How to Run a Productive Agency Status Meeting

If you’re managing an agency relationship – you know how valuable they can be. Good agencies become an extension to your team. You likely have weekly meeting with your internal team to ensure everyone is on the same page. It follows that with your agency, you should be conducting a weekly status meeting to check in on the status of projects and deliverables.

Agencies are in business to handle the details. So how do you run a successful agency status meeting to hit on key topics while not going down the proverbial rat hole? Here are three keys to help you run a successful agency status meeting.

Organize a shared document

Develop a shared document to guide the conversation. There are likely a bunch of concurrent projects happening with your agencies help. A shared document will serve to not only guide the conversation and ensure you get visibility into the key projects but also minimize the chances something falls through the cracks. Since it’s a shared document, you’ll have the opportunity to review it before the call to identify whether there’s topic missing.  

Develop clear next steps

Projects are nothing more than a sequence of events leading to the desired output. Each project you’re involved in with your agency should have a next step in its path to completion. Laying out the next steps and reviewing them on the call will give you the necessary visibility and piece-of-mind that the project is moving forward. It also serves as an opportunity for your agency to identify and surface challenges and decision points that you as the client need to weigh in on.

Align on your dates

Time is your best friend until it’s your worst enemy. Projects live or die on a timeline. It’s likely that with more complex projects, your agency has a project manage behind the scenes directing resources. For your status calls, don’t get into the full detailed timeline for a project. Instead ensure you have delivery dates tied to the tasks identified as next steps. Its human nature to use the time you have. So without hard dates to move projects forward against, things will start to drag. It also gives you the opportunity to come back from a previous discussion and unpack why a deadline is being missed and determine how to get the project back on track.

Running a productive status meeting is critical to a successful agency relationship. Ensure your teams are on the same page and on target with projects to avoid those uncomfortable conversations. It’s easy to blame things on your agency when things don’t go to plan, however as the client, it’s your job to manage your agency as a valuable resource to drive projects from conception to conclusion.

2 Comments

  1. Great article Adam. Which program do you prefer to use for collaboration between your team and your agency team?

    • I was an early adopter of Basecamp. Was a great tool for internal and external collaboration, file sharing, task lists, shared calendars, etc. Highly recommend!

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