[00:00:00.190] - Chris
In this episode of Great Practices, I'm talking with Amanda Sutt, CEO and creative director of the branding and marketing firm.
[00:00:07.210] - Chris
Called Rock, Paper Scissors. Listen in as we discuss how to manage projects and creative people when things aren't always black and white, learn her.
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Secret to increasing the capacity of her team by 40% to 50% and outputting.
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Just the right amount of frameworks in place, unleashes her team's creativity. Plus, discover what a secret staircase in the back of her house has to.
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Do with her company name and why the name of her team on Trivia.
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Night is I'll know it when I see it.
[00:00:38.300] - Narrator
It's hard to say when something is a best practice, but it's much easier to know when something is a great practice. And that's what this podcast is all about. Interviews with PMO and project management leaders who, through years of trial and error, have discovered their own great practices and are now sharing their insights with you. Now sit back and enjoy the conversation as Chris Copp uncovers another great practice in this episode.
[00:01:07.310] - Chris
We'd like to welcome you to this month's episode of Great Practices, and I am personally very interested in today's subject. Not that I'm not personally interested in many of the subjects we talked about in the past, but today I have always wondered what it is like to manage and project manage and have PMO leadership around creative industries. Because typically we work in software, maybe work in construction, but there's a whole creative side of things and deliverables that need project management. And that's a very different animal, because typically project management is black and white, because after enough time, you can get into a predictable cadence of how long something is going to take or what the definition of done means. And you can build your plans and your schedules based upon this predictability and get pretty close. But like I said, I've always wondered about what do you do if there's not a predictable cadence? What do you do if the definition of done is very subjective and it's given to the opinion or the eye of the beholder? So it's not software, it's not construction, it's not process improvement, but rather it's creating brands or designs or marketing campaigns, any other endeavor that requires managing creatives.
[00:02:37.790] - Chris
Now, how do we project manage a deliverable where you have to come up with an amazing brand that will be effective, compelling, and that everyone's going to love, and you need to have it done in three days? How do we do this? Well, that's what our guests today is going to help us understand. Amanda Sutt is the CEO and creative director of Rock, Paper Scissors, which I.
[00:03:01.450] - Chris
Think is a great name, by the.
[00:03:02.530] - Chris
Way, and we're actually going to ask her about that in a minute. And she's been managing the creative process.
[00:03:07.480] - Chris
For many years now.
[00:03:08.660] - Chris
So, Amanda, we'd like to welcome you onto this episode of Great Practices and we're looking forward to our conversation.
[00:03:14.170] - Amanda
Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Chris.
[00:03:16.670] - Chris
Now I want to just start out, I love the name Rock, Paper, Scissors.
[00:03:20.070] - Chris
You want to give us a little.
[00:03:21.200] - Chris
History of where they came from?
[00:03:24.330] - Amanda
Absolutely. So we were actually started as a family business, and this is our second, or you could even say our third name. My mom started the agency and she called it Sin Design, but it was just her. And as it grew, my dad decided he wanted to have a business, and so he had his own business. And after a couple of years of running two businesses and then starting to merge, they realized they were ready for a new version of the company. After a lot of brainstorming and a secret staircase that was connected to a theater where our theater friends would come and help us brainstorm, we came up with the name Rock, Paper, Scissors, and a lot of it came from we didn't want to be named after one of the founding members because it starts to sound all the same. Who was that? What was that? So we wanted something that really stood out, and so we wanted something that also just made people remember and felt very creative and inspired. So I'll tell you that actually we had two that we came down to and we did a national search or a survey to get feedback on it.
[00:04:28.380] - Amanda
We're either going to be Rock, Paper, Scissors, or we were going to be running the scissors. And it was actually pretty unanimous about Rock, Paper, Scissors because it just added this level of play and creativity and it really just embodies us. Play is such a foundation of who we are as a company. You learn so much through play and you learn so quickly through play that we've even bought it even more into our organization as we've grown and evolved to just make sure that's a foundation of what we are. So that name really just is a part of every part of our business.
