The Workamajig Blog
You know you have enough work. Your team is busy. You keep getting new clients. Billings are robust. But are you doing the right work? And are you doing it right? Are you really measuring what matters? In agency management, you must look beyond obvious signs and metrics because they may be misleading.
There are many aspects of resource management that people who aren't in the nitty gritty can’t quite wrap their heads around. Looking at some analogies can make the ideas a little more accessible. Here are 5 you can use the next time your boss isn’t quite clear on all of the intricacies of resource management.
Intellectual capital is critical for creative agencies. In an industry where skill sets such as creativity and knowledge are precious assets, the core problems we face in marketing and advertising generally center on people—or the lack thereof. And often, these intangible resources are far more valuable than material assets.
Managing creatives is like managing creativity.
You want to keep both flowing—in the right direction—and this takes time and energy.
Engaged resources are effective resources. You must challenge your team to do great work within the time and budget allowed. You can’t give resources too little to do, for they will grow bored, and their creativity may wane. But nor can you overschedule them, because they could burn out.
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.
Creative resource management is as important for finishing projects on time as budgets and deadlines. You must have the right people, at the right time, to do the right work. Otherwise, even your best-laid plans will go awry. But managing your resources can be difficult, particularly when you need them for multiple projects with conflicting deadlines. If everything is urgent, you can easily overschedule team members.
You can lavish the latest tools and technology upon them, but ultimately it is up to your people to complete your projects. Projects can fail if you don’t have enough people, the right people for the work, or the work for the right people.
Resource management is a very difficult area to master. Thankfully, resource management software can give you some help. There are many aspects to managing resources that are vastly improved with the addition of some simple management tools.
Here are four areas that are much simpler to manage with software than without.
Every project has different needs. Some may seem the same, but no two projects are the same. You may be able to get away with using the same project schedule template 90% of the way on two very similar projects as we all try to start projects using a project schedule shell / template from a similar project. It helps to ensure we don't overlook a common key deliverable or just lose time trying to reinvent the wheel on every project. Go with what you know - how got you there successfully before. But you won't be able to go 100% on something like this. You use it to help get you there. And it may get you 90% of the way there. But not all the way, as no two projects are the same.