Integrating a Client Team into a Digital Project (Best Practices)

February 22, 2020

Austeja Ziemba

Working with clients over the last 10 years has brought many changes to the way we approach digital projects. The truth is that while there is not a one size fits all solution, with the appropriate structure from the agency side paired with enough involvement and buy-in from the client side; digital projects can run pretty smoothly. 

Key Takeaways:

Partial buy-in will lead to derailment. Include everyone in the beginning that has authority to comment, critique or alter any point of the project at any phase. 

Perceptions are more important than progress. Focus communication continually around expectation setting and resetting those expectations with every new project milestone.

Technical talks are seldom irrelevant. Even though the “IT team” might not be developing the website, including technical teams early and often never lead to wasted time, and often lead to uncovering hidden needs.

Tony: We’ve had the fortunate ability to work with hundreds of client teams over the years. During that time, we have continually tried to refine and see kind of what works best. Talk to me a bit about your experience with integrating a client team into a digital project we’re working on. And just, I guess, best practices, or best cases, and how they turn out.

Austeja: Sure. So after the original scope is signed, the client has had plenty of conversations with the sales team, which is great. But once it is signed, we’re supposed to go in, and we’re off to the races. Right? We’re full-on execution mode. So we’ve found that the projects that are the most successful involve the client very early on and the stakeholders on their side as well. So it’s not just the main marketing manager that we’re going to communicate with. It’s also anybody from the IT that’s going to be relevant. Maybe it’s the CEO of the company that wants to be very invested and wants to make sure that he checks off all the line-ed ends and the project meets his expectations or her expectations. In general, the thought is to involve everybody that’s going to be relevant in the beginning, and then throughout the process as well. So the most successful projects set clear expectations and reset those expectations along the way. It’s not like a set-it-and-forget-it. We’re constantly checking in. So, one component is making sure that the team on the client’s side is invested, that they’re involved, and that they’re clear about what’s needed from them. And then, from our side, it’s making sure that we are being transparent into what’s needed from the client at different points in time. So in general, the client’s that we work best with are those that are going to be willing to work together. And not necessarily, like, I’m not talking about babysitting, handholding, anything like that. It’s more so, we don’t want to be somebody that you just paid and then forgot about. We want to make sure that you’re consistently there and we’re able to communicate, so that way the project is always going in the direction that you and we expect it to.

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