[00:05:02.850] - Chris
That's excellent. I've got to admit, Amanda, you're one of the first guests on here that has a secret staircase episode. That's not what many people have when they get on here. And I'm glad you also went with Rock, Paper, Scissors, because running with scissors, it's all fun and game until somebody keeps an eye out. Right. So I think that was a very wise choice that you did there. So tell us a little bit more about what do you do? What does Rock, Paper, Scissors do? Tell us a little bit more about your company because that's going to really help us understand how you are managing this creative process.
[00:05:38.710] - Amanda
Absolutely. So we are a branding and marketing firm, and a lot of this starts we're 36, 37 years old, so we've seen a lot. When we first started, the Little Mac Se was just fresh on the market, so it was just starting to use computers for graphic design. So we have a very deep history, which started with print design and branding. And so that's something we've held throughout our history and it actually makes us very unique right now because we know how to get graphics off of a computer and onto a press. And not every designer these days actually knows how to do that in a way that is actually effective. So that's a lot of work that started from but we've over years, of course, added new things because there were no websites, there was no social media when we started. But as we've worked with clients and the business climate has just changed so much, these are the two main things, branding and marketing. Who are you as a company and being very clear about that? And then how do you then get your message out? And marketing can be anything that touches typically not just your audience and your customers, but also your staff.
[00:06:47.070] - Amanda
What is that communication with them? And in a world where we have so many messages coming at our face, it's even more important to be very clear on it. But they both support each other, right? I would like to say it's like spaghetti and meatballs. By themselves, they're okay, but when you put them together, it's a pretty stellar combination of you need each one to support the other. If you know who your brand is, it's a lot easier to have a consistent message that goes out there and vice versa. They feed each other.
[00:07:16.660] - Chris
[00:07:17.140] - Chris
And that's interesting you said that, because it sounds like you've gone full circle. Right? I mean, you went from print to digital and now you're right. People probably forgot how to do things in print. Right? Because that's a whole different skill set right there. So that's kind of interesting how that went that went full circle. There now in your managing process and you've got creative people, and that's what this is all about, the marketing and the branding. What are some of the challenges that you've experienced over the years when it comes to managing creative type personalities?
[00:07:54.670] - Amanda
Absolutely. So you let off with talking about project management being black and white, whereas project management in my entire career has been grace. Because there is that subjectivity that gets fed into every aspect of this from the creative team who you're trying to inspire and keep excited about the client they're serving, as well as the clients being engaged and being excited about the creative we're producing for them. So it is it's very tricky of how do you help people work through that? And a lot of that is getting into which ends up being a big buzzword right now, is social emotional learning. And I feel like that is the biggest part of my job right now, is helping both our clients and our team members be comfortable with their emotions. Because when they can do that and speak to how they feel. We can make it less subjective. We can actually help them find the justification, understand why this thing doesn't quite feel right. Well, I want to know why it doesn't feel right. And so we've spent a lot of effort in our processes and part of that is trust building. So anytime we're doing a project, there's a lot of relationship building at the beginning and helping people get comfortable describing things that just feel good to them.
[00:09:14.480] - Amanda
So we do a lot of that. So our project management and our process start more with we like to call them workshops of just getting people used to what that's like and once they're used to describing things and being okay, describing I really like this or I don't like this, because and not feeling like they're hurting somebody's feelings, it takes some of that subjectivity out of it because it's not about that. And then we can bring logic back into it so we can marry that personal reaction that that client has because it's their brand, with market research and the audience that we've been learning from. And we want a combination of that because that's what makes the brand unique. If you just design a brand for the audience, it quickly becomes a commodity. You lose that spark. That was the initial piece of it. So you have to have both pieces of that.
[00:10:07.540] - Chris
So it sounds like the biggest challenge that you have is just really getting people to communicate what they like, what they don't like, and why, because they're not going to be used to having that level of conversation or the depth of conversation. I just don't like it. Right. Or I'm sure that you've also heard I'll know it when I see it. Right. I think you've probably encountered that many.
