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Optimize Your Agency's Process

Optimize Your Agency's Process

Are you experiencing missed expectations, poor communication, missed deliveries or worse yet, unhappy clients? If that’s the case, you’re probably losing profit and team morale is running low. But worry not, you can fix that! This presentation explores project process from sales to delivery and offer tips and tactics to improve your process and profit.

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Brett Harned

April 05, 2019
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Transcript

  1. OPTIMIZE YOUR AGENCY’S PROCESS 
 Presented by Brett Harned
 brett@brettharned.com

    @brettharned

  2. 
 brett@teamgantt.com
 @brettharned
 @teamgantt Director of Education digitalpmsummit.com
 @digitalPMsummit Hi,

    I’m Brett Project Management
 for Humans
  3. ESTIMATION KICKOFF PROCESS
 +
 ACCOUNTABILITY POSTMORTEM LAUNCH AGENCY 
 PROCESS

  4. AGENCY TEAMS • Leadership • Business Development • Teams •

    PM • Account
  5. ESTIMATION PROCESS POINT ONE:

  6. IT’S NOT EASY

  7. None
  8. SO IF IT’S NEVER EXACT, WHY ESTIMATE?

  9. IS THE PROJECT WORTH IT?

  10. DO WE HAVE THE STAFF TO DO IT?

  11. CAN WE GET A SENSE FOR HOW LONG IT WILL

    TAKE?
  12. ARE WE EXCITED ABOUT THE PROJECT?

  13. • Your industry: trends, changes, innovation • Your team and

    their capabilities • What works/what doesn’t • History on similar projects BUT STILL, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND:
  14. ASK QUESTIONS • What is the goal of the project?

    • How will you and your client determine if the project is successful? • What returns will you and your clients see as a result of the project? • Who will participate from the client side? • What range of services does the project require?
  15. AND MORE QUESTIONS • What is your client’s budget for

    the project? • Is there technology involved? If yes, what is it? • Does your client employ anyone with expertise on the topic? • What is the timeline? • Will your services be required after delivery
  16. ESTIMATING TACTICS

  17. TALK ABOUT THE PROJECT BEFORE YOU START THROWING OUT NUMBERS

  18. DISCUSS GOALS

  19. DISSECT THE PROJECT, ISSUE, OR FEATURE

  20. DISCUSS TIMELINES + RESOURCES NEEDED

  21. CONSIDER STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS

  22. ESTIMATE IN THE OPEN

  23. NOW START THINKING ABOUT 
 STEPS & TASKS

  24. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE A method by which you can visually

    represent the composition of a project by breaking down all project stages and aspects into their smallest possible components.
  25. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/organize-project-work-breakdown-structure/

  26. 2 3 PRESENT Prep presentation - 2 hours
 Present to

    clients - 2 hours
 (Travel Time - 2 hours)
 
 FINALIZE Revise v1 - 8 hours
 Revise v2 - 4 hours Revise v3 - 2 hours Client approval - 0 hours 1 Total Time: 44 hours BRAINSTORM & DESIGN Brainstorming Meeting - 2 hours x 5 team members - 10 hours Design - 20 hours
 Internal Review - 1 hour x 5 team members - 5 hours
 Revisions - 6 hours WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE: WIREFRAMES Total Time: 6 hours Total Time: 14 hours
  27. BREAK EVERYTHING DOWN INTO SUB TASKS

  28. • List all roles needed for your project • Think

    through all of the tasks that will need to be completed in order to complete your project CREATE AN ESTIMATING SPREADSHEET • Estimate by role and task • Consult team members to verify estimates
  29. • Create a task on your gantt chart • Add

    “resources” to your task ESTIMATE IN YOUR PLANNING TOOL: • Add time estimates via “hours per day” • Double-check against your estimates
  30. SEEMS EASY, RIGHT? If you get stuck: • Don’t be

    afraid to ask questions • Get granular • Ask colleagues for opinions • Check project histories • Remember, it’s just an estimate!
  31. GENERAL ESTIMATING RECOS: • Estimate as a team • Develop

    a shared language • Create a routine (intake questionnaire, scoping sessions, agenda for discussions) • Communicate about expectations around scope and deadline, and use that to create estimates
  32. KICKOFF PROCESS POINT TWO:

  33. WE MUST START
 ASAP!

  34. WE START PROJECTS WITHIN X DAYS OF SIGNING A CONTRACT

  35. PROJECT
 HANDOFF MEETING • Goal: inform the team about the

    project sales process/ conversations, scope, stakeholders, and any other important details • Owned by sales/biz dev; project team attends • Share all documents in advance
  36. PROJECT
 HANDOFF MEETING
 AGENDA • Review of project documents •

    Recap of client conversations • Discussion about project goals • Review of stakeholders/client team and make-up • Open Q&A Meeting time: 1 hour
 Facilitated by: Sales
 Agenda items:
  37. CLIENT
 INTRODUCTION MEETING • Goal: transition the ownership of the

    project from sales to project lead • Ensure no details are being ignored or missed • Discuss the project and how you’ll partner • Build stronger relationships
  38. CLIENT
 INTRODUCTION MEETING AGENDA • Introductions; Overview of team roles

    • High-level overview of scope • Discuss communication plans • Project next steps Meeting time: 30 minutes
 Facilitated by: Sales & PM
 Agenda items:
  39. MAKE SURE YOUR PROJECT LEAD ALWAYS HAS BACK UP

