Creative Agency Work Chaos – 5 Areas for Concern

Everyone believes that they have an effective and efficient way of working. Projects are always delivered on time and on budget. There is complete harmony and collaboration amongst the team. Meetings are short and concise. E-mails are minimal and all data is neatly organized. Everyone is working on the same integrated system.

The chance of this being an accurate and honest picture of your creative agency business is slim. Unfortunately, the complete opposite is far more likely to be the case resulting in disillusioned workers, reduced productivity and wasted time and money.

Chaos is a strong word to use. However, do you honestly know who is working on which project and how it is progressing? Are you able to direct resources to generate the best possible results for your client’s satisfaction and the profitability of the business? Is the creativity and productivity of your workers maximized? Do you utilize an integrated workflow management software solution?

Let’s consider some key areas, which if given suitable attention, can help to alleviate some of the problems

Work Prioritization

Many businesses are unable to ensure that work requests are properly and consistently prioritized to meet the goals and needs of the business. Employees who are unsure as to their work priorities are unlikely to be efficient. They will respond to the loudest voice or todays’ “emergency”.  Strategy is lost.  Introducing a system or process that measures performance (on time, on budget and goals met) will help to avoid the chaos as workers struggle to cope with the vast array of information that can be thrown at them via messages, e-mail, notes, ‘phone calls etc. Having all of this data and requests properly organized and available as required can only lead to greater efficiencies and less stress on everyone.

Resource Planning

This is certainly one of the key challenges to success. Do we have the right people, with the correct skillsets in sufficient quantity to deliver the needs of the business? If there was a totally consistent pattern to business and everyone performed exactly the same task every day then this would be a relatively simple problem to solve.  However, the reality in a creative agency is that the resources are constrained and may need to be shared across multiple projects, departments, teams or locations.  Balancing the load isn’t easy but unless it is tackled it will result in time-wasting, misalignment of skills, time-wasting and inefficiency.

Productivity Management

This is always a difficult topic to confront. Everyone seems busy and fully occupied but we all bemoan the amount of time consumed with inefficient meetings that don’t produce effective outcomes when it might be more beneficial to be working on a specific solution or producing creative ideas. However, time spent trying to understand the inefficient work processes that reduce creativity and productivity will undoubtedly improve the business.

Strategy Alignment

Is the work being undertaken actually in line with the strategic goals of the business? Do the employees even know the goals? Without this knowledge, it is highly likely that time will be spent and wasted on projects that don’t help the business achieve its desired end result.


Making sure that your team works together in a cohesive and effective manner is a significant challenge for most businesses. Different people use different tools to manage their day-to-day work resulting in islands of data that don’t give a complete picture. There are some very impressive tools available these days to help businesses but they usually work in isolation and don’t allow true collaboration.  Having a centralized system and location for all project information is a huge benefit in aiding collaboration.

Efficient and Effective Work Management

It is critical that creative agencies create a single avenue of visibility with everyone using the same workflow and data. The end result will be owners who can better plan and justify resources, managers who will be confident that they can align and prioritize resources in line with the business goals, and employees who can work efficiently in a manner that is productive and innovative. Share your thoughts on agency productivity with us!

Chris Wilson

Founder & CEO

Chris started Function Point over 20 years ago in his basement as a way to help professional service agencies run their businesses more efficiently. Since then he’s grown FP into an international success, working with over 600 agencies from around the world and continues to run the company from the head office in Vancouver, Canada.

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