[00:10:31.700] - Amanda
Out of our standing trivia night group.
[00:10:34.810] - Chris
Team name, I'll know it when I see it, but it's like you've got to give us some direction in order to get there.
[00:10:42.750] - Amanda
[00:10:44.090] - Chris
So how is it then that you have, I guess, equipped or enabled your employees about how they can get this work done? How are they able to have these conversations and move the projects forward?
[00:10:59.110] - Amanda
Then we've built frameworks to make it as easy as possible to start to replicate that onboarding process of helping that client get comfortable with that. We also don't approach our own marketing and our own growth strategies around trying to just get projects. We are always looking for relationships. We have the advantage of being 30 plus years old and we have some clients that we've had for over two decades, which is a little unheard of in the agency world, but we like that those are the projects that we can get really deep on and we did a lot of introspection on that to go, okay, we actually really like that. How do we do more of that? And we sat in that and when you do that. And this is the fun part about it as well, is when you talk to more clients, they're like, yes, we want a relationship too. We don't want to have to re explain this every single time. We want to get deeper. We want to do more. We want to keep growing. So our approach just started with that from the beginning of no, we want a long term relationship.
[00:12:02.810] - Amanda
And so we set it up. We tell our clients we like to date, we want to do one project to get started to see if we're a good fit for them. And it's okay if we're not. But let's be really open about this relationship because what I like to always frame for them is we are their creative hands. It's their brand, it's their passion. They know their audience, they know their product. But they need our creative fingers and words to help tell that story. So we have to work together. And what we really lean in and what we call the co creative process, they can't just give us a direction and we go with it. We have to build that back and forth and we try and make it as painless as possible. We've figured out a lot of different ways to make sure that they feel comfortable just giving us feedback in regular meetings that we don't ask them to do a ton in email because they are busy people. So we spent a lot of time also just focusing on how to make communication clear. How do we make meetings. That's something that clients look forward to.
[00:13:02.850] - Amanda
And most of our clients look forward to our weekly meetings because they know we're going to solve problems.
[00:13:10.410] - Chris
Are those workshops?
[00:13:11.410] - Chris
Is that what you call those meetings?
[00:13:13.740] - Amanda
Or is that just no, we just have regular weekly meetings. Our initial onboarding process, we call them workshops.
[00:13:20.490] - Chris
[00:13:21.160] - Amanda
Mainly just to kind of get a different vibe going because we don't want it to just be you're not just coming to a meeting, we're going to make you a little uncomfortable. We're going to make you think. And most of those, we don't make clients do any homework coming into them. We do as much as we can to capture their thoughts and feelings in that meeting and help them feel comfortable just sharing that. And then we reflect it back to them. We give them chance for revision. We make it okay for them to want to change their mind and work through that process. And that's right there, it's the beginning of that relationship that allows us to make our gray project management process a little bit more black and white. Because we talk about having a very clear creative brief at the beginning of this is the scope of the project. And then we talk about how many times we want to do feedback on it because it could never be done. And how is it okay to launch something, knowing it's never going to be perfect, but that's okay. Launch it. Let's see how it goes, and the next time we'll do better.
[00:14:24.080] - Amanda
That's why a relationship is really important, because if we're just doing a project, there's failure that can happen, but failure is a part of success. So we have to set the tone for that as well.
[00:14:37.250] - Chris
[00:14:40.370] - Chris
I remember in an earlier conversation, you said that everyone is the project manager as far as the employees that are on board. Right. Number one, how many employees do you have and how does that work, that everyone is a project manager. What's your expectation around that?
[00:14:55.920] - Amanda
Absolutely. So we have eight fulltime employees, and when I started, I was the project manager, so I sat in that role of what it was like to help every team member work through that. And it was not fun for any of us because it was a lot of telephone, like that game you play as kids where you whisper in each other's ear and that message degrades, and then it turns into micromanagement. So that means you're automatically degrading that creative process because your creative team is going to be more defensive. So part of what we decided to do when we test, I think we've been doing this about six or seven years now, we said, all right, let's figure out if everybody could be a project manager, because this was my train of thought of why and how I convinced my team to do this is we've gone to school or worked on, been hired to be creative experts, to have a craft. But to be a professional is not just about having the skills to do the job that we do in order to do our job. Every single one of them is a project.
