office tasks.

Managing Your Team

The members of your creative team are your resources for every project, and it’s your job to ensure that they stay on task. At the start of a job, sit down with your team and develop a game plan with a deadline for completion. Increase productivity by matching up individual skills with tasks that utilize those skills, and make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of their roles. If necessary, assign a project manager to oversee the work.

Periodic evaluation of projects shows how well your management tactics are working and whether or not you need to change your approach. Pay attention to the workload of teams and team members, and adjust responsibilities as needed to prevent any one person from becoming overwhelmed. Check on progress toward short- and long-term project goals to determine if the job is on target to be finished by the proposed deadline.

Resources for Productivity

With so many elements to juggle for every project, the best way to keep on top of resource allocation is to use a tool that allows for easy collaboration between team members and gives you a way to keep track of everyone’s task assignments. Online tools and cross-platform apps such as WorkflowMax provide collaborative environments that include every aspect of project management. As a supervisor or administrator, you get control over scheduling, deadlines, prioritizing and task delegation. Team members can communicate about the project within the app instead of sending dozens of separate emails. Features such as color coding, calendar generation, mobile access and the ability to create project milestones keep everyone on track. Having one dashboard to oversee all of these functions results in greater efficiency by simplifying resource allocation and project management.

Many resource management tools integrate with popular accounting software so that you can translate the time spent on projects into invoices for your clients. This ensures that your agency gets paid for the actual cost of each project. The end result is a job done on time, on budget and to the satisfaction of the client.

A well-run business attracts more clients and generates more profits over time than an agency that remains mired in inefficiency. When you have a solid grasp of how resources are being used for each project within your agency, you can make the best possible decisions to increase productivity and produce the results that your clients are looking for. Happy clients spread the word about the companies they work with, and this word-of-mouth advertising can be one of the biggest payoffs of good resource management.