“Cameos” in Digital Project Management

May 29, 2020

Austeja Ziemba

Off-camera speaker:  There’s a group at first, but then there’s another person who comes in later, who’s like, “Hey, did you try this, or did you…”

Austeja:  Yeah, the, what do we call that guy, or that girl, whatever it is?

Tony: The weed?

Austeja: The surprise guest at the party, always shows up…

Tony: The cameo appearance.  We should start the talk…we should start labeling things, almost these situational ideas of like, how projects run, and in one it runs perfect.  We call that something.  But then in another, we go, “Oh, there’s these people that keep popping out.”  We call like, “Well, those are the cameos.”  So we can almost like, for them, it’d be like, “Hey, in this situation, there’s all these cameos.  Like, is this going to be you guys?” 

Off camera speaker:  Yeah, and that would be something we don’t want.

Tony:  Yeah.

Austeja: And I always was like to believe in the good in people and the good in clients, and just in general.  That there’s a positive spin to things.  It’s just, that one’s hard to justify, right?  We do so much, we put so much effort in, in the beginning, to make sure that every person is accounted for on the client’s side, that we’ve read everybody’s minds as best we could.  We’ve interviewed everybody.  We’ve asked all the right questions.  But every once in a while, someone does pop up, and it’s like, “Hey!”

Tony:  Well, I know.  And that’s what, I think it comes from almost what they’re accustomed to, and I think in their own businesses or lives, like, they haven’t maybe thought too deeply or haven’t run projects, right, whatever you call it, in that same fashion.  But yeah, it’s because it derails everything.  And if it doesn’t derail anything, then you’re almost acting sub-optimally, right?  Because that person comes in and wants a change, then you go, “Well, okay.”  Like we either need to just ad hoc and decide how we can get this done quick, or we need to figure out how to integrate everything back.  And nobody wants to go backwards, right?  Because then they go, “Well that’s going to cost more!  That’s going to take more time!”  It’s like, well, what do you want us to do?

Austeja: I think the best bit of advice I would give from somebody internally in an agency to somebody on the client’s side would be, if there’s any IT guy that is outspoken that you know will be involved at some point, or if there’s a marketing manager/director you haven’t accounted for that you think will, you have a gut reaction that they might need to be in there, but you’re not involving them in the beginning because you feel like you’re going to save their time.  Know that most likely, you are not.  So it’s easier to move everybody in the beginning. 

Tony:  Yeah.

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