a. Introduction to 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. Protecting your Agency - Client Relationship

i. Transform Agency Task Management

j. The Top Agency Project Management Software vendors 

Supporting Assets

eBooks & Reports

Snippet Buyers Guide 2022

Buyer's Guide for Agency Management Software


The State of Creative Operations in 2021

Snippet Agency Operations Handbook

Agency Operations Handbook

Resource management guidebook Screendragon

Resource Planning for High Performing Agencies


Blog Thumbnail - Remote Team

Engage Your Remote Team!

Blog Thumbnail - Client Relationships

Protecting your Agency-Client Relationship

Blog Thumbnail - Agency Task Management

Transform Agency Task Management

Blog - Top Vendors

Top Agency Management Software Vendors

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. What is '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.


• Scalable

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

Introductory text

Icon - Award - Red

Built by industry specialists

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Easy to use

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Flexible and configurable

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Advanced project reporting

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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.

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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.

Icon - Change - Purple

Flexible and configurable

Icon - Eye - Orange

Advanced project reporting

d. Checklist of Questions to Identify Specialist Vendors

▢  Pricing

Pricing Info

▢  Intake

Intake Info

▢  Projects

Projects Info

▢  New Business

New Business

▢  Budget Management

Budget Management Info

▢  Reporting

Reporting Info


of agencies say the biggest challenge when evaluating creative software is finding a tool that meets all requirements


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:

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Agency Buyer's Guide Checklist - Preview Image

▢  Briefing

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 and Portfolio Management 

Projects Info

▢  Resource Management

Resource Management Info

▢  Content Collaboration and Digital Asset Management

Content and DAM Info

▢  Budget Management & Timesheeting


▢  Business Intelligence & Reporting

BI Info

f. Engage your Remote Team and Optimize Talent!

Remote Working Environment

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.

Real-time Collaboration

Create a platform for collaborating and a structure for working together which will help move projects along while completing tasks.

Fast approvals and mark-ups

Enable people to share ideas but also rapidly review, mark-up and approve marketing assets with all comments and changes recorded.

Time Management

Time-management systems have shown to free up almost a day every week for managers in time saved from less meetings and micromanagement.

Capacity Planning

Ensure that people are only assigned work for the hours that they are available and will identify potential resource shortfalls before they occur.


of agencies now have creative staff in three or more locations


g. Getting your agency talent unstuck!

In February 2022, Screendragon launched the Unstuck podcast series. Our host, Clive Sirkin, is a veteran in the marketing and agency world having held the positions of Chief Growth Officer at Kellogg Co, Chief Marketing Officer at Kimberly-Clark, and Managing Director at Leo Burnett.

Among the business leaders interviewed by Clive are a host of agency VIPs from the likes of Publicis, BBH, Kimberly-Clark, VLMY&R, and more. Tune in to the Unstuck podcast now and see how you can unleash talent at your agency!


How can agencies unlock talent? Agency management software can help create and nurture talent management principles!


Agency Project Management Software

Agency Project Management systems house a talent management system that holds staff profiles and integrates these profiles with a resource management capability. Resource managers can search the team database and see who has the necessary skills and availability.


Agency Project Management Templates

Build your agency 'ways of working' into a digital platform so that the learnings you have built-up on how best to run projects are not trapped in the heads of staff who may later move on from the company.

"We need to strike a balance between the organizational need for greater efficiency and people's universal need for human connection"

Creative Operations Director, Digital Agency

Snippet Agency Operations Handbook

h. Protecting your agency - client relationship


i. Transform Agency Task Management


Snippet Agency Operations Handbook

"When we were in the office, we often saw our clients and partners face-to-face. When remote, it's even more important to communicate effectively"

Director of Creative Operations, National Bank