The Workamajig Blog
As a fellow creative, you know that, collectively, we can be a finicky bunch. While we admittedly get a bad rap when it comes to work habits, it can be difficult to find an entire group of creative individuals who work well together—both effectively and efficiently.
You wonder why I chose project management as a career path? There are many reasons, but direct management of resources is not one them, and neither is daily personnel responsibilities. In fact, the position screams responsibility and leadership while promising to not bog down the project manager with the daily chores associated with management and oversight of direct reporting resources. In other words, project managers are not department managers.
Ensuring you have the right resources available at the right time is one of the most critical aspects in project management. Resource management requires attention in detail throughout a project. It requires attention in the beginning of the project for planning purposes and throughout the project in order to stay on top and to ensure that you have the right resources available when you need them.
As 2016 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on this year’s successes and where there’s opportunity for improvement. It’s a particularly fertile time of year for creative teams across all industries. Budgets are redistributed, metrics are finalized, and holiday parties run red with mulled wine.
Growth is good. But contrary to what they say, you can have too much of a good thing. A growing creative agency does bring in more money. But it also spends more money. If you don’t manage your money well and you spend more than you make, then you could be forced to fire employees, reject work, or even close up shop.
If you already use revenue forecasting, it is clear that there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. From accounting for different client requirements to adjusting for team size, there are a lot of areas that can make or break your revenue forecasting model. A lot of those are simple to factor into a revenue prediction and are pretty easy to remember to adjust as well. There are other factors that are less obvious and often overlooked, such as the market or staff experience. Take a look at these three areas that you should address when you’re setting up your revenue forecasting for the next period:
Ok, you have the project, you have an idea of what the goal is, who the client is, and a basic awareness of what it is going to take to get to the finish line with the client. Now it's time to settle in and start putting everything in place to actually deliver: the structure, the team, the strategy and the processes. Where do you start? All this can be a bit convoluted by other projects you're working on – especially if any are running full steam at the moment demanding 110% of your time and efforts. That never happens, right? Right.
We hope and pray that things will always go smoothly on our creative projects. Big egos often prevail, especially on creative projects because of their nature. The project manager overseeing the team is often less of a resource manager and more of a “facilitator of forward progress". In the matrix organization or professional services type environment where resources are “borrowed” for each project, the hope is that the real “resource management” is left to the team member's direct report managers. That's where the performance reviews happen, the training happens, the career advancement happens and, hopefully, the conflict resolution happens.
As marketers, advertisers, and general creative types, you know that campaigns are carefully scrutinized. By the time you see an ad online, in print, or on television, you know that numerous people at an agency or marketing firm have studied and deconstructed it.
Spreadsheets are a great starting point for anything dealing with agency accounting. In fact, you’ll probably find a few similarities between spreadsheets that you’re using and an agency accounting software suite. However, there are a handful of benefits to using the software that you won’t be able to tap into with a spreadsheet program alone.