You are about to embark on a road trip. You have relaxation on your mind and the destination in your sights. Your bags are packed and the keys are hot in your hand. What is missing?
Something to guide you. Will you choose a map or GPS? A map simply tells you the different roads that lead to your destination. While GPS will help guide your journey to your final destination, alerting you to gas stations, rest stops and eateries along the way. Both will get you there, but which one can you benefit more from?
Similarly to your road trip, business partnerships need a guide of their own to navigate them from their high-level objective to the end business goal, outlining the how, what and when along the way. A well thought out Scope of Work (SOW) serves this purpose, identifying the work required and the costs associated with that work.
It is no secret that a SOW in the marketing industry can be highly complex as the deliverables and timelines hinge upon creative ideas and many moving parts. Often the same roles are coined different terms across various agencies. Many times we find them filled with vague or blended costs. With all these intricacies, creating and managing SOW can be an extremely daunting, yet critical, task. Interestingly enough, many organizations handle the SOW process manually, utilizing spreadsheets. Aside from the time burden of using this form of management, crucial data is more likely to be inconsistent and isolated.
However, with proper implementation of a comprehensive SOW program, organizations can benefit hugely, particularly in 2 key areas: Efficiency and Transparency.
Every organization has its own internal language and culture. This makes it extremely difficult to see your total agency landscape on an equal playing field. Working with a partner that specializes in SOW management, can streamline the process by standardizing elements such as terminology, creative outputs and role titles. This allows for more accurate benchmarking across agencies, furthering the ability to generate reports and gain insights.
Through a standardized, centralized process, full transparency is now attainable. By using a central hub versus an isolated spreadsheet, changes are captured and seen by the group of decision makers and key players. Visibility in the SOW directly attributes to proper staffing mix and cost optimization.
Are the most experienced staff working on your most important deliverables, or are you utilizing cheaper but less senior team members? Are you spending too much money on experienced staff for simpler projects? Being able to see the overall picture, you are able to pinpoint areas that will maximize value as well as ensure you have the appropriate staffing mix to the objective or deliverable.
Better understanding of costs can also lead to maximizing value. By using specified cost categories that are pertinent to your business, you are now able to gain clarity and insights on total spend. In doing so, you can make adjustments to ensure you are maximizing key areas and minimizing less important ones.
You are embarking on your road trip. Would you choose the GPS? The benefits being a well informed and guided trip that allow you to enjoy the journey. Likewise, you are embarking on a new SOW with an agency partner. Would you choose that excel spreadsheet or a comprehensive scope management program? The benefits of the latter being maximizing the potential of your partnership through an efficient workflow and true transparency across partners. And just like GPS, making that journey run a lot smoother.
For additional information on scope of work programs, download the ANA Article Why the Right Scope of Work is So Important
Decideware's Agency Management Solutions provides many of the world's best marketing & procurement practitioners in large advertisers with the industry's best solutions for agency selections, agency evaluations, agency briefings, production management and agency scope of work programs.