The steps we take to make a brief bloom
A Brand Storytelling Company is made up of many ‘moving parts’ so to speak; it’s a multi-department team of customer-facing CX specialists, design gurus, digital geeky types and wordsmiths. Oh, and then there are the finance folk too. Just to name a few. To keep an agency running smoothly and working well both internally and externally with clients, you need to become a ‘well-oiled machine’. There are various ‘project management styles’ an agency can adopt to get the right result.
Last quarter, True completed 145 jobs. That’s just under 50 jobs completed per month, and on top of those completed jobs, we get new briefs coming in to the CX team every day.
As a team, we get it done and we do it efficiently. You may, or may not, have heard of the different kinds of project management styles. Some companies adopt one and follow it religiously, but here at True we pride ourselves on the different kinds of work we do and that means being adaptable in every single possible way – including our project management styles.
In this piece, we’ll run you through five different types of project management styles we use at True!
Agile Project Management
Agile is the style of management used to break down milestones into short delivery cycles. It is used in smaller teams who are self-motivated and communicate in real time.
We use this style of project management particularly in the running of promotions for our home building clients. A promotion takes approximately 4-6 weeks to plan, create and execute before a promotion ‘goes live’.
A timeline is created to breakdown the different creative deliverables. A name, logo and visual identity is created over a week, sent away for approval and then the roll-out begins. Print collateral, signage, digital creative, a radio campaign and a video campaign make up the pieces of the puzzle over the following weeks before the promotion is sent out to the public and we meet our deadline.
Agile works for this kind of project as usually one CX Manager and one Creative will work on the roll-out, and each piece of the promotion puzzle takes a unique amount of time to develop, print and deliver.
Traditional Project Management
Traditional Project Management (known as the classic approach) sees the project manager (CX Manager & Creative Director in True language) provide coaching to the Creative team member while the project is being created. At True, we create A LOT of identities. New businesses, businesses who are re-branding (including ourselves), promotions, places, communities, homes, campaigns. You name it, we’ve created an identity for it.
Identities are purely strategy and creative, but there’s no I in team which means we use our shared experience when it comes to putting logos, colour palettes and mock-ups to the client.
Step 1: CX is briefed by the client
Step 2: CX briefs the creative team
Step 3: The Creative team does their thing and creates their best work
Step 4 & beyond: The Creative Director and the rest of the team give their feedback, it’s workshopped as many times as it needs to be and then it is sent on to the client.
It all falls into place in the end, of course, but we find that a Traditional approach works best for the development of Identity.
Waterfall Project Management
The Waterfall method assumes tasks cannot be started without another team members’ task being completed. It’s simple and understandable how this works at True – the creative process can’t start before a job has been quoted, filed and briefed by CX.
The CX members are the first ones to touch a job. We receive the brief from the client, create a unique job number, quote, create the files on our server and brief the job. There’s approximately seven steps we take as CX to get a job up and running, it works for us and for the rest of the team (and has been developed and adapted since Jasmine started at True four years ago). Once a job has been set up, the creative team have all the assets to roll-out the artwork.
Not always in that order, but it’s however the water falls.
The Waterfall management style allows projects to be worked on efficiently from start to finish and it’s just how we work at True. It might take some getting used to when you first start, but you get the hang of the processes!
Adaptive Project Management
To evolve a project, it helps if it is adaptive. Adaptive management allows the scope of a project to evolve as it goes when new opportunities arrive during the development of the project.
Pitch it to Peter was a campaign created for Clarendon Homes to better develop their company internally and externally. This used an adaptive management style. It started off with a simple brief of creating an online suggestion portal and we evolved it into a successful campaign with its own website, three different poster designs, an animated video, entry collation and personalised trigger-based eDM campaigns.
The adaptive style allowed us to tailor this campaign to the client’s needs and helped create a basis for future campaigns like this to come.
Critical Path Project Management
Critical Path follows a step-by-step method of working on tasks which are dependent on one another. There’s one word to sum this style up – photoshoot. True has created a bespoke method for photoshoots and have a team who are pros at creating a suite of images over multiple days.
Each shoot is planned out to the minute, including bump-in, breakfast, lunch – you get the point. It’s called ‘organised chaos’ (especially when we have four-legged furry friends on set as talent) and it’s just how we like it. Loud, fun and organised.
We’re adaptable, malleable even. And that’s why we adopt different project management styles depending on the task at hand. This allows us to be as efficient as possible, saving budget and ensuring our clients have the best possible experience.