1 ebook for creative agencies using project management software to
2 ebook for creative agencies About the Authors Summary Introduction Creative Roles New Business Creative Team Isabelle Almeida is our Community Manager responsible for social media at Function Point, focused on blogging and creating a community around productivity and the creative industry. Before Function Point, Isabelle developed branding and web content planning projects. Account Executive Traffic Manager Accountant Principal Client Conclusion Tate Lillies is the VP Marketing and Business Operations at Function Point. Tate is oversees marketing, customer retention, product development and strategic planning at fp. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
3 using project management software to functionpoint.com Introduction There are 3 considerations for agency success we address in this ebook. The common pain-points managing an agency. How you can improve project management practises at your agency. Do I need project management software? 3
4 ebook for creative agencies Introduction To remain competitive, creative agencies are always seeking ways to improve workflow, deliver outstanding projects on-time and ultimately achieve expected profits. Tracking and managing resources, building accurate estimates and strengthening relationships with clients are all important, but none of these things will bring the results you want on their own. If the departments and roles in your agency are not set-up in a fashion that is conducive to communication and collaboration you are setting yourself up for failure. First, your agency has to be clear about the role of each person and department as well as their contribution to the business goals and mission. Second, it is highly recommended to use some sort of project management software system to support integration amongst these staff members, departments and your clients, to help bring efficiency to the agency s processes. If the departments and roles in your agency are not set-up in a fashion that is conducive to communication and collaboration you are setting yourself up for failure. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
5 using project management software to functionpoint.com Do you ever find yourself contemplating the following questions? Is my agency as productive as it could be? If not, what can I do to make it more productive? Are we meeting our deadlines and are clients often waiting for project work? What can I do to make each department in the business as efficient as possible? What priorities should each department within my agency be working on now? How can project management software help each individual and department complete its activities? If you do, then this ebook is for you. We ll reveal how each person in your agency can better contribute to its success and how a project management system will assist your team (not take it s place). Are people working on what is truly important and on what they are really good at? 5
6 ebook for creative agencies Introduction What Function Point s all-in-one web-based workflow software offers your creative agency: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Creative Briefs, Estimates & Proposals Traffic & Task Management Job & Project Management Media Insertion Orders Invoices & Profit Analysis Staff, Client & Vendor Collaboration Client Extranet / Portal Digital Asset Management Financial & Management on-screen reports Scheduling & Calendar Timesheets Resource Allocation Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
7 using project management software to functionpoint.com These features are integrated and specifically designed to help you to run a successful agency: Improve Workflow define resource availability assign the right tasks to the right people access all the information you need Increase Productivity reduce admin focus on your creative work manage briefs, estimates, jobs, tasks & resources all in one place Emphasize Relationships easy collaboration with clients, vendors and staff provide valuable real-time job and project information Maximize Profitability control deadlines and expences keep track of time create and send invoices 7
8 ebook for creative agencies 7 Creative Agency Roles What are the most common main roles at creative agency? 7 Roles: 1. New Business (The Sales Team) 2. Creative(s) 3. Account Executive 4. Traffic Manager 5. Accountant 6. Principal/Senior Management 7. The Client For each position we ll discuss: a description and purpose of the role. details of typical daily activities or at least what people should typically be doing. insights about how to improve the agency s processes and become more efficient using a workflow management software. what the goals should be achieved in a perfect day. what the top issues are that should be resolved. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
9 using project management software to functionpoint.com Every creative agency has people with various skills and abilities. Having a clear definition of the roles (similar to scope of work) within your agency can greatly enhance the functionality of your team by providing a framework for the differing parts of your workflow to operate efficiently. We work with creative firms, ad and digital agencies to help them better define their internal processes and workflow. In doing this it s important to identify the roles that interact within most creative agencies. We ve found great role definition helps people to work more efficiently and effectively together, and the agency will become much more profitable. For each role, we suggest you have a clear (as possible) definition based on the business functionality needed within agency. Each role has a set of activities,tasks and responsiblities that are common to most agencies. Function Point provides our customers with a description and purpose for each role and details the daily activities usually associated with that role. Once you have an understanding of the role structure within your agency it is then possible to locate what goals should be achieved in a perfect day. You ll also gain awareness of the top issues that need to be strategically addressed in each of these positions. 9
