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Agency Management

How the Right Agency Management Technique Can Transform Your Business

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Effective agency management can make or break a business. At its most basic level, agency management is the process of coordinating resources, processes and teams to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget and to the utmost satisfaction of clients. Choosing the right management technique to overcome the many challenges that agencies face is an essential part of a business’ transformation. Let’s take a look at the importance of effective agency management and how the right technique can drive real, transformative results within your business.

Understanding the Challenges of Agency Management

Common Pain Points in Agency Management

Management brings its own set of challenges, and agencies often battle with poor team communication, lack of clarity on how projects are progressing, poor resource management, and managing unrealistic client expectations. These challenges associated with growing an agency can lead to project delays, stifle scalability, and damage client relationships, whereas if addressed, their resolution could lay the foundation for achieving rapid growth, according to CIO.

Implications of Poor Agency Management on Businesses

Agency management has a far-reaching influence well into the financials of a business. Poor agency management means wasted time, and lower employee output, and decreased productivity. Meanwhile, companies without a grasp on agency management spend on average 20% more on projects and lose out on their maximum potential revenue. Lack of control over an agency can lose more than money however, as it can hurt a business’ reputation, leading to lost clients and difficulty attracting new ones. Furthermore, lost authority over an agency can send a business’ employees running for the door courtesy of a low morale and low engagement, and skyrocket a company’s turnover rates.

The Role of Agency Management Techniques in Business Transformation

Improving Operational Efficiency

Agency management techniques like clearly defined project management methodologies free up the resources to allow for efficiency and a more regular workflow.

“Having defined and more streamlined processes means that there are less bottlenecks and things like that. It’s easier to see where the next project is moving to, as opposed to before where we had a couple of projects at once and it wasn’t really clear where we could fit a project in,” said the operations director of a London-based training and performance consultancy.

The efficiencies that are created with effective agency management allow an agency to function at a high productivity level. This means picking up more projects and being able to deliver them in a successful way.

“Projects are being run quicker now and everything is running a lot smoother. It’s been easy to say yes to stuff, because we know that these processes are in place. It’s almost like an automated production line,” said the operations director.

The right agency management technique can go a long way in boosting client satisfaction and retention. A proper technique can improve project management and communication, allowing an agency to better understand a client’s needs, manage their expectations, and deliver high-quality results. This improved client satisfaction can lead to increased client retention, positive reviews, and even referrals — helping an agency grow. Client satisfaction and retention is a primary benefit of agency management software.

Optimizing Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is crucial to efficient agency management. The right technique will help agencies to optimize this resource, making sure the right people are allocated to the right projects at the right time — preventing resource conflicts, increasing productivity, and maximizing overall resource utilization. In the end, a proper strategy can allow agencies to manage their workforce and reduce unnecessary costs.

Fostering Collaboration and Teamwork

The best agencies are the most collaborative. A proper management technique will encourage effective collaboration and break down silos by fostering improved communication among team members. The best techniques will even encourage cross-functional collaborations that can foster the sharing of knowledge and skills, and in the end help to produce better project outcomes and a better overall team company.

Different Agency Management Techniques

Traditional Agency Management

Definition and Characteristics

Traditional agency management is characterized by a hierarchical structure, clear roles and responsibilities and a linear approach to project management in which tasks are carried out in sequence. The stability and structure provided by this method ensures that projects remain on track.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of traditional agency management include clear accountability, well-defined workflows and stability. However, it may be less adaptable to change and hinder the fostering of innovation.

Examples of Industries Suitable for Traditional Management

Industries that value structure and concrete processes, such as construction, manufacturing and government agencies, often lend themselves well to traditional agency management.

Agile Agency Management

Definition and Characteristics

Agile agency management takes a page from Agile project management. This method values flexibility, collaboration and iterative project delivery. Agile agencies welcome change and tweak their processes along the way.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of agile agency management include improved adaptability, increased innovation and enhanced client satisfaction. However, it may require a greater level of communication and coordination.

Examples of Industries Suitable for Agile Management

Agile agency management is particularly beneficial for industries with rapidly shifting market dynamics, such as technology, digital marketing and software development.

Hybrid agency management. When agency management emerges, many in the project management community will be well into the love affair with agile. If Scrum won the 90s, and agile mainframe companies battled it out in the 2000s, the 2010s were seemingly captured by a hybrid approach that carefully selects the project management practices that make the most sense for a given project, team, and client. Hybrids by definition include elements of both traditional and agile methods, the idea being to take the best of both worlds.

