A peek into our culture, personalities and passions.

A peek into our culture, personalities and passions.

January 19, 2016

Processing the New Year

By Lance Lemen

It’s that time again—the start of a new year and the start of New Year’s resolutions. At this point you’ve made, and maybe even broken, your resolutions. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, only 8% of us will actually keep our resolutions.

We all know this year’s number one goal. (Hint: it sounds a lot like “lose hate”—which is a pretty darn good resolution too.) But, can you guess the second most popular? It’s getting organized. That annoying little resolution is a big part of my job here at UPBrand Collaborative. Welcome to the world of project management, filled with organization, structure and processes.

Herd CatsIf you don’t know much about project management, here’s a quick metaphor. Project management has lovingly been referred to as “herding cats.” While I have never actually herded any cats, I can completely empathize with this idea of complete chaos. (It also reminds me of this hilarious, classic Super Bowl commercial!) UPBrand, our favorite branding and advertising agency, has a steady stream and wide range of projects at all times. Without organization and project management, these projects could fall off of our radar and we would fall off of our clients’ payrolls.

In the project management world, there are lots of methodologies—you might say there are many ways to skin this cat. We’re talking about things like critical chain, agile, waterfall and so many acronyms your head will spin. Many of these methodologies are nicely outlined in an informative article from Toggl. 

With all of those options, what does a strategic branding and advertising agency like UPBrand use? The answer? Our own of course (we’re a bunch of creative cats after all)! We used some of the best agency practices and then modified them to fit our specific needs.

In 2016, one of my professional resolutions (yes, I have them) is to continue to refine our internal project process. Like any other resolution, it’s easy to say but harder to implement. Because in the agency world, busy happens. However, when things are busy is precisely when even the best process will reveal its pitfalls. At UPBrand, our project process is ever-evolving. How we operate needs to be flexible enough to accommodate new types of projects, new clients and new collaborators.

So, how the heck am I going to accomplish this and how are you going to accomplish your resolutions? A couple of tips on keeping your New Year’s resolutions include starting small and also not trying to change everything at once. Take baby steps; we’ve found that little tweaks and refinements are key to keeping the UPBrand engine running smoothly. 

Good luck with your resolutions in 2016! We can all find new ways to improve and get organized, both personally and professionally. Although it will take some work, don’t feel too overwhelmed; it’s worth it. Because, remember, being organized is the cat’s meow. 


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