10 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles: New Business The Sales Team Job Description The Sales Team is responsible for generating sales with existing customers as well as finding and developing opportunities with new customers, usually within an assigned area. A Typical Day Scheduling appointments and visiting/calling customers and prospects to review needs and determine sales opportunities Providing agency quotes as required, or providing pitch opportunities to the account executive team Opening new accounts Continuously updating customers and prospects on market changes and opportunities Attending trade shows and conferences (if applicable) Liaising between customers and the company for up-to-date status of service, pricing and new product release launches Preparing reports for marketing and sales and keeping expense accounts Performing maintenance and updating customer accounts including contact names for future sales opportunities Keeping up-to-date on new market trends. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
11 using project management software to functionpoint.com How project management software can help increase the efficiency of your New Business team. We recommend using project management software integrated with a tool for customer relationship management (CRM) to keep track of prospects and clients. It will help you in different ways, such as: Creating notes to contacts and prospecting tasks for follow-up Defining lead qualification levels Creating estimates and/or creative briefs (when appropriate) for new opportunities Entering information into the system to be used for reporting on new business A Perfect Day The sales quota is hit for the quarter, new clients are happy and the new work is now being scheduled by the Traffic Manager and handled by the Account Executive. Top of Mind Issues Hitting the sales quota for the week/ month/quarter. know more. Check out our blog post 3 Tips for Promoting Your Creative Agency and Attracting New Business 11
12 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles: The Creative Team Job Description The creative team develops and produces the agency s creative product for clients. The team includes copywriters, designers, art/ creative directors and (sometimes) developers. This team works closely with the Accountant Executives (AEs) to make sure that client needs are being met and the creative goals are on track. The creative team develops every aspect of an ad, creative campaign, or digital media, based on the client s marketing plan, conceptualizing those ideas for clients, assigning projects to staff and verifying that the client s deadlines are being met. The creative team generally gets the glory when a campaign is a success and takes the blame when it s a failure. A Typical Day Generating creative digital or print content for clients. Attending brainstorming sessions with the rest of the creative. team to develop campaigns and collateral based on client s needs. Liasing with clients regarding content needs, additions, and changes. Researching creative trends and current design techniques. Attending pitch meetings with the Creative Director, or pitching clients directly. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
13 using project management software to functionpoint.com How project management software can help increase the efficiency of your creative team. Project management software designed for creative agencies can help you receive, complete, share and provide commentary on your tasks. You can also use the tool to store and view necessary files, such as past versions of specific work. Some systems, like Function Point, have features available to share creative work amongst the team and with clients. Also, having access to an online time-tracking tool makes it much easier apply billing and reporting functions to jobs and tasks. A Perfect Day Clients are stunned by the brilliance of the creative work. It s likely going to win the agency several top awards (rightfully so). No managers and other higher-ups pressured the team or micro-managed the project. Everyone clearly knew what to do, when, and how to do it. The deadline was met with time to spare. Top of Mind Issues The creative team is left to create and is not burdened by other issues such as management or administrative processes. 13
14 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles : Account Executive Job Description An advertising/creative agency Account Executive (AE) is key to maintaining the relationship between the agency and the client. AEs are the liaison between the client and the creative team to ensure the client s needs and goals are being met on every project. The AE, along with the Creative Director, manages pitches to the client. Also, the AEs manages the client s ad budget and generally handles about four non-competing client accounts at a time. A Typical Day Checking the status of each client job(s) in the creative department and verifying that the jobs will be completed on time. Contacting each client at least once a day to discuss current and upcoming projects. Initiating new jobs for the client. Reviewing and presenting concepts/layouts/copy to the client for approval. Communicating the client s feedback to the creative team and discussing next steps in the campaign. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
