How to Keep Cross-Agency Projects On Track

How to Keep Cross-Agency Projects On Track

Now that we have explored how to effectively work with large teams in the planning phase for projects, it’s time to talk about the execution of cross-agency projects. Once everything gets rolling, it can be easy for things to break down or be overlooked. In order to maintain your strategy and your schedule, there are some things you need to know or plan for in order to keep things on track.

Competition vs. Collaboration

For many agencies, there is a natural level of competition present even when they work together. Much of this is due to how remunerations are structured within the industry. For many firms, payments are decided by how much work an agency does on a project, and not necessarily on the actual value they contribute. This means that sometimes you may have your PPC team trying to overlap with your SEO team’s tasks in an effort to boost their business. This can definitely rub some shoulders the wrong way, and the last thing you need at the height of a project is encroachments among your team members.

Much of this can be prevented by standardizing payments based on KPIs and other value-based metrics. But sometimes the conflicts arise, and having a clear way to resolve them is key in order to keep the project from falling behind schedule, or even grinding to a halt. If this happens, be sure to have the proper plans in place to get everyone to focus on their respective responsibilities. A little bit of competition is great for any project, but for cross-agency or cross-departmental management, collaboration is mandatory.

The Importance of Feedback

One of the most overlooked components of successfully managing a project or campaign is not providing the right kinds of feedback. Throughout the course of any project, feedback is incredibly important in order to keep the results of each team’s work in line with the project’s vision and objectives. Feedback should never be ad-hoc. This is a problem for a few reasons: For one thing, it causes a disjointed, fractured view of your team’s work. Sporadic feedback doesn’t lend itself to properly expressing the overarching vision of the project. Secondly, sporadic feedback usually only addresses immediate problems or successes, and rarely addresses any long-term or underlying issues.

The solution to this is to simply schedule specific times and methods to provide feedback to your teams, and structure those sessions to make them as useful as possible. A 360º feedback loop allows for you to provide feedback to your teams, but it also allows your teams to offer feedback to you, the client. This is a great asset for any project because it fosters a cooperative atmosphere for each team, and it ensures that everyone is both aware of each other’s concerns, and willing to communicate to resolve them.

What Went Well, Even Better If

At various stages of the project, not only should feedback be collected and communicated to the whole team, but the feedback should be reviewed and analyzed resulting in a thorough assessment of the project and team activities. A great model for this type of analysis is WWW/EBI or “What Went Well, Even Better If.”

Not only does this highlight the successes of the projects or campaigns, but it focuses on areas where improvements could be made. This benefits the whole team, so that everybody is aware of the bigger picture and, collectively, how the team can move forward together keeping the project’s milestones, goals and objectives at the forefront.


Keep in mind, you hired these agencies because they are professionals. They’re good at what they do, and they have experience in working with other teams for a single client. The final and most important piece of advice, is to simply treat your team members as fairly as possible. As pros, they have their own way of doing things – and they do them every day. It’s your project and it’s your vision, but there is also a limit of how much you can manage. The sign of a good leader is knowing how to set up the team for success, and then knowing when to get out of the way so they can succeed. If you keep those things in mind, then you may just be able to pull of something great with your team.


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