How to make your agency more agile: Real-time collaboration and uniting workflows
It’s never been more important for agencies - digital, creative or marketing - to be agile. With tight deadlines and requests constantly coming in, it's important to stay on top of each and every project. But even in a digitally-focused agency, information tends only to travel at the speed of meetings, and tasks are often treated like hot potatoes - bandied around from one person to another.
If these office problems sound familiar, be assured that you are not alone. At Wrike, we work with many agencies who experience these issues – and that’s why they look to implement project and work management tools. These tools can help tighten up processes that make collaboration difficult: think siloed information, buried emails and spreadsheets and task assignment
Companies big and small are starting to turn to work management tools to help them migrate to a more digital workplace. Current cloud solutions mean they are easily implemented and can be up and running in a matter of days. With that in mind, let’s take a look at an agency in the UK that did just that.
Dare – the creative agency looking to be more agile
Dare is a digital creative agency located in Bristol, UK. It creates platforms and products for some of the world's most ambitious brands, bringing together design, engineering, and behavioural science to help make brands more efficient, effective, and creative.
Dare is made up of 12 full-time team members and additional freelancers are brought in regularly. Dare’s Bristol Hub uses the Scrum framework across all projects so that the team can work as efficiently as possible whilst staying flexible for last minute changes. The team adopted Agile in 2015 and soon realised they needed a solution that could fully support it by enabling them to work in an Agile way, facilitate collaboration with clients, and ensure everything is transparent.
Administrative processes used by the agency were tedious and time-consuming. For example, the invoice processing system wasted time the team could be spending on billable client projects. In addition, information around projects was not centralised, nor were instructions on specific design elements. The combination of a lack of transparency and manual processes hampering projects drove the agency to seek an alternative project management solution.
After researching different options available, the agency adopted Wrike and migrated all information from the business from the old platform to Wrike over the course of a few days.
A single source of truth
Dare immediately benefitted from work management features including things like visual workflows, project dashboards and reports. But it was when Dare won a large website development pitch that they really felt the benefits of having a single source of truth for all those working on the project.
The website development was for a well-known renewable energy provider in the UK and the site needed to be live in eight or nine weeks. It was an incredibly fast project, and the team knew that the only way to execute was to have everything be completely open and transparent. This was the moment where they decided to add clients to Wrike as collaborators.
Dare uses freelancers regularly for projects and at times these contributors can be located anywhere in the world. Wrike has facilitated collaboration and connectivity despite the distance that is sometimes involved. The team worked on an app recently for a client located in the US. “We brought in a freelancer and we ended up hiring someone in an extremely remote forest outside Seattle,” Fergus Adam, managing partner at Dare said, “We did it all through Wrike and all the development tasks were managed in there. It would have been impossible to do it, I think, without that central place for everything.”
Since then, the team has developed different workflows for different aspects of their projects. For client projects, they have a 13-stage workflow from identifying the problem to completion that corresponds with their two-week workflow. Additionally, the team has separate workflows to determine costs for jobs - from being ball-parked, to estimated and fully signed off. This is done simultaneously whilst the actual work is being done, meaning admin work at the end of a project isn’t overwhelming or time-consuming.
By managing all their projects in Wrike, the team was able have a central location for all their work and eliminate their use of several other apps where work was done across several disconnected tools. Dare even uses Wrike to determine staff vacation time, with the system letting team members see when their colleagues are out and when it may be problematic to take time off.
Save time and processes and get back to the job you love
Agencies are in a unique position in that their work is based on collaboration – with clients and with each other. By solving the gripes associated with collaboration, your team can get on with the fun, creative work that your clients pay you to do.
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