[00:16:10.940] - Amanda
So in order to truly be masters of whatever graphic or content they're doing, they actually also have to be a master of managing and starting and ending a project. And so when we worked through that as a team, it became very empowering for them because they could see the full scope of what they were doing. One of the huge benefits that I didn't really know was going to happen was my team now presents much more realistic and relevant concepts to our clients because they're not just told to write a headline, they're going to write that headline, measure that headline, and revise that headline through that whole process. And so they're grounded in that entire workflow. So I do have to hire different types of people. Not everybody's going to want and is equipped to do that, but we've always been we hire for values first, and that's just the core value of ours, it sounds like.
[00:17:13.980] - Chris
So what you're helping them do is really kind of see the bigger picture and how their work obviously fits in throughout the whole workflow and how important it is. And because they're managing that workflow is basically what it sounds like now is your expectation that everybody is going to be a certified project manager or taking classes and all that kind of stuff. But what is your expectation around what level of project management are going to perform?
[00:17:42.260] - Amanda
Sure. I have only two people on my team who've ever gone through certified project management process, and it was great to learn all of it. But for what we need and the level that we're doing, it's too robust of going through that for every version of it. So we just dove in and said, how do we get this? How do we streamline this? And we've come up with our own version of it that is very efficient for people to go through and do. And we call it more of a framework than anything else with what that is. It's very consistent. We have some standing rules that are very important to our process. One is that we meet with our clients on a regular basis. It could be weekly, it could be biweekly, it could be monthly. It doesn't matter. But we have a cadence to that that builds a natural deadlines for both the client and for us. That's an important part of that. And then we also have weekly reporting. Those two elements right there is what has ended up being the foundation of a lot of our project management work. We definitely use software that has all been automated and we are continually tweaking that in order to make sure that we have a very efficient process.
[00:18:59.420] - Amanda
But since we have done that and we've really measured this process, we had between a 40 and 50% increase in the capacity of our team without hiring anybody else by just, okay, wait a second.
[00:19:12.260] - Chris
40% to 50% increase in capacity?
[00:19:16.160] - Amanda
[00:19:16.720] - Chris
[00:19:19.490] - Amanda
Well, for one thing, nobody ever had to ask, what do I do next? And because they were empowered to talk to the client directly, they could move through projects faster. We also by empowering each person to be a project manager themselves, they kind of double up on that budget because you're not having to report to a project manager who's using some of their time to get information from the creative. Well, we cut that part in half. Which meant that we could put more energy into the creative part of the process. And this is what a lot of this comes down to. Creativity does not come from chaos. Creativity comes from freedom. And that is what the framework and the project management has done is I have a team who does not have to worry about admin. That was another reason we had to streamline the project management process. To tell a designer or copywriter that they have to do their own admin. They're like, I'm not going to do that. So we had to make it easy and digestible. And because of that, it was amazing what happened and how much more we were able to start doing.
[00:20:25.270] - Amanda
And it's really neat. My best way to explain this, to kind of map out how this works, is we're really clear with clients when we start to onboard them and work through this process, that in some sense we're a PMO for every one of our clients marketing. Like, we're coming in and setting up the marketing, project management, best practices. So when we're onboarding a client, we're going to customize and tweak a process in order to match what's going to suit their culture. I mean, we're not going to compromise the whole thing. We're going to figure out what are those little fine tuned pieces that work with them and help them understand it. So the first couple of months we're working with a client, we might not do as much deliverable. So a lot of times we're figuring out, what are some of those KPIs? How do we do feedback with each other? What is your workflow? How do we plug into it? But it's amazing what happens after a couple of months of that. And I have never asked a client this, but it's a three to four month mark on any client. They're like, Oh my God, we're doing so much more work.
