If we’re in the
business, why can’t we
Clients come to us
to get a solution to a problem.
YOU are the person that is responsible
for implementing that solution.
- Usually found in creative agencies
- Can dabble in creative and tech
- Can also dabble in video
- Mostly focused on delivery
- Generally are 'looser' than PM's
- Not adherent to strict methodologies
- Make it up as you go
- In the trenches
- Usually found in bigger agencies or corporate environments
- Usually trained/certified in a methodology
- Follow a stricter engagement with clients/teams
- Focus on budget and burn
- Shares deliverable responsibility with Tech Lead
- Not usually production savvy or hands-on
- High level focused
SPOT THE DIFFERENCES:
The “Producer” vs. “The Project Manager” aka “We love Stereotypes”
The good news:
You’re in charge of a cool, sexy project.
You get a team to help you make it happen.
You get all the responsibility.
You get to watch the magic unfold.
You influence how that magic is made.
You’re in the middle of it all 24/7.
The bad news:
It’s your ass that’s on the line.
You will get the blame when things go wrong.
You won’t get credit when things go right.
You will only have control sometimes. Not all the time.
You’ll need to motivate the unmotivatable.
Just when you think you’ve got it - it will change.
Say hello to Project Mangement Methodologies:
Every project has a start (A) and a finish (B)
How you get from point A to point B varies on:
- What kind of team you have
- What type of project it is
- The kind of client you’re working with
- How much time you have
The process you undertake in getting from A to B generally follows a methodology.
There is no magic solution that works for everyone.
We generally use:
Waterfall + Agile + SCRUM
THE WORST KEPT SECRET IN ADVERTISING:
Why? Because it fits the kind of projects we take on.
the work your team
needs to do for the project
the total length of time
you have. go over and you’ll have
probably blown your budget.
stuff costs money.
you’ll need to keep an eye on your budget as you go.
REPEAT AFTER ME:
YOU CAN HAVE YOUR PROJECT:
1: WELL BUILT
2: CHEAPLY DONE
3: COMPLETED QUICKLY
PICK ANY 2 IN ANY ORDER BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE ALL 3.
Every project begins with a brief.
These are commonly known as “RFP’s”
“Requests for Proposals”
SOW = Statement of Work
This details exactly what you’ll do for how much in what timeframe.
PS: Don’t ever say “Sow”. Say “Ess Oh Double You”.
MSA = Master Service Agreement
This is more of a legal document outlining the agreement you’ve come to
These can be techy or legal. Always have a lawyer or grown-up look at one of these before it goes to a client.
Step 1: The client briefs us on what they want
Step 2: We review it and come up with a solution
Step 3: We ‘pitch’ that solution back & tell them how much it costs & how long it takes
Step 4: We (always) haggle on price/time and then hopefully get the work
Step 5: We write an SOW and MSA and send it off to get signed
Step 6: The client signs off and we do a project kick-off
Step 7: We do what we agreed to do in the timeframe
Step 8: We deliver what we promised, when we promised
Step 9: Client is happy, we win an award and get more business
Step 10: Rinse, Repeat
How it usually works...
ENTER A MAGICAL HOLIDAY WINDOW AND BOARD A TOY-SIZED
TRAIN TO DISCOVER THE WORLD OF THE CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX.
Every year, children and adults alike are enchanted by holiday window displays.
This year, we’ll create our own magical CPI-themed holiday window that viewers
can explore both online at the CPI site and in real life as a window display at a
ﬂagship PNC branch. The online experience opens with Jim Dunigan walking down
a street in Pittsburgh at night, stopping in front of a beautiful and brightly lit
window. He’ll invite visitors to travel through the glass and into our magical world.
Once inside, visitors will board a toy-sized train that they control—allowing them
to move through the world and explore the site however they choose. At each stop
along the train’s route, they’ll enter a scene to learn about the 2011 CPI gift prices.
To encourage further exploration, we’ll include puzzles that visitors must solve to
collect the gifts (in the vein of the video game Myst) — and we’ll let them share
their progress with others through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Other surprise
interactive elements in each scene will reveal additional content and fun facts
related to the gift.
