Account managers are constantly planning
One of the key skills of an agency account manager is to plan.
Planning projects, planning meetings, planning events….. you get the picture.
Many agencies have established processes that account managers can follow when planning.
For example, once a client has approved an agency’s proposal the account handler follows a pre-planned process of activities; open job number, brief development, kick-off meeting, purchase order request, resourcing, timing schedule etc.
This kind of project planning process is often a key element of training included in the agency induction and followed by everyone religiously.
When projects are straightforward and you have experience running several of the same type you become very familiar with what needs to happen at each stage.
Planning complex projects
But what if a project contains multiple layers of complexity or if you’ve never tackled one particular type of project before and are in danger of missing some vital steps?
If this is the case, take a step back and plan.
You can do this in several ways; huddling around a flip chart and capturing all the group’s thoughts, sketching out a skeleton plan on a note pad, making a list of everything you think needs to happen in a Word doc etc.
Or you can use a mind mapping tool such as MindNode to help you.
MindNode – a free mind mapping tool
Mind Node is so easy to use, I’ve become a planaholic :-).
If you try it and like it you may find yourself making excuses to create mind maps for other areas of your life; planning holidays, planning Christmas, planning a wedding, the list goes on.
Here’s a quick demo:
There are two versions of MindNode; the free ‘lite’ version and the ‘pro’ version which costs around $20. The pro version contains extra features such as text formatting, colour and font options as well as a ‘reorganise’ function to help keep the map neater.
But if you’re new to mind mapping and you fancy giving it a go, I’d recommend downloading the free one from itunes and see how much you use it.
If you do try it out, please leave a comment in the box below and let me know what you think.