How we achieve a great agency collaboration
1. Make it meaningful
Our first step when collaborating with another digital agency is to clearly define the project goals together. The key word there is ‘together’. Unless we’re aligned in our understanding and objectives, there’s no way the collaboration will work!
Key early discussion will be had to answer:
- What are the project goals?
- What is the budget and timeline?
- What is each agency responsible for delivering?
We always aim to have an initial meeting with all parties, including the client so we can hear directly from them about the project requirements.
2. Get to know each other
It’s crucial for us to get to know the other agency as early on as possible. Introducing the relevant project teams on all sides is a must - and doing it over email doesn’t usually cut it.
We always like to take the time to meet our agency partners, face-to-face when possible. This sets a more personal foundation to build our working relationship on. And it always helps when you can put a face to a name!
3. Make it easy to communicate
Establishing a working routine is so important when it comes to agency collaboration. There might be many factors at play like differing time zones, team availability or working styles that influence the preferences of each agency.
Before the project formally kicks off, we’ll make sure we’ve jointly decided how and when it’s best for us to communicate. Some of the communication tools we might use include:
- A shared Slack channel for quick questions and answers
- Phone calls or emails for more detailed information
- Video calls or in-person meetings as required
- Jira (or similar project management platform) for managing and tracking the progress of tasks
4. Be open to new ideas
This is the difference between a good agency collaboration and a great one. It’s not always easy teaming up with another company, especially when you’re used to doing things your own way with your own team.
We find that the best approach to take is a flexible one. Rather than getting caught up in our potential differences, we embrace the experience, try to learn from the other agency and understand their ways of working.
We’re strong believers that ideas are better when they’re shared and it’s no different when talking about an agency-agency relationship.
5. Play to your strengths
Last but not least, we each stay in our lane with regards to project responsibilities.
There’s no denying that sharing ideas and bouncing off each other's experiences can foster innovation and better ways of doing things.
But in the case of a collaboration between two agencies with similar skill sets and who may be friendly competitors to win projects and clients, it’s equally important to remember that each team has been brought into the project by the client for a reason - their particular expertise that’s relevant to the project at hand.
By focusing on the tasks we’re responsible for delivering, and letting the other agency take the lead on their own tasks, we can avoid blurring the lines of division.
As long as everyone is still communicating openly, this is the best way of ensuring that deadlines don’t run away from us and that the client's needs are being met.