By: Kristin Elms

Date: August 16, 2016

Executing a digital project that has the ability to dramatically affect the success of a business brings out strong opinions. Without a process in place for managing the collection, filtering, approving and sharing of those opinions with your agency partner, a project can result in a hotpot of preferences without a common strategic ingredient.

Harnessing your stakeholder’s creative thinking and desire to improve is central to making progress and creating effective products and innovative solutions. To do this, your project needs a single point of contact (SPOC) from your company and a SPOC from your agency. These SPOCs are the decision makers for the project, responsible for filtering and consolidating feedback and signing off on all decisions.

Unfortunately most projects don’t have a SPOC, instead they have a committee. With strong opinions, egos and a sense of self-preservation, committees can often dilute the effectiveness of the end product, slow timelines and inflate project budgets.

Using a SPOC ensures that strategy does not get left out, content is not added to appease the loudest voice in the room, and that the customer is not forgotten.

“Ensuring a process is in place can be the difference between a project that gets results and a project that just gets done.”

Too Many Chefs In The Kitchen

Making the perfect meal is a challenge. It requires the harmony of preparation, communication, ingredients, seasoning and technique. If any of those elements are out of synch, the meal is unbalanced (or ruined).

Chefs have long understood that to create the perfect meal, there needs to be one person in charge of making decisions and ensuring that all the elements are in harmony. Imagine a chef standing, with list in hand, ready to deliver direction to her team on how to make French Onion Soup when in marches the CEO, CFO, CTO, Marketing Director and Manager, each with their own idea of how French Onion Soup should taste. The result would be a disaster.

Creating a successful digital project is no different.

Translating This To The Real World

Every digital project requires a SPOC who can coordinate their internal team, gather requirements and stakeholder needs, distill all project information down and interpret it into a specific order for business.

Once a project has an action plan, you can pass it off to an agency Project Manager who will act as your SPOC and manage the execution of the project.

Your job, then, is to provide context to what directions are given, and work with your team and stakeholders in the background to get to the heart of what’s needed to drive business. You wear the big white chef’s hat, and the kitchen is looking to you for direction. If the CEO or CFO came to the kitchen directly, we’d have many different variations on the meal being created, yet none meeting the expectations of each person.

Serving Up A Fine Digital Experience

Ensuring a process is in place for gathering, consolidating and filtering feedback between your company and your agency can be the difference between a project that gets results and a project that just gets done.

The company SPOC’s role is to be accountable for the direction given to her by the company’s stakeholders, responsible for filtering those directions against the strategic goal of the project, delivering those filtered directives to the agency SPOC, and then signing off on all decisions to make sure the project moves in a timely (and strategic) direction.

The agency project manager is responsible for what the agency produces, making sure it aligns with what the company’s SPOC requested. The agency project manager works hand-in-hand with the company’s SPOC to determine that proper solutions are implemented to address your project and business objectives.

Every great meal starts with a Chef, and every successful digital project starts with a single point of contact.

Subtext is a digital agency that focuses on building and optimizing online customer experiences for our clients. While we spend a lot of time talking about our clients’ customers every day, we also spend a great deal of time talking about our own customers and how we can build better relationships that support doing the best possible work together. To learn more about how Subtext works to build better relationships with clients, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!