- Describe the overview of the project
- Who are the project’s key stakeholders
- Summary of deliverables
- Functionality (What's this thing do?)
- General Application Structure
- Technical Specs
- Browser Compatibility
- Risks & Assumptions
- Estimated Timings
Writing an SOW:
- What are you building?
- How much are they paying?
- When are you getting paid?
- What are you responsible for?
- What are you not responsible for?
- What do you know and what don't you know?
- What happens when shit goes wrong?
- When are you delivering?
What do we need to communicate?
1: Know your risks.
2: Assume nothing.
3: Get it in writing.
The MSA: Master Service Agreement
- Your other best friend
- Technical delivery
- Who owns what
- Where stuff lives
- How things get delivered
Client Management 101 -
* Every client is different - know why
* Listen before you speak
* Know what you agreed to
* It’s never “NO!”. It should be “No...but...”
* We’re here to help...but there are limits
* Over communicate even if you think it’s not required
* Always under-promise and over-deliver
* Don’t commit to it unless you can do it yesterday
* Note to self: We are NOT a Charity
The Project Plan is your friend
It shows what’s happening and when
It shows who needs to be engaged at which time
It shows you how long the project is
It shows you where you are now + what comes next
It lets you change things and see the impact of your decision
What’s your team (usually) look like?
- Producer/PM (That’s you!)
- UX Lead and/or Information Architect
- Strategist (Brand/Social Media/Creative)
- Web Designer/Animator/Production Artist
- Art Director / Creative Director
- Front-End Developer
- Flash Developer
- Back-End Developer
- Web Engineer
- QA Lead/Analyst
Budget & Burn 101 - easy as A, B, C
A: Every project has a budget
B:As you go through the project, you’ll burn through money
C:Your job is to burn as little as possible
It’s like running a small business.
Client gives us: $ 100,000
We spend: $ 70,000
We keep: $ 30,000
Client gives us: $ 100,000
We spend: $ 150,000
We lose: $ 50,000
Every project will have a little bit of financial padding in it.
For example: If it REALLY costs us $1000, we’ll say it costs $5000.
Why we do this:
* It’s insurance. We know things always take more time and more money.
* It allows us to be flexible and appear to be flexible with client requests
* It allows for contigencies, emergencies and last minute insanity
* See the next slide...
Good rule of thumb: 100% margin on all projects. Never lower than 37%.
We try to extract as much money from the client as
possible while doing as little work as possible.
THE 2nd WORST KEPT SECRET IN ADVERTISING:
Our clients try to extract as much work from us as
possible while paying us as little as possible.
Deal with it.
Hate the game. Not the players.
LET’S DO SOME ROLE PLAYING:
Be this guy. Sometimes
this guy. Not this guy.
You will very rarely have enough time.
You will very rarely have enough money.
Just do the best job you can and keep
your management & account team in the loop.
An agency ROI strategy to strategically fund over-budget
projects can be the difference between a layoff and a Cannes Lion!
THE 3rd WORST KEPT SECRET IN PRODUCTION:
Tips from the trenches AKA managing your project:
* Communicate early and often
* Weekly status reports are your friend
* Keep an eye on the budget
* Know where you are and where you’ll be
* Keep the team informed
Here’s a little secret:
Everyone makes mistakes. So will you.
It’s how you recover from those mistakes that matters.
Secrets from the Pros -
- On the phone, speak 1x slower than normal
- Always introduce yourself
- Have an agenda ready
- “Um...” “Ah...” “Er...” are bad.
- Be friendly no matter how mean your client is
- Always, always, always COVER YOUR ASS AKA C.Y.A.
- Wait 10 seconds before sending that email!
- Triple check meeting times and invitees
- Never, ever lie
Post Project Reviews
- Not an option
- Do them immediately after you’re really done
- What went right, wrong and what you’d do differently
- Everyone participates
- Be brutally honest - but don’t be mean
- It’s not about the person but about the process