8th April 2022

Top 7 project management tips when working in an agency

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Project management at its basis is ensuring a project gets from A to B and that all stakeholders are happy during the process (and the end result!) It’s one eye on the time, budget and scope, and I guess we’re kind of like a conductor: the team is the orchestra and our client is the audience waiting for the magic to happen with anticipated breath. When you look at it like that, it’s pretty cool.

Project management tasks can be different depending on the organisation. This article discusses my top 7 project management tips when working in a digital agency.

ONE

Effective Communication

Communication is vital in project management. To ensure that your project runs smoothly from start to finish, a project manager will need to communicate with their client and team effectively and regularly. Communication of the project may occur in different ways and knowing which method of communication is best is an essential skill to have.

Open communication with your team is the best way to keep a project on track and understand what may be a road bump. If you can create an open forum to communicate issues, ideas, and feedback with your team, this will help you manage your clients' expectations and keep to project timelines.

TWO

Using the right tools - Project Management Software is key

Encouraging your team to use the same tool to manage their workflow will help the entire team understand the importance of their role within the project. There are many reasons why project management software is essential from, time management to capacity planning. A good project management software can help managers and other team members to be more efficient by allowing them to track a project's progress, see regular status updates in one place, manage all project tasks and aid better communication without distractions.

THREE

Understanding Priorities - Eisenhower Principle of Urgent vs Important

Knowing what should take priority is an essential part of a project manager's role and can really help to guide a team to meet deadlines and stay focused. I find that following Eisenhower's Principle of Urgent vs Important is a great tool that many project managers follow. It allows you to categorise your tasks and see what is truly a priority.

Mandy Eisenhower Matrix Asset

Urgent & Important

The task that falls into this category is what will need to be done immediately and take high priority. Items that fall into this category are usually critical issues, something that will put you on red alert and you know will need doing fast.

Important, but Not Urgent

These are usually the tasks or projects that have been planned and help you reach a certain goal or deadline. These items could become urgent if you leave them to be done later. Give these tasks importance and continue to work on them to reach the goal or required deadline.

Urgent, but Not Important

These tasks are usually ones that can be delegated or rescheduled. They hold urgency but because of their lack of importance, they usually can be moved around. These are usually distractions from important tasks or goals and can build if there are multiple and stop you from achieving goals and deadlines.

Not Important & Not Urgent

These are tasks that can usually be avoided. Setting a clear expectation about why these types of tasks are not needed and saying no will set a precedent for the future so they become less frequent and allow others to understand why they may not be needed.

FOUR

Time Management

I find that understanding Eisenhower's Principle and using this to help you manage your time is very effective. Categorising your daily tasks in such a way can help you be in control of your day and stops the tasks from dictating the day's events. Sure, there will be hiccups along the way, however, if you get into the flow of organising your priorities, using the right project management tools and streamlining communications can allow you to free up time to allow for urgent and important tasks.

FIVE

Managing Your Email Inbox

Not every question needs an immediate answer. Managing your inbox effectively is extremely important. If you receive an email and can answer or can provide the answer within 5 -10minutes I will provide an instant reply. Anything that will take longer than 5 minutes I will organise into importance, however, I find that it is essential to provide your client with a response to say that this may take some time to provide the answer that they are looking for. This helps to manage their expectation.

SIX

Understanding your team's expertise

A project manager within a creative agency involves managing a wide range of different creative experts, including digital designers, UX designers, copywriters, marketers, illustrators, developers and more. A general understanding of what each person in your team does can be vital for you as a project manager. This knowledge can help you put the pieces together and understand the importance of each person's role in the team and what they bring to the project.

SEVEN

Maintain a Positive Mindset

I am a strong believer in your output being positive and uplifting to help with stress and morale. This will provide a welcoming presence for your team and clients. A positive attitude in the workplace matters and can be an important part of your success. Positivity can give you the confidence to speak in meetings, lead the conversation and get others to be excited about projects and tasks.

And there you have it! My top tips for project management in an agency setting.

Are you looking for a digital agency to support an upcoming project? Get in touch to arrange an initial call to discuss your requirements.

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