How We Achieve Results

How To NOT Get Screwed by Your Agency: Project Management Series, Part 4

Alexa Alfonso
Mar 27, 2017 · 4 min read

Results. It’s what any project comes down to.

Over the course of our series detailing how to NOT get screwed by your agency, we’ve discussed multiple factors to consider when choosing to hire a software development firm. From the way teams work together internally to managing expectations along the way, there are a lot of moving pieces that must come together to produce desired outcomes.

When these pieces start to sync up, the real magic happens, and results can be achieved.

Unfortunately, people have experienced the opposite. Sometime between the project kickoff and the wrap up, things go awry. Whether due to poor communication, a lack of clarity, or a combination of any undesirable variables, some clients have felt the burn of an unsuccessful project.

When you break it down on the agency side, two things need to mesh in order for results to be hit:

  1. The agency’s management style
  2. The agency’s approach to client relations

This post covers these two halves of the puzzle, and how results are realized when they work in harmony.

Agency Management Style

Each agency has their own flair to managing their people and their processes. At the core, these should be driving results for the team and the project as a whole. Management should account for and promote cultural values like:

  • Trust
  • Constant improvement
  • Collaboration
  • Clear communication

When teams can count on these types of values, they’re able to stay focused on their craft, be less distracted, and ultimately produce the work they’ve been hired to do.

Project management can help to instill these values in the day-to-day motions of a project. We believe that internal management is an indicator of quality, measured by efficiency and effectively.

Internal management is an indicator of quality, measured by efficiency and effectiveness.

At Crema, We’re constantly considering how we can improve our processes and approach to not hold the team back. By using a suite of hands-off project management practices, we can guide team communication and outputs to be consistent, reliable, and results-oriented.

In complex software systems, it can be easy to lose sight of the overall project vision. Cultural values promoted through internal management not only drive the team to do great work, they infuse a certain level of ownership and pride in the day-to-day tasks.

Agency-Client Relations

At the risk of stating the obvious, transparency and collaboration are key when it comes to clients and agencies working together. We dove into more details of what clients should expect in a recent video, “What to Expect As A Client”, and those two practices should be at the top of the list.

Spoiler alert: you should expect that your agency is communicative and transparent with you.

Projects can take a lot of twists and turns during their lifecycle, and a collaborative agency team should be working with and communicating to the client team along the way.

Falling into a rhythm of frequent reviews, planning sessions, and other check-ins allow for consistency and a chance to address and solve anything standing in the way of achieving results.

If the end result is to make users of your product happy, then there ought to be plenty of opportunities to review input and strategically make the next move. Using agile methodologies, agencies can work with client teams to prioritize feedback and plan for upcoming work. That work should be in the best interest of the product and, ultimately, the people using it.

Too often, agency teams feel siloed. This has a negative effect on the product in terms of making assumptions or not fully understanding the overall product vision. When agency teams feel and act like extensions of the client, a synergetic relationship forms in which results really thrive.

Results realized

Once internal teams and external teams are in sync, projects really start to hum. All members begin to move forward efficiently and effectively. It’s at this point that people start to do the right things first, and do them well, because they are focused on outcomes.

An important side effect of this is that trust, and therefore, innovation increase. Since everyone is focused on the outcomes, there is more opportunity for experimentation.

Some of the biggest project ‘wins’ come from these calculated risks that can be taken due to the harmony created between teams. No matter the process, if internal and external management is in sync, the focus becomes solely on the results.

What’s it all mean?

At the end of the day, no one should feel like they’re getting screwed by an agency. There are tried and true processes that allow for teams to seamlessly execute on a project. While no two projects are the same, there should be a shared vision that each side of the project is working toward.

True collaboration means you’re engaging with a partner — not a contractor.

At the end of the day, you can sleep at night knowing that your product is in the right hands. When agencies and clients work together toward the shared outcome of success, some pretty amazing things happen.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our series around project management and how we think about things at Crema. You can check out the whole video series here:

Feel free to drop us a line if you have a project you’d like to collaborate on.

Until next time.

Ideas by Crema

All of our thoughts and ideas.

Alexa Alfonso

Written by

Biz Dev Strategist at @cremalab. Human, being.

Ideas by Crema

All of our thoughts and ideas.

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