Five Things Agencies Hate about Project Management
Why do agencies seem to hate project management? Creative agencies often find that they exceed expectations in the creative department while falling short in areas such as operations and management. Some say that this discrepancy is structural; it’s built into the very definition of what it means to be creative. Others say that there are concrete steps creative agencies can take to maintain better project management processes. Here’s a list of five things agencies hate about project management and solutions for reducing potential rifts with project managers.
- Timelines. Creatives often want to be left to work at their own pace. Meanwhile, project managers need to maintain strict timelines in concert with client demands and schedules. How can creatives learn to love timelines? Set up automatic reminders so that the timeline can settle into the background and creatives can concentrate on their creativity.
- Budgets. The budget is often a source of anxiety. Project managers must know it inside and out, while creatives often have little knowledge of it. But an experienced project manager knows exactly when to share budget details, like when a team is in danger of exceeding it. Project managers should know how to carefully ask teams to scale back work hours.
- Meetings. One survey recently concluded that as much as $37 billion per year is spent on unnecessary meetings. Don’t be one of those project managers who schedules superfluous meetings. Make sure there’s a well-defined purpose to each of your team and client get-togethers.
- Communication. Creatives can often feel left in the dark. Clients, too, can feel like they don’t know where a project stands in terms of completion. When a project manager fails to communicate key project status indicators, a sense that something’s wrong is felt by client and team alike. Project managers, use your words. Stay on top of communication.
- Tech talk. A specific area of communication that can cause confusion is the language that is particular to creative work. But don’t hate your project manager for not understanding it all. Sometimes project managers will not know 100% of the technical lingo used by creatives. This is OK. Creatives, meet project managers halfway and explain techy concepts along the way.