When you’re in our line of work – project managers, you know, the basic Process People – nothing rings truer than a quote from Bob Hoffman, AKA Adcontrarian:
“Creative people make the ads. Everyone else makes the arrangements.”
For those of us who make the arrangements, I see our job as a facilitator, keeper of civility, manager of profitability, efficiency expert, therapist, and seer of All Things That Can Go Wrong. (You’d be amazed at the things I can foresee.)
We shouldn’t be a speed-bump, barrier, wall or unmovable object when it comes to getting great creative done.
However, I do believe everyone should get along and do their part so that everything in an agency can get done. On time. I'm not talking a kumbaya moment here. Just plain old cooperation.
Yes, I understand that everyone’s awe-inspiring creative is the most important thing in the agency. Ever. But I also understand that everyone else’s awe-inspiring creative is just as important.
That’s why people like us – the PMs, traffic, those who keep the work moving along – are important and shouldn't be eyed with contempt when they walk into a room.
We make sure everyone has what they need, projects are kept within budgetary boundaries (we always find a way), and move other work around while bargaining our last favor to squeeze extra help for your project. We’ve also been known to get food and drink to the creative masses as they work through the night to meet a deadline.
We’re also the ones at the end of the line, who make the arrangements (and often pick up and deliver) to get the decks ready for your 10am meeting.
So while the Creative People make the ads, the arrangements must be made by someone – and that someone is most often us – the PMs. The Process People.
Yes, we have our systems, and those seemingly tedious systems do make creatives crazy, but those very systems are the ones that give us everything we need to make sure your stunning project gets done. And everyone else’s projects get done too.
So please, don’t complain the next time we ask you to mark your task complete, or do your timesheet. All that stuff makes it easier for us to help you.
We make the arrangements.