[00:21:26.290] - Amanda
Because all of a sudden we're not thinking about how to do things, we're just doing it. So it's like riding a bike. You don't think about riding a bike after you've learned it. So that's what that framework has really done, is we can just keep doing more. So then also clients just have us do more.
[00:21:42.410] - Chris
I want to go back to what you said there earlier, because this is profound. Creativity does not come from chaos. It comes from freedom. And I think that's something that can be applied anywhere because you're right, it's like there's chaotic environments and people are bumping into each other and it's just out of control. And you think maybe you get rid of that, but that's not so much going to answer the problem, right? But that freedom and the ability to make different choices and explore, that's really where that creative process kicks in then. Because they've got the room to do that.
[00:22:13.200] - Amanda
Exactly. And the project management structure that they all have to do gives each creative team member the structure that they need. Because as humans, we need structure. So that gives them enough structure to feel confident and that they know what to do next. They also know if something doesn't go right, how to deal with that. Because I want to take a second and define a designer is a problem solver. That is our only job is we solve problems. Some people choose to do it through graphics. More often than not, our stuff is going to be more and more complicated. So my graphic designers can't just do graphic design. They have to understand how it goes into the web and social media and how it interacts. So it's getting more and more complicated. But at the root of all of this is we are taking a client's problem, and we're figuring out how to solve it. And typically it's going to be some type of communication, at least in our world. If your software company, you're doing the same thing, you're solving a problem. But if we take it to that, it means that it's never going to be perfect and that we're going to need to collaborate and that we are going to try things that aren't going to work.
[00:23:20.170] - Amanda
And that has to feel safe, too.
[00:23:24.530] - Chris
I think you mentioned it earlier that's your cocreative process, right?
[00:23:28.650] - Amanda
[00:23:29.230] - Chris
So they're coming with their thoughts and their impressions of their company, but you guys are the hands of being able to really implement that and create that on their behalf. Now, what kind of pushback, if any, have your employees given you when they say, oh, you want me to be creative, and you want me to manage projects and be process oriented and follow up on this paperwork and all this kind of stuff? What kind of resistance have you received there?
[00:24:00.350] - Amanda
Okay, don't think that this is, like, a big kumbaya.
[00:24:04.090] - Chris
Okay, got it.
[00:24:04.920] - Amanda
That's a problem that we addressed. But it's interesting. One of the things that our team has to byproducts of it is they're in charge of their entire schedule because of it. They don't have somebody else saying, you need to do this today. They're defining it, and they have the authority with our clients to say, I can't do that today. I'm booked. Because that's also important because we're good. You want your creative team to be booked and say, but we can get to that tomorrow, so we use a lot of time. Blocking ends up being a big part of our process, especially with regular retainer clients. They know that they have one of my design. They have Caitlin's time every Wednesday. Well, you better believe they are now trained to have every piece of that scope ready for her end of day Tuesday so that she can do her work on Wednesday. And so those natural little pieces help, and our team really appreciates that freedom of like, no, I'm not being micromanaged now. I can decide if that day isn't working for me, okay, let's talk with that client and say, we got to figure this out, or I'm in too many meetings.
[00:25:08.180] - Amanda
And we all know what that meeting for team is like, so we talk about that a lot, but those end up being a big part of it. Now, on the flip side, the biggest conversations I have with my team is about boundaries and holding them because it's so easy to be like, oh, just another five minutes. Oh, just another five minutes, and then it's 09:00 at night. And so we really embrace those boundaries because that boundary can actually add a lot of creativity to that process because it's like, no, I only have 2 hours to do this. How can I do this in 2 hours? And innovation comes from that. So we just embrace that and instead of it making it a bad thing, we go, no, that's exciting. This means I can figure out how to do this better.
[00:25:52.150] - Chris
Yeah. So it sounds like you have established the right amount of freedom and then coupled that with accountability is really what it sounds like, that you figured that ratio out. Right. So you've got these couple of hours.
[00:26:10.160] - Chris
And we're going to meet on this.
