First off, thanks to all those that attended our meetup earlier this week at Citizen! Second, huge thanks to Citizen for opening their great space to our meetup!
Craig Higdon (Citizen project manager) and Jenny Moede (Citizen CEO) led our two breakout groups for the evening. Craig’s group talked about strategies for effectively leading large/long-duration projects, while Jenny led a group that discussed small/short-duration projects. A few musings that came out of each group:
- When it comes to small projects, think cats… “sure, adopt the cute kitten from the shelter, but don’t become the crazy cat lady.” This gem came from Steve Winters at Metal Toad, and was a great way of stating the consensus that small projects can be healthy, but they should be passion projects that your team will enjoy and they should be few in number, because they’re almost never a financial win!
- There was a good deal of discussion about why small projects can be so painful, and one of the key elements we identified was that usually stakeholders on small projects have more on the line (personal investment of time, percentage of budget, etc.) and will be every bit as needy (if not more so) as a larger client who has more experience dealing with agencies and respecting agency boundaries and methods of working.
- On the large projects, there was a good amount of discussion around pacing. There’s always difficulty aligning your agency’s pace with the pacing of the big companies spending on large projects. Part of the reason they hire you is because you’re able to move faster and be more nimble than their behemoth organizations, but often you’ll have to find a slightly slower speed to allow the client to keep up in the decision-making process.
- Large projects suffer from greater uncertainty, though usually budgets allow for better absorption of the impact when things go wrong than small projects do. That said, turnover, burnout, client stakeholder departures, changing priorities, and more all play a much bigger role in the large projects.
On to 2016!
From here we’re going to pause in December for the holidays, and then we’ll hit the ground running with our next meetup on November 12th at Emerge Interactive! Join our mailing list to get notified when we’re ready for RSVPs for the January event.
We’re also in planning mode for how to make 2016 events even better. Whether you’re a regular meetup attendee or are brand new to the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in bringing some new blood to organizing the events and have ideas to share on topics, formats, promotion, etc.
We’l see you in 2016!