Your agency’s maverick ways may add a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to its creativity, yet in a project management sense, it’ll only play havoc with the prosperity of your firm.
So, what’s the key ingredient for managing projects successfully?
Although it’s hardly a phrase that will get the heart pumping for creative firms, ‘best practice’ is the only way of bringing reliable and consistent results to project management.
But, what does best practice project management involve and how should you approach it?
Best Practice Project Management Explained
Project management best practices' require you to implement specific procedures and processes that will bring projects home to roost on time and on budget more often.
This not only reduces the anxiety caused by a culture of chaos for the people involved in the project, it can also significantly improve profitability and future growth prospects on a company-wide basis.
Toeing the line has never looked so exciting. So, what’s the best way of turning over a new leaf?
Project software for agencies
Six Steps To Best Practice Project Management
It has to be said that best practice project management requires objectivity in order to succeed.
It’s why it can be a challenge for highly subjective, creative people and firms to embrace it wholeheartedly.
Thankfully, having the foresight to install a robust agency management software system can take the manual labour out of best practice and will lift the burden of following the rules, somewhat.
Here are six steps to mastering best practice project management and ways an agency management system can help your entire team deliver better, more profitable creative projects to your clients:
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1. Scope, objectives and deliverables
Establish what will be carried out, by when and in what form. Knowing where you are headed is vital.
Drawing on your company’s historic data, your agency management software will give you a fast and accurate idea of what a ‘successful’ project looks like at your firm, meaning you’ll know what’s possible and achievable in terms of scope, objectives and deliverables before committing.
2. Project planning
When you’ve identified what needs to be achieved, you can start thinking about how you can achieve it. Misguided over-enthusiasm from the outset can put a death wish on a project before it has even begun so you need to establish workable parameters for the best chances of success.
Using a software platform with resource planning capabilities – like WorkBook for instance – mapping out key milestones and establishing budgets will be more accurate because your system will help you create a plan that is based on reality, rather than a dream.
Getting this stage right will provide you with a blueprint for success.
3. Tracking and reporting
Assessing progress requires accurate reports, but generating them can be time consuming if you are using disparate systems and worksheets.
A centralised agency management system will pull in data from a central vault and provide you with tailor made intelligence from any viewpoint you want.
And it’ll save on administration as data from timesheets, expense and purchase orders, for instance, can be seamlessly turned into invoices, thus reducing human error and administration time. How reassuring is that?
The benefits of social media in the workplace is always up for debate, but combined with your agency management software, networking platforms suddenly become a powerful collaboration tool that can explode your team’s potential.
Track progress, share ideas and upload files in a shared space. It’s synergy at the touch of a button.
5. Change management
Many projects veer off course during their lifetime for one reason or another and there’s nothing more likely to put a spanner in the creative works than an unexpected – and potentially hazardous – surprise.
Do you have the right processes and software in place to deal with change? Can you tell how the moving landscape could affect your project with regards to the schedule, budget, quality and resource availability?
When it comes to your project – it’s best to expect the unexpected and leave nothing to chance.
6. Risk management
Of course, the likelihood of an unknown force derailing your project is greatly reduced if you make risk management a priority.
Say your best creative support leaves mid-way through an assignment. What tools do you have in place to deal with it?
You need to know instantly who is a suitable replacement and what it’ll mean to the overall success of the job. Having the tools and processes to manage risk will help you avoid or rectify issues before they get out of hand.
Technology is no match for a crystal ball, but it can be used effectively to manage and predict a whole host of business functions as well as provide valuable insight at every stage of your project.
So, if you want profitability at your firm to be on a par with its creativity, look no further than your agency management software.
A system like WorkBook could be the key ingredient for better productivity, profitability and morale – and maximising all three of these things will play a significant part in keeping those creative juices flowing.
Campaign Report: Agency Efficiency
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