[00:26:11.080] - Chris
Regular cadence and then those are just that's driving those timelines and that accountability there. You've got this amount of time to work within this to get this done. And it needs to be creative, it needs to be inspired, it needs to be all of those things that you guys do, but it also needs to be on a time frame. But we've given you room to get that done. So that is very interesting, I think, something that people in software development and non creative type people could also learn from. So excellent. Amanda, is there anything else that you.
[00:26:45.660] - Chris
Like to add that other companies, big.
[00:26:48.200] - Chris
Or small, that could implement from your way of managing creatives in your style of project management?
[00:26:54.150] - Amanda
There sure, there's a couple of takeaways that I think are really important that I don't think I've necessarily pulled in on some of these. I mentioned hiring for values. That is the foundation of all of this. My team, we all believe the same thing. We come from very diverse backgrounds. We're all very different, but we have core beliefs that are in alignment. And I've hired people who don't share my beliefs. And it is really hard because it's an uphill battle, it's a struggle. You each are trying to convince each other to do something different and that it just doesn't work. So that's a foundational piece of being able to get this in place. The second part is management through mentorship. So everything we do is through mentoring. And it's that feedback and making sure that people have space. We have regular mentor meetings where I have regular mentor meetings with every single person on my staff. Just 30 minutes once a month. It's their time with me. They can tell me anything that they want. I have a little framework just to get us started, but it is definitely all about them because there's so many things that happen that won't fit into a staff meeting or fit into a client meeting.
[00:28:02.720] - Amanda
And so it's having space for those unpredictable things that makes a big difference because actually, that's where my biggest innovation comes from. It's that this doesn't feel right. And maybe that's part of it is everything that we've grown through has been focused on how we felt through that process. Does this feel good? No. Okay. Why doesn't it feel good? And we'll just start with observation and awareness of like okay, we'll sit in that for a couple of projects, and let's see if we can improve that. And then innovation is the biggest part of that. Every project we do, and actually every month of every retainer we ever work, we do an after action review, and that is the Army's feedback process, which the reason we do it is it's fast. I've done long, drawn out. Like, we need to do a six page report. That does not work. My team won't do it. They'll do it once and then never do it again. But the after action review is a very quick process. It's six questions that you can answer. It's what worked and what didn't work. And then a kiss. What do you keep, what do you improve?
[00:29:06.750] - Amanda
Where do you start and what do you stop? And by doing that every time and capturing it, we just use spreadsheets. We don't even get super complicated on this. We'll go back in and audit processes, and we'll just look and see how that went, and then we'll go innovate. And it's that innovation piece that also lets my team vent. Like, if something didn't go right, they have a place to go put that problem. And sometimes we'll come back to them and be like, you know, that was just six clients wanted something for me that day. That wasn't really a big deal, that was fine, or no, maybe this is something we're noticing a pattern from that. So that level of collaboration and even cocreative process with my team is what makes this work. Do I know if it's going to be scalable beyond, like, twelve to 15 people? I have no idea. But right now it's working very well. But I have a feeling we can make it work because we'll just keep applying the innovation processes and keep growing through that, and we'll come up with new solutions. But we've planned for things to not go right.
[00:30:08.240] - Amanda
And I think that's the big part of this.
[00:30:10.330] - Chris
And I have a feeling, Amanda, that whatever you will do, as you continue to grow, there's going to be more frameworks around that. I mean, that just seems to be the way that you put things together. And I love it because it's really just principles. It's some loose structure, but it's enough to kind of keep people on the same page. But it's not crushing their spirit either, because you don't want especially with creative.
[00:30:35.540] - Chris
People, because you just do not want.
[00:30:37.380] - Chris
To do that there. Wow. Great conversation, Amanda. This was very good. Now, what's the best way for people to get in touch with you if they want to discuss any of these ideas further, see further about what your company does? Anything like that?
[00:30:51.660] - Amanda
Sure. Our website is.com you're going to play Rock, paper, Scissors? One, two, three, shoot. If you just want to reach out to me directly, it's Amanda At. One, two, three, shoot.com. Happy to talk about it. And nerd out on project management and structure and frameworks. I love it.
