(a) What is Agency Project Management Software?
(b) What is 'Intelligent Creative Operations'?
(c) Characteristics of Agency Project Management Software vendors
(d) Checklist of Questions to Identify Specialist Vendors
(e) Checklist of Features for Agency Management Software
(f) Engage your Remote Team and Optimize Talent!
(g) Getting your Agency Talent Unstuck
(h) Tips for Protecting your Agency - Client Relationship
(i) Transform Agency Task Management using Agency Project Management Software
(j) The Top Agency Project Management Software vendors
eBooks & Reports
Buyers Guide for Agency Management Software
The State of Creative Operations in 2021
Agency Operations Handbook
Resource Planning for High Performing Agencies
Engage your Remote Team!
Protect your Agency-Client Relationship
How to Transform Agency Task Management
Top 6 Agency Management Software Vendors 2022
a. What is Agency Project Management Software?
Agency management software is an all-in-one workflow management solution for agencies. It makes every aspect of running and managing an agency business easy, streamlined, and scalable.
b. Intelligent Creative Operations
The term intelligent operations originated in the late 2000's and was largely centered around smart cities and futuristic 'next gen' technology. At the time, IBM defined intelligent ops as 'diverse data driven operations using applied intelligence and human ingenuity'. This is the same principle behind intelligent creative operations - using data and technology to empower creatives and unlock talent!
The drive towards intelligent creative operations was a result of the need to create more content with the same (or less) resources within tightening budgets and deadlines. Agencies realised the old way of doing things wouldn't meet requirements as they invested in closer collaboration and agility to speed up production.
Intelligent agency operations can vary in their makeup but there are certain core capabilities that are fundamental to intelligent principles!
• Smart Workflows
Agencies use automated workflows to ensure the right people are engaged at the right time. Similar to a 'just in time' philosophy, smart workflows ensure required approvals are always gathered and production delays are removed. Intelligent workflows can also protect brand identity as content will never go to market without prior viewing and approval from necessary stakeholders.
• Talent Management
Agency project management software gives agencies the opportunity to technologically embed skill sets and profiles into their ways of working. Agency management solutions leverage content rich profiles so that the right person can be paired with a job and resources can be aligned across agency networks. Talent management profiles can also be used to build profiles for freelancers so they can be easily identified for skills gaps and onboarded quickly.
• Partnership Eco-System
Agency-client relationships determine the success of an agency so it's critical that both parties are communicating effectively. Long email threads and endless messenger notifications can result in missed communication and frustration. Agency project management systems act as a partnership eco-system where agencies and clients can share ideas and feedback easily and all comments, changes, and actions are documented throughout the project lifecycle.
Agencies don't want their ambitions for growth curbed by lack of resources. It's difficult enough to generate business opportunities without having to say no to prospective clients due to staffing constraints. An agency management system will automate repeatable tasks and activities which can free up staff members to take on new work. Smart templates can make version management less complicated which makes it faster and easier to complete tasks.
c. Characteristics of Agency Project Management Software Vendors
Built by Industry Specialists
Easy To Use
Flexible & Configurable
Advanced Project Reporting
Some vendors offer a solution for every vertical, job profile, and industry. While this may sound appealing you need to check how much experience the software vendor has in the agency management space. Agencies work differently to a traditional enterprise and should be treated as such. For example, agency rate cards by customer & deliverable, on-boarding and off-boarding freelancers, talent & asset usage rights to name a few.
Agency Management Software can be powerful but if it's not easy to use, it will not get accepted. Your agency management solution should have a clean and user-friendly interface that is intuitive for all users (not just project managers).
Check whether it's easy to navigate between projects, tasks, issues, etc. Can you create custom views and are they easy to edit? It should be easy to set up custom forms, data fields, reports, and dashboards.
Each company, team, and individual will have their own process of work so it's important you find a solution that fits into your organisation. Implementing a software that isn't a good fit for your business will be a costly error as adoption rates will plummet and morale will suffer.
A configurable agency management system will give you flexibility to deliver a solution fully aligned to your needs. You can create and edit your own terminology, templates, forms, workflow rules, notifications, reports, rates and much more. Your team will have a lot of freedom but within a powerful framework. Each team can customize forms, workflows, and visualizations, from Kanban boards to Gantt charts, but they're still powered by the same configurable, extensible, unified platform underneath.
Reports are arguably the most valuable tool available to agency teams and stakeholders. Your agency reports need to determine the profitability of a proposed project, identify what resources are needed (and if they're available), and provide a continuous health check on project performance throughout the cycle. Your agency management system should bring all important project indicators into one place such as budget, cost, hours, ROI, and make it easy to consume the information. Visually striking dashboards can provide easy to access information on tasks, sprints, time tracking, statuses, docs, embeds, and more.
Our Buyer's Guide for Agency Project Management Software will give you a framework and free templates for evaluating agency management software vendors in 2022.
Vendor Query Guidelines
Vendor Characteristics - What to look out for
Product Feature Checklist & Template
Download Buyer's Guide
d. Checklist of Questions to Identify Specialist Vendors
of agencies say the biggest challenge when evaluating creative software is finding a tool that meets all requirements
Download Creative Operations Industry Report
e. Checklist of Features for Agency Project Management Software
There are many vendors out there offering agency management solutions, but some are basic work management platforms packaged for agencies.
An agency has unique needs and requirements when compared to a general marketing team so it's imperative your agency project management software is fit for purpose! Here is a checklist of features that every agency should demand from their vendor.
Download Now >>
Briefs set the tone and form the sequences for all production within an agency. It's vitally important that your briefs are dynamic and can accommodate features such as conditional logic, custom in-take, custom syntax, groups and grids, and more.
Estimates & Scopes
Can your agency management solution build estimates and scopes using client / role / individual / deliverable rate cards? Does your system auto convert staffing plans into resource calendars? These are just two important estimate and SOW features you can expect in a specialist agency management solution.
Project & Portfolio Management
Insert project info
Insert resource management
Content Collaboration & Digital Asset Management
Content and DAM info
Budget Management & Timesheeting
Business Intelligence & Reporting
f. Engage Your Remote Team and Optimize Talent!
In a remote workforce, technology is even more important than in an office-based environment. Agencies can use technology to set up best practices, promote good communication, and build strong processes.
As colleagues and managers are not visibly able to see what their teams are working on, they need to have confidence that the work is being done by those at home. Remote work can foster a culture of trust as it effectively removes the ability of leaders to micromanage which can produce a long-term benefit provided employees are committed to the cause.