3 Tips to Keep on Track as Creative Agency Traffic Manager

First of all, what exactly are your responsibilities as a traffic manager, and what are you expected to do all day long? According to Second Wind (secondwindonline.com), as a traffic manager you are responsible for the following:

  • Scheduling all work within the agency. This includes opening all jobs and assigning a schedule (tasks) to get the work completed.
  • Preparing a daily status report of all active jobs with a status update to be distributed to everyone in the agency.
  • Keeping track of and moving jobs from one status to the next.
  • Keeping job schedules up-to-date as timing and scheduling changes occur each day.
  • Alerting management if and when disputes or scheduling conflicts arise.

As we all know, daily change is the norm rather than the exception in the agency world. Deadlines need to be moved and schedules need to be adjusted due to a number of different reasons (client feedback, change of direction, management input etc.). So, although the job of a traffic manager may seem fairly straightforward at first glance, keeping ahead of everything going on in even a small agency can be a major challenge.

Here are 3 simple tips that will help you stay on top of all the changes:

1. Give yourself a task to organize yourself every morning.

This will give you time to process any new information or requirements, prepare the daily status report, and ensure you’re on top of everything going on within the agency.

2. Adopt a standard daily status report with crystal-clear information that everyone understands.

Once people know they’re going to get a daily status report that’s always in the same format, they’ll look to it to ensure that everything within their power is on track. It’s a team effort to ensure that the right work is getting done, and you’re the captain. Make sure there are no misunderstandings and give your team something that makes sense.

3. Ensure that reminders are sent out to the right people at the right time.

No one likes to feel like they’re being micro-managed, but it’s ok when communication is standardized and understood. Set the expectation that each person on the team is accountable for getting his or her work done. Reminders (alerts) about task due-dates and milestones need to be consistent with the goal of ensuring that nothing gets through the cracks.

Using an agency management software such as Function Point to create tasks, schedule work, send auto-reminders and quickly build your daily status report will make your job easier and give more visibility into what is going on, but it won’t do your job for you. Follow the 3 tips above and you’ll have a system to help make the software (and your team) work for you.

This article was contributed by former Function Point employee, Tate Lillies. 

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