Agency Management

Do You Really Need Agency-Specific Project Management Software?

by Penny Kooy, June 22, 2016

As project managers, we are well aware of the constant balancing act within our projects. There are many areas which need to be addressed. At times, it feels like everything needs your focus and attention simultaneously. While creative project management software cannot give you more time in the day, it can offer you the ability to use that time more efficiently. Here are five areas that greatly benefit from the implementation of agency-specific project management software.

1. Time Tracking

When determining billable hours, having the built-in functionality for time tracking can be a great benefit for creative project management. This gives you the power to dive into the time spent on each specific task. Or the time billed per employee. Or the time billed for the entire project. You get the picture.

The bottom line with time tracking is that you can use it as a powerful and irrefutable way to encourage awareness and accountability throughout the agency. When everyone can review the timesheets from past data that you distribute, they’ll be able to compare their projects to others throughout the agency. And they can also see how their personal contributions are stacking up to their colleagues’.

2. File Management

There are a huge number of offerings for cloud-based file storage. These make it quick and easy to access files from any device. Some even offer revision history. However, a platform that integrates file management into the rest of the creative project management software offers these benefits as well as many more that are not possible with third-party offerings.

The revision history on standard file management platforms is fairly basic. It leaves a lot to be desired where creative projects are concerned. With software designed for creatives, versioning is made simple. Add to that digital proofing capability and the ability to attach project specs and other project-centric information and you’ve got a whole host of great benefits

3. Change Management

It’s not just project deliverables that you can expect to change over time. Any changes that are put into motion can be laid out well beforehand. You can identify which areas will be affected by the change, and determine the best course of action for your agency. There are also estimating tools that allow you to investigate whether the change will allow your agency to grow and prosper, or if it is a move in the wrong direction.

4. Finance

Even if you aren’t focused solely on the finance aspect of your creative project, it can be quite handy to have a few finance tools at your disposal. From running invoices to settling accounts, there are many useful finance features within creative project management software designed for agencies.

All of these project-specific features come in addition to functionalities integral to agencies as a whole. These include end-of-year accounting practices, automated billing, and running accounting reports.

5. Reporting

Speaking of reports, this is the last, but certainly not least, area in which creative agencies can see a huge benefit from using specifically designed project management software.

Your reporting functions cover a variety of needs. These can be client-specific reports that detail important metrics for each customer. It can also mean a report that shows  outstanding accounts for your finance department to keep an eye on. Or perhaps it can show unbilled time and unallocated expenses, so you can pinpoint where to focus your efforts in the immediate future.

Within a creative agency, there are many ecosystems that are working in harmony. With the capabilities of creative project management software, these departments can all coexist and work with each other, not despite each other.

Do you have any more aspects of project management software that you find especially beneficial? Let us know in the comments below.

Creative Agency Management Software Comparison Guide

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