15 using project management software to functionpoint.com How project management software can help increase the efficiency of your AEs. A project and workflow management tool can make some of the AEs daily procedures easier: Checking, verifying, confirming and reporting on the status of tasks and jobs that the AE is accountable for. Keeping notes of s and discussions with the client, all in one easily accessible place. Creating new briefs and estimates, and entering new jobs. Presenting concepts/layouts/files to the client for approval, allowing them to make comments and requests. A Perfect Day Clients are happy with the creative work presented and all of the project tasks and jobs for every client are on or ahead of schedule and on budget. Top of Mind Issues Making clients happy. The creative department is happy and focused on work. Workflow is efficient, with the appropriate tasks are being completed. 15
16 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles: Traffic Manager Job Description The primary function of a traffic manager is to work as a gobetween that connects account executives to other departments within the agency who produce the products that the account executive sold. The traffic manager sets a schedule of deadlines for the completion of a job and assigns workers to each necessary step in the process. The traffic manager then checks on the progress of the project, communicating with the account executive as needed. A Typical Day Assigning tasks and checking the status of outstanding tasks. Conducting a daily morning meeting to go over items and tasks to determine if there are any roadblocks. Communicating any issues with the team and AE. Conducting weekly job status meetings to gather and share information with AEs and the rest of the team. Initiating new jobs for the client, creating timelines and tasks for the work to be done (future planning). Reviewing the timeline with the AE to get client approval. Submitting jobs to accounting for invoicing when appropriate. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
17 using project management software to functionpoint.com How project management software can help increase the efficiency of your Traffic Manager. A project and workflow management software will help the Traffic Manager organize workflow: Creating estimates, timelines and tasks. Tracking the statuses of these estimates, timelines and tasks and ensuring that the work is being completed on schedule and on budget. Allocating available resources and people to jobs. Gathering appropriate tasks, expenses and timesheet reports to ensure that jobs are being completed on time and invoiced correctly. A Perfect Day Both staff and clients are happy with the work that has been done, plus tasks and jobs are either on or ahead of schedule and on budget. Top of Mind Issues Making tasking efficient and easy so staff will complete tasks and use timesheets. Keeping staff happy and on track with the tasks they need to do to stay on schedule. Workflow is efficient and the appropriate tasks are getting done by the right people. 17
18 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles: Agency Accountant Job Description The agency accountant is responsible for maintaining General Ledger accounts, invoicing clients and preparing monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports. In addition to processing payments to vendors and comparing actual expenses to budgeted costs, the accountant is responsible for investigating and resolving any errors posted to the General Ledger, as well as reconciling accounts each month. The bottom line is that the accountant manages the agency s money. Ranging from lower-level data entry to more advanced responsibilities such as financial analysis, the agency accountant is the backbone of the financial success of the company. The accountant s main responsibility is to account for the financial assets and liabilities of the agency. This means that the accountant will keep track of what the agency is earning and spending. A Typical Day Creating invoices and sending them to clients. Pulling and analyzing financial/ status reports on work in progress. Presenting financial reports to management. Looking after agency payroll General ledger entries and other bookkeeping. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
19 using project management software to functionpoint.com How project management software can help increase the efficiency of your Accountant. Integrating accounting and project management software adds: Visability into the job, verifying tasks that have automatically calculated billable hours, and creating invoices. Entering and tracking expenses to jobs. Producing reports that analyze job and client profitability, as well as revenue and cash-flow forecasting with all information needed is easily accessible. Completing timesheet and payroll reports that are used to verify staff effort, efficiency and payroll hours. A Perfect Day Invoices are created and sent out to clients, several reports are pulled up and show that the agency is profitable based on time and expenses. Payroll is met and the agency is in the black. Top of Mind Issues Getting invoices out on time and ensuring that all time and expenses are tracked properly. Management reporting and analysis. Getting paid by clients. Ensuring everything is up-to-date in QuickBooks or the agency s accounting software. 19