There is little doubt some level of hybrid agency management allows for both flexibility and needed adaptation, while on the other it maintains a level of structure, which for better or worse is music to the ears of many project management professionals yearning for a somewhat “lesser” transition here.

The ability to adapt from one project scenario to another, to switch between stability and agility on a project to project basis, or even tailor a particular situation to a client’s wishes can be a powerful advantage. At the same time, it may be difficult and likely a costlier proposition requires more careful planning, for quite some time, while closely coordinating such a balance.

What industries are most appropriate for hybrid management? In terms of our earlier example, an industry that values a balanced approach to stability versus adaptation, would obviously be quite appropriate for hybrid agency management. Think marketing and advertising, creative and SEO agencies like Nine Peaks and so-called consulting firms.

Evaluating the Fit with Your Agency’s Culture and Values

The agency management technique should reflect your agency’s culture and values. Do your team members prefer a clear hierarchy or an open, collaborative and flexible environment that is cool with everyone managing the project together? Are you more Starbucks or tech startup?

Considering Client Expectations and Industry Dynamics

The agency you select should speak the same language as your clients. Ask about their management philosophies and look for clues on their website. Some clients want to know what is going to happen, when it is going to happen and what the results of the project will be. They would be aghast if their agency said “we will figure it out as we go.” Others might prefer the latter. There is no right answer here. One party might simply suit your agency better.

Analyzing Project Complexity and Resource Availability

Project complexity and size might make one approach more suitable than another. For example, something that requires producing a print, TV or Internet advertisement after a long process of concept development, creating storyboards, choosing and casting spokespersons and photographers, scheduling shooting times, signing contracts, hiring caterers for the crew, renting sound studios and green screens, arranging rehearsals, planning (yeah, make that scheduling all day), hiring hair and make up people and parliamentarians, notifying everyone all over again because everyone forgot; missed the eighth reminder and came to the shoot instead of the rehearsal etc. is probably not done very well using an agile approach.

Large, complex or complex and large projects might be best for an agile or hybrid approach. Adaptive as such approaches allow for altering as requirements change. It also allows for re-evaluating frequently if the situation is that kind of complex. [CQinVide_Co] Big and complex is not the same as complex, really. 10×2 is big. 2x5xy – 5 needs to be solved using the quadratic formula. Those are not the same kind of complex. The first might be covered by either an agile or hybrid management technique. The second would be by an agile one only.

Determining the Level of Flexibility and Adaptability Required

You should ask yourself what level of flexibility and adaptability your agency requires. Working on or at once a month when you have your teams in the orientations. If all you do changes every day, your projects probably require a more adaptable and flexible–read agile–approach. If you stick to proven methodologies and drivers who are inexplicably required to wear suit coats and hats in brand colors, traditional project management techniques probably work just fine.

Determine clear implementation goals and objectives. Roll out an implementation plan and timeline which captures both key milestones and tasks. Communicate your strategy to your team so they are all on board with understanding what “AGILE” is and why there is a need to change up management strategies.

Training and Education for Team Members

Educate all your team members on the technique you’re about to implement. Make sure they all understand the tools, principles, and practices involved in the change. This training will help them adjust to the new management practices swiftly and swiftly.

Effective Communication and Change Management

Naturally, there will be apprehension with this change. Communicate why you’re adopting AGILE to stakeholders; this will include anyone from your internal team to the client. As always, address any concerns or resistances fast and effectively. Make sure to deploy change management strategies to help everyone stay as normal as possible during a “weird” change.

Integrating Tools and Software

Ensure all necessary tools and software investments are being made at the time of the technique to fully support ag. Make sure project management software, communication tools, and collaboration platforms can be integrated with your current systems and processes.

Establish metrics for success and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure how effective you’ve been. Monitor the system you’ve chosen and how well it works. Make changes as needed. Get feedback from your employees or team, and from clients on how you can improve or refine the system you’ve selected.

The Role of Agency Management Software

Consider taking the steps of implementing agency management software to streamline and optimize these efforts. This type of software allows for efficient collaboration, task management, resource tracking and reporting, drastically improving operational efficiency, and empowering your agency to make smart, data-driven decisions.

Benefits of Agency Management Software

The software offers many benefits including:

Centralized Project Management: All project information, communications, and deadlines can be kept in one spot. This holds everyone accountable and allows for efficient collaboration.

