Recently I ran into an old colleague, Penny, who has started working for a small to mid sized digital agency. I asked her how it was going and she told me the agency had experienced a significant increase in clients and projects over the past twelve months. While this is great news for any business, Penny went on to reveal her workplace was chaotic. During its growth, the agency had not implemented any real processes to keep work in check, and it was still using email for approvals and Dropbox for file transfers. To keep up with deadlines, overtime had become the norm for staff who were spending much of their time being reactive (not proactive) when it came to projects. The owner, Penny added, was still keen to take on more clients and projects.
I suspect Penny’s story is similar to others working in small to mid digital agencies. The agency starts out as a small two-to-three person team and, while work increases and the agency expands, they don’t stop to consider what systems and processes need to be in place to ensure it runs smoothly. Additionally, they haven’t considered how technology could lighten the load and enable them to deliver work with greater efficiency.
At automaton, we’re getting an increasing number of digital agencies enquiring about our project management software. It seems there’s a growing trend for these kind of agencies to improve their processes by adopting technology. While this is a positive turn around, there are still many digital agencies out there that are expanding rapidly without taking the necessary steps to help them deal with an ever increasing work load. For them, many challenges abound:1. Traditional approval workflow tools are not effective in managing increasing workloads.
Email approvals, file sharing via isolated platforms such as Dropbox, and tracking work through spreadsheets only increase workloads and leave projects open to error. A digital solution that encompasses all these capabilities would be a more effective way to work.2. High revision counts on art work are driving up costs.
Without an effective process for reviewing, marking up artwork and amending files, digital agencies will always battle high revision counts. This not only delays projects but invariably drives up the costs of running an agency.3. Tracking projects is a nightmare with a lack of transparency.
If a digital agency is struggling to juggle multiple projects effectively, then I’d wager a bet it doesn’t have transparency over its projects, resources or budgets. Project management software that ties in all the elements of overseeing a project would offer much greater transparency, with all files saved in one central location.4. The overall quality of campaigns suffers.
Without proper systems and processes in place, it’s far more likely that mistakes will be made. Creative teams then need to spend a good amount of their time fixing problems instead of kicking goals. The worst case scenario is that errors are not detected and a campaign goes to market that is riddled with compliance or legal issues. The fall out for the digital agency could be detrimental.5. A loss of vibrancy and creative energy is the end result.
When teams are being constantly pulled from one project to another, they simply won’t have the same energy to dedicate to being creative. Memorable campaigns are built on inspiration and vibrancy.
Thinking your digital agency needs to consider adopting project management software? Download our white paper, and start the process today!!