[00:31:09.490] - Chris
Yeah, no, you can definitely tell. Well, we appreciate you being on today, Amanda, and we will look forward to talking to you soon.
[00:31:16.910] - Amanda
[00:31:21.690] - Chris
Well, that was another great conversation on great practices, and we want to thank Amanda for joining us today and sharing her insights. So what are some of these great practices that came out of today's episode? Well, I liked the point that Amanda said that her world is not black and white when it comes to project management, but a whole lot of gray. You're managing creative people. You're managing clients that have opinions and feelings about what the deliverable is going to look like, and it's not necessarily going to be black and white. So that's brought some challenges to her that she's been able to work through. One of the ways I thought was good about the way she does that is really not focusing on just project work, but saying this is more about.
[00:32:07.720] - Chris
That long term relationship.
[00:32:09.290] - Chris
She's had clients for over 20 years, and that is unusual in a marketing and creative space like that, but it's because of that focus on not just going from one project to the next, but really being able to build and nurture that relationship over time. What about that idea that she has where everyone on her team is a project manager? So instead of really just having one central person managing all of these individual people, everybody has the ability to talk to the client. They've got the ability to make their own schedule, they've got their ability to make the commitments and being able to even say no, perhaps when no needs to be said to a client, she's empowered them in order to have that. Now she's got frameworks in place. She mentioned that she had two people that are on the team that are certified project managers, but they've customized the project management process and that project management framework for just enough in order to float the boat but not sink the ship because there's just too much that's going on there. So that's given her creative people the autonomy that they need, the independence that they need.
[00:33:29.400] - Chris
And I love what she said, that creativity does not come from chaos, but creativity comes from freedom. And that's what she allows her creative people to do, is have the freedom to be able to see, oh, from the beginning, this decision, this choice in working with this client and this ability to work it through from beginning to end has consequences all the way through. You're not going to be just handing it off to somebody else, but you are actually going to be responsible for that, whatever that deliverable is from start to finish. So it's really kind of an interesting way of turning everybody into a project manager, not overloading them, not overwhelming them, not giving a whole bunch of administrativia to work on, but really just enough to be able to move those projects forward. What was the pushback that she got? Well, she certainly did acknowledge the fact that there was pushback, but that give and take of being able to not be micromanaged, it sounds like they're able to work through that and really being able to establish the boundaries that are needed to work effectively in that relationship with the company and certainly with the clients as well.
[00:34:41.450] - Chris
So really just opening up that freedom and accountability and even some of the other frameworks that she had in place. I like just the I guess you would say the lightness of the after action review. Sometimes we could get guilty of saying.
[00:34:59.170] - Chris
Well, here's a six page lessons learned.
[00:35:01.740] - Chris
And we spent days on this and it's 20 PowerPoint pages or whatever that ends up being. But she keeps it super simple. What worked, what didn't, what do we keep? What do we improve? What do we stop? What do we start? And then she bakes into that the plan for what to do when things don't go right.
[00:35:22.330] - Chris
So again, we certainly do appreciate Amanda.
[00:35:24.630] - Chris
Being on the show today. Picked up some great practices from her when it comes to managing creative people. And we can certainly apply that, whether our companies are large or small, creative, not creative, whatever that is. Some great lessons learned there. So we'd like to thank Amanda for being on today. And always we'll ask if you have a great practice that you'd like to share. Go to thepmoleader.com click on Content Great Practices podcast and fill out the form at the bottom of the screen. Someone will get in touch with you shortly and talk about being a guest on an upcoming episode. And you want to be sure not.
[00:36:02.830] - Chris
To miss an episode by subscribing to.
[00:36:05.480] - Chris
Great Practices on your favorite podcast platform. And if you like what you've heard and you like what you hear, we've had some great guests on and we've got some great guests coming up in the future, be sure to share this with your manager, colleagues, anybody else that you think would benefit.
[00:36:21.390] - Chris
So thanks again for listening this episode and keep putting Great Practices in the practice.