  40. CHOOSING PROCESS PROCESS POINT THREE:

  41. FACTS None of us manage projects in the same way

    Not all projects require the same process
  42. IT’S OKAY

  43. AGILE? Kanban - Scrum - No Estimates - Sprints -

    Backlogs WATERFALL? Milestones - Dependencies
  44. HYBRID A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of

    That… AGILE? Kanban - Scrum - No Estimates - Sprints - Backlogs WATERFALL? Milestones - Dependencies
  45. AGILE • Collaboration • Iteration • Focused • Not driven

    by deadlines
  46. WATERFALL • Step-by-step • Silos • Milestone and deadline driven

  47. HYBRID • Collaboration • Accounts for clients • Iteration •

    Not driven by deadlines
  48. RESEARCH KICKOFF PROCESS
 +
 CLIENT APPROVALS LAUNCH PROJECT BRIEF
 &

    REQUIREMENTS DESIGN SPRINTS CLIENT FEEDBACK DEV SPRINTS QA ITERATE HYBRID PROCESS V1 • STANDUPS • SPRINT PLANNING • RETROSPECTIVES • STATUS UPDATES
  49. RESEARCH KICKOFF CLIENT APPROVAL LAUNCH DESIGN + ITERATION PROJECT BRIEF


    & REQUIREMENTS DEV SPRINTS DEV SPRINTS QA CLIENT APPROVAL HYBRID PROCESS V2 • STANDUPS • SPRINT PLANNING • RETROSPECTIVES • STATUS UPDATES
  50. BENEFITS TO CONSIDER When using a hybrid process, consider: •

    Less time spent on documents & deliverables • Decisions are made quickly • Projects complete quicker • Stronger collaboration
  51. CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER When using a hybrid process, consider: •

    Staffing/resourcing • Collaboration practices • What is a “deliverable” • Client education • Communication practices
  52. CHOOSE
 YOUR OWN
 ADVENTURE Before you pick a process, consider:

    • Team/talent • Stakeholders/clients • Scope • Deadline
  53. CREATING
 ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS POINT FOUR:

  54. MAKE INFORMATION SHARING A PART OF YOUR PROCESS.

  55. PEOPLE MISS DEADLINES

  56. WHO IS MISSING A DEADLINE? TEAM OR CLIENT?

  57. SET & MANAGE EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR TEAM: • Set expectations

    at kickoff (or even in that sales to team meeting) • Establish roles/ responsibilities using a RACI matrix • Conduct standup meetings and frequent check-ins
  58. EVERYONE ON THE TEAM HAS A ROLE AND SPECIFIC TASKS.

  59. RESPONSIBLE
 Those who are doing the work
 ACCOUNTABLE 
 The

    person who signs off on the work
 RACI MATRIX CONSULTED
 Those who are experts and consult on the work, or sometimes contribute to it
 INFORMED
 People who need to know that the work is happening
  60. STANDUP MEETINGS: • Should take 15 minutes or less •

    Help to build and solidify teams and trust • Keeps everyone updated and focused on project work • Focused solely on what’s happening • Generate useful conversations
  61. STANDUP MEETING AGENDA: • What I worked on yesterday •

    What I’m working on today • What blockers or issues are in my way
  62. SET & MANAGE EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR CLIENTS: • Defining your

    clients’ role and level of engagement • Educate your clients • Share your plan • Deliver Status Reports and conduct regular check-in calls
  63. STATUS REPORTS KEEP DETAILS IN CHECK AND HELP YOU BUILD

    RELATIONSHIPS
  64. A GOOD 
 STATUS 
 REPORT WILL: • Communicate what

    just happened and what is happening next • Provide an update on timeline and budget completion • Detail upcoming tasks, milestones, and associated action items • Provide a forum to discuss risks and issues
  65. CREATE ROUTINES: • Send weekly or bi-weekly status reports •

    Follow-up with a phone call to discuss details • Take notes on the call and share them after the call
  66. FREE DOWNLOAD: https://www.teamgantt.com/project-status-report-template

  67. USE COMMUNICATIONS TO HANDLE PROJECT ISSUES

  68. CONTINUOUS LEARNING & IMPROVEMENT PROCESS POINT FIVE:

  69. MAKE SURE YOUR CLIENTS ARE FEELING GOOD AND READY TO

    END THE PROJECT
  70. WRAPPING UP CLIENT PROJECTS: • Ensure clients are trained and

    ready to proceed without you • Communicate project end and fulfilled commitment to scope • Remain available for a period of time • Develop a system for handing over files • Archive projects in your tools
  71. MAKE TIME TO LEARN FROM YOUR PROJECTS

  72. RUN AN EFFECTIVE POSTMORTEM: • First meeting: Whiteboard “what worked”

    and “what didn’t work” • Collect thoughts—pull together key themes • Second meeting: Review themes, discuss as a group • Focus on solutions and next steps • Assign action items, to dos
  73. SOME POSTMORTEM MEETING RULES: • Focus on the good and

    the bad • Allow everyone to speak • Keep it light; no finger- pointing • Direct conversations to solutions/action items
  74. FOLLOW-UP ON THE POST-MORTEM

  75. ESTIMATION KICKOFF PROCESS
 +
 CLIENT APPROVALS POSTMORTEM LAUNCH AGENCY 


    PROCESS
  76. CLASS
 RECAP: • Develop a system to collaboratively create more

    realistic estimates • Hold your sales team accountable for helping to transition projects to teams • Test methods on projects to find better ways to deliver work • Create communication routines to develop stronger team and client accountability • Learn from your projects and get stronger
  77. THANK YOU! 
 brett@brettharned.com @brettharned


  78. Join us in Orlando, October 20-22 digitalpmsummit.com