As a Producer I am tasked with ensuring the smooth running of a project as well as managing the ongoing relationship with our clients. It’s my job to make sure the client’s requirements are met within the stream of work, that they’re regularly updated on progress and to help solve any problems that may arise.
At the start of each project, we put together the project plan involving the various disciplines and organise numerous touch points and review cycles with the client. In a perfect world, once this plan is agreed, the bulk of our work would be done. In reality there are roughly six million things that could happen which mean the plan has to change in some way. This could be an essential new requirement that has been identified or forecasted heavy weather causing worried participants to pull out of research workshop at the last minute.
This is where we come in. We bring the smart minds together to work through the issue, solve the problem and have fun along the way.
Getting set up
Getting to my desk in the morning I rev up my laptop and open the multitude of programs and documents that I’ll use throughout the day. I wish a good morning to my desk neighbours, ask if they did anything nice the previous evening and then offer them a glass of water or a cup of green tea as I make my way to the kitchen.
I return with a tea and often either a piece of the cake that one of our distinguished bakers in the office have brought in or a treat they’ve brought back from their week away in Latvia. I tell myself I’ll wait to eat the treat either late morning or early afternoon. By 9:15am it’s gone.
Set an agenda
The next step is to set my priorities for the day. I make a list of the top tasks that absolutely have to be addressed or completed that day. This list will almost certainly grow as new, unexpected things arise, but it’s important to have a main focus to prevent getting distracted on less important tasks.
Speak to a client
Depending on the current stage of a particular project, it’s likely that at some point during the day I will have a call with one or more of my clients. This could be a video conference call to present some new interface designs or simply a status call to update on the progress of in-flight workstreams. By the end of the call I would generally have a fairly long list of tasks to follow up on. Some may be fairly simple questions to check with a Developer but most will require speaking to various departments before getting back to the client.
Deserved leg stretch
This’ll bring me to about 11am. I brew myself another tea and on my way back stop by at a colleague’s desk to ask if they had done anything interesting the previous evening. If I happen to stop by Ian’s desk he’ll probably respond with a web-design based pun which will then remind me of another urgent task so I’ll scurry back to my desk.
Managing my lists
With a number of active projects running on any given day we have to be constantly aware of what needs to be done and when. This often means managing a vast array of ‘To Do’ lists which each Producer has their own method for dealing with. Mine has gradually evolved as I work on larger and more complex projects meaning I have more things to think about and more ‘To Dos’. My current method utilises post it notes, spreadsheets and my trusty memory. From the outside it must seems like chaos as my head darts between various screens, post its and people but it works for me.
If you look around the office, you will see a large portion of people will have their headphones on, listening to their new Ke$ha album or perhaps 50 cent piece, while engrossed in their work. With the nature of our role, being the main point of contact for our clients and internal teams, I am rarely able to get stuck into a single task, but am perpetually in the middle of ten things at once.
A big portion of my day is darting around the office checking in with other teams. A lot of this can usually be done on our internal comms channel (Slack) but often it’s better to speak face to face (and it helps push my daily step count over the necessary 10,000 mark).
At the end of the day it can sometimes be tempting to continue working, finishing off various activities that have been pushed out by more time sensitive matters. When everything seems essential you often have to take a step back and consider whether that last email or cost sheet will still be there in the morning. It will! So, I log my time and make a quick bullet list of priority tasks for the next day while they’re fresh in my head.
I then leave the office, wishing my colleagues a marvellous evening before changing into my superhero outfit and fighting crime until it’s time to go to work again.
If you like the sound of working as a Digital Producer, our Client Partnerships team are currently recruiting. Find out more about vacancies here.