Resource Tracking and Allocation: It’s critical for any agency to be able to find out who is doing what, and what might be falling through the cracks. Real-time tracking of resources helps agencies stay on top of work, ensuring resources get used properly. Ultimately, the software helps avoid over or under utilization of your talent. In turn, it guarantees that projects are staffed, and that deadlines are made. 

Time and Expense Tracking: It can be difficult connecting the costs of doing business. At the end of the day, the lack of this data could hurt your bottom line. The software makes sure it’s simple to track time spent on tasks and the expenses that are related. This improves accuracy, which simplifies the billing process, and ensures an agency has better control over costs.

Performance Analytics and Reporting: Most notably, agency management software allows agencies to collect and analyze data. This provides valuable insights into project performance, resource utilization, and profitability. This supports data-driven decision-making and can pinpoint areas for improvement and inform smart business decisions.

Client Collaboration and Communication: For the most part, agency management software includes client portals or other features that facilitate communication and collaboration. This provides a number of advantages including increased transparency, better client satisfaction, and stronger client relationships.

Choosing the Right Agency Management Software

The following are several factors to keep in mind when considering which agency management software to implement:

Compatibility and Integration: Ensure that the software will play nicely with your existing tools and systems, such as your communications platforms or your free accounting software.

Scalability: Choose something that will scale with you. (Be sure to keep in mind the number of clients, users, projects, etc.)

User-Friendliness: Your team isn’t interested in using more of its precious time across all of these new platforms and tools. Make sure it’s nothing too difficult to pick up and hit the ground running.

Customization: Look for something that’s more fit to your agency’s individual needs and how it operates. Customizable dashboards and reports, as one example, can give you a solution that’s truly tailored to how your agency does business.

If you’re considering agency management software, there are a few key factors you should consider when making your decision. These include:

Usability and Features: The software should offer robust features to facilitate agency management, including client and project management, time tracking, resource allocation, and document management. Ensure it is also user-friendly, with an intuitive platform that your team can navigate with ease.

Automation and Customization: Choose an agency management software like FP that automates as many aspects of project and client management as possible and can be customized to your agency’s specific needs.

Security and Data Protection: Ensure that the software will play nicely with your existing tools and systems, such as your communications platforms or your free accounting software.

Implementing Agency Management Software

Once you’ve chosen agency management software, it’s helpful to keep the following best practices in mind when it’s time to implement:

Needs Assessment: Look at your specific agency needs and goals. What are the features you’re lacking that the software can help with? For example, is your goal to improve communication, streamline processes, or better allocate resources?

Research and Selection: When selecting agency management software, start by researching your top options. Look at features, pricing, and what other customers are saying in their reviews. Test out a free trial before making a decision to ensure the software has everything your agency needs.

Planning and Preparation: Before it’s time to implement, your agency should create a plan that includes specific goals and responsibilities, identifying who will be responsible for each aspect of the software. Then, you should communicate the plan with your team and provide training and resources as needed.

Migration and Integration: If your agency management software requires a migration, make sure that it happens as smoothly as possible. This means transferring all data so that it remains accurate and up to date. If another software program is related to your agency’s processes, integrate each of your new tools so that they can work smoothly together.

Communication and Change Management: Once you’ve started to implement your agency management software, communicate to both your internal team and your clientele. Be sure to explain why you’ve decided to move and its benefits, and address any concerns or resistance to change throughout the process.

Training and Adoption: Develop a comprehensive training strategy ensures team members know how to use the software communicatively. Encourage adoption from day one and continue to learn and support ongoing benefits.

Continuous Improvement: Check in frequently to see how the software is being used and how effective it is. Take feedback from team members and clients to identify areas of improvement. Adapt and evolve the software so it’s continually meeting the needs of a team that is transforming a business.


As businesses seek to drive growth and transformation from the inside out, the ability to effectively manage an agency can make or break that growth. By choosing the right management technique, or implementing agency management software that handles the operational details for you, agencies can increase their operational efficiency, better satisfy their clients, optimize their resources and get their teams working together. The trick is to understand potentially the relative complexity of your projects and assignments, and the availability of your resources, with the level of flexibility your business and your clients expect. Small, easy-to-manage projects and clients will expect – and deserve – a much higher level of flexibility than more complex projects and clients who could potentially be handled better by any number of software and applications. Once you know what you need, plan well, execute well, and gain the power to transform your business. Let’s face it, it beats the alternative.

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