Agency’s adapted integrated processes at a point where separating interactive, broadcast and traditional no-longer made sense. It was a way for agency’s to begin to coordinate marketing efforts across these platforms and to plan out how you share production resources between all of these efforts.
In reality, the idea of integrated marketing is nothing new (it’s about communicating across platforms), what was new was agency adoption of Integrated Process Methodologies as a theory for managing projects. When you think about it, adopting integrated process methodologies made sense, since creative organizations already worked in similar ways.
Integrated process shares some core philosophies that may sound familiar:
- Self Directed Teams
- Strategic Integration
- Continuous Improvement
- Respect for People
- A Customer Focus
- Management by Fact
- Structured Problem-Solving
Integrated process attempts to seek excellence in project management through the use of integrated processes, behavioral excellence, a team-based culture, informal project management, and a system of training and education.
For many agencies, this made sense, since managing digital projects required the adoption of new ways of working. The plan-do-check-act cycles of integrated process are pretty familiar ways of working; agencies can adapt these cycles to the way they work strategically very easily
Agencies turned to the concept of a incorporating a producer model to handle the complexities of the work. In theory, producers have a similar way of working, and being that hub, running integrated processes for the agency makes sense.
Another concept of integrated process is concurrent engineering, where project management performs steps and processes in parallel, involving multiple departments (and creative media production needs).
Multi-Disciplined Risk Management
A concept not new to project management is the means of identifying and measuring risk and developing selecting, and managing options for handling those risks. Managing campaigns and programs that had the complexity of being an a range of media, means having superior risk management skills, to determine how one problem in one area may cause a ripple effect.
Integrated project management means working with a wide range of skilled specialists, working in self-directed ways. Integrated process is all about empowering the team, giving them day-to-day responsibility for managing themselves and the work they perform, handling resources, and solving problems.
Integrated processes also meant that an organization could work with fewer people, as integrated process is also about having the team (and the producer / project manager) become client focused and client facing, meaning that agencies could downsize large client-facing account teams, as integrated project management made some of the old roles redundant.
Big Picture of all Resources
In agencies where there are lots of projects, with set deliverables that intertwined with each other in order to meet set dates, integrated project management can make a lot of sense.
Overseeing the Larger Story
Integrated project management concentrates on delivering story driven content that gets tied together across media, platforms or other types of marketing. Integrated producers manage the production of content as well as project managing the overall range of projects. When you have control over the content that is being produced, you have the ability to see how the content can be efficiently created, adapted or react to how the large storytelling plays out.
The Creative & Strategic Role
Integrated producers also play a strategic role, as they often will be apart in providing insight into the effectiveness of messaging or content delivery across existing and new platforms. Integrated project management also considers creative first. Creative decisions drive technology and technology is a creative choice. You have one producer able to take ownership of the larger complex program, with the ability to think like a producer, to control costs, risks, and manage change, by being able to redirect resources as needed.
With the producer model, creative firms become focused on supporting creativity, as producer thinking supports the ability of working in alternate ways in order to achieve a creative approach will meet the needs of the greater idea.