10 Easy Steps to Managing A Creative Agency
Developing the standards for a creative organization is no easy task, even with enough resources available to manage them. Unfortunately, today’s difficult business climate has not changed the tough requirements needed to run the business. These requirements take a significant amount of time and resources to manage.
The good news is that successfully managing an organization with scarce resources is possible when armed with the right tools. Following are 10 steps to help guide you in the quest in achieving quality management of a creative environment.
1. Define the Real Requirements. For each business unit (creative department, account managers, accounting etc) define what is really needed to hit the objectives. Focus on what it will take to drive high client satisfaction and build this into your process. This includes minimizing the number of steps required to get the targeted process successfully completed.
2. Keep it Simple. Keep business processes as simple as possible. Critically evaluate your processes. Remove unnecessary meetings, consolidate approval steps, minimize the number of approvers – focus on what the process is trying to achieve.
3. Document Everything. Document the business process at every department level and have managers review and approve each step. This ensures expectations are set and that all are on the same page. It is easy to refer back to a specific place (document/software) as opposed to trying to remember what was verbally agreed upon.
4. Check for Understanding. Ensure that all participants understand each process; i.e: entering timesheets, building an estimate. This is the key to achieving results. If the process is documented, expectations are set, and all employees have agreed upon its content, it drastically reduces error. This is where clear, detailed work instructions and training will be paramount to success.
5. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Critically examine what each process is trying to achieve, the required inputs and the expected results. Document the drivers so as you examine later you can determine how to affect change.
6. Measure Results. Consistently measure the KPIs for each department in your organization. Understanding the results of a process in a timely manner allows for corrections to be made along the way.
7. Assign Accountability. Hold process owners accountable through goals and periodic, consistent review of the KPIs. The process owner will be much more motivated to ensure success if they are being evaluated and ultimately compensated based on the success of their work.
8. Simplify then Automate. Automate the high volume, high complexity business processes with software and/or other appropriate tools. Complexity generally leads to errors. So, be sure to simplify before automating a process. The return on investment for this effort is usually high, as employees will become more effective as they are able to focus on higher value-added activities.
9. Leverage the Team. Spread work around by involving employees and let them lead their individual processes. One of the ways to create leverage is to diversify, with people and automated tools, so not too much of any given process is dependent on few individuals. The more involved with less to do, results in easy adoption and overall acceptance quicker.
10. Evaluate Improvement Opportunities. Develop a process to routinely evaluate applicable quality standards to look for changes and identify opportunities for improvement. Understanding and acting appropriately on trends allows organizations to stay at the forefront of innovation. Continuous improvement results in optimization of the organization.
In conclusion, an organization’s chance of achieving or surpassing their objectives is higher with a proper plan for software rollout. Beware of the pitfalls. These pitfalls are not new. Embracing lessons-learned from experienced team members or other organizations is critical to minimizing failures. Be honest about your resource needs, particularly team member availability. Regular monitoring of your objectives versus actual performance will ensure you get the most out of your investment.
If you would like to find out how Paprika Software will make a difference to your agency please contact us, or follow this link to request a free demonstration