20 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles: Principal (Senior Management) Job Description A creative agency Principal (owner) or Senior Management is responsible for the success of the entire agency. Often (in a small agency) owners may be involved in creative work, as a designer or creative manager, or in client sucess roles, but the key to the position is in making key strategic business decisions based on information and data. A Typical Day Overseeing all the work going on in the agency. Meeting with clients and partners. Developing strategy. Making key decisions that directly effect the success and profitability of the agency. Managing staff, leadership and operational aspects of the firm. How project management software can help increase the Principal s and Senior Management efficiency. Profit analysis: Cost and revenue numbers will offer information for building consistent price models and insights on how to reduce costs, how to make accounts more profitable, and where investment is needed. Timesheet analysis: Can provide information on how much time is being spent in specific services the agency offers, how efficient your agency is at providing these services and provide Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
21 using project management software to functionpoint.com comparisons between the billable hours and actual hours spent. Cash-flow and revenue projections: Will help support financial decisions by presenting data on how much money is coming in and how much is going out. Resource allocation and availability: An agency cannot produce if it does not have the appropriate resources, thus it is essential to know how much availability your team has, if there is need to hire more staff, or ultimately if you really can take on new work. A Perfect Day working efficiently. Tasks and jobs for every client are on or ahead of schedule and on budget. Agency profitability is maximized Top of Mind Issues Making clients happy. Ensuring that employee efficiency is maximized across the organization. Ensuring that workflow is efficient and the right work and the right time is getting done. Being able to have an instantaneous overall view of what the agency is up to and how it s doing financially. Clients are happy. Employees are happy and 21
22 ebook for creative agencies 7 Roles: The Client Job Description Yes, clients also have roles within the agency framework. Clients are the reason we all exist. Clients of creative firms and agencies come from any industry, however, their interests, goals and concerns in doing business with a creative agency are reasonably similar. How project management software can help your clients. Provided that the agency maintains their data well, clients have true project visability, giving them reassurance that their projects are on track. Client needs and expectations more efficiently because the system streamlines the communications flow and allows for transparency into the process. Project files can be shared in an efficient manner with a clear communications thread, enabling team members to view all the project materials in one place, make comments and approve materials. Clients can be given a view into relevant information and milestones giving them a clear overview about how the work is going, how much has been completed, deadlines, budgets and expenses. Clients receive well-designed creative briefs produced. Clients receive accurate and ontime estimates and invoices. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
23 using project management software to functionpoint.com A Perfect Day The scope and planning of the project was smooth and agency did a great job on time and budget. Clients were thrilled that all the project information needed in the format/manner requested and the end result exceeded their expecations. Top of Mind Issues The creative agency is professional, priced right and provides the tools required for the job. The work produced is absolutely perfect for the desired results. The client trusts the agency. do more. 23
24 ebook for creative agencies Conclusion To bring more efficiency to your workflow, increase productivity and promote integration among the departments project management software solution is highly recommended. A poorly managed agency (regardless of how brilliant the creative work is) will generally fail. Surprisingly enough, we still find agencies managing their projects manually, which contributes to lack of control and project visibility. Although we divide the agency into 7 roles, each agency has its own particulars, which vary according to its size, process and structure. Sometimes individuals will wear many hats and that s to be expected. Generally, however, the work will fall within the roles we ve discussed. This goal of this ebook has been to show that every person in a creative agency can benefit from project management software and that all departments must be integrated to guarantee a smooth and seamless flow of information. Planning, having project information easily accessible by all, collaboration with clients, proper allocation of resources and organized finances are some of the benefits you can explore. Equip yourself with the tools to help you make wise decisions and you ll ultimately be closer to achieving your goals. Call to find out what fp. can do for you!
25 using project management software to functionpoint.com Looking for a great project managment tool? If you re interested in exploring more, find out exactly how fp. works. Simply request a demo of Function Point Productivity Software for creative agencies. Or call for more info. We ll be looking forward to your success! fp. Dashboard and Creative Brief view. 25