Emily is the co-founder and owner of a small boutique agency. They help ecommerce brands launch their products on Amazon.
As the leader of the agency, her biggest challenges were managing the chaos and ensuring the agency was using the right processes so they could scale. Thankfully, the agency has already optimized their service offerings, but they need to be able to handle more.
While they have processes in place, Emily knew the answer was in automating as much of her team’s workflows as much as possible.
This article covers the entire process of putting agency projects on autopilot. We’ll be using Emily’s agency as our real-life example, but anything you learn here can be applied to your organization for maximum scalability benefits.
Let’s dig in!
The secret to creating highly scalable processes
In previous articles, we discussed the secret to creating highly scalable process: project automation. Project automation is a game-changer for highly-repetitive projects, and if you’re running or managing an agency in any capacity, repetition should probably be your middle name.
The best agencies learn how to build highly-scalable, repeatable processes and return a predictable outcome or result over and over again for their clients.
After all — if you can repeat an outcome, you can train someone else to repeatedly achieve that outcome. As long as there’s demand for your brand and your services, you’ll always have a healthy, growing agency.
(Preferably one that avoids the typical agency chaos.)
Common agency processes that you can automate
Emily’s Amazon ecommerce agency certainly has a defined niche, but the processes she automates internally can be applied to many different scenarios in an agency.
Here are a few common processes that can be automated:
- Task creation based on specific project criterion or activity
- Task assignments based on specific project criterion or activity
- Repetitive tasks and projects like client onboarding
You and your team might do the same projects or general tasks over and over again. We see this pretty often in agencies or companies with highly repeatable services.
It could be a creative agency, content marketing agency, web design agency, or some other productized service — like performing an audit or producing a report.
Believe it or not, it doesn’t matter what kind of agency or business you have: You can 100 percent automate just about any thing depending on your team’s goals.
Here’s a few of our favorite step-by-step tutorials:
How to automate task assignments
In this example, we explore what an automated workflow could look like when a client’s project requires design help from a team that handles execution. On top of that, they’re 100 percent remote.
ON THE CLIENT BOARD
Automatically Mirror Tasks to the Remote Team’s Workflow
Let’s say your client needs design help. After creating the design request as a task, set a value for the “Team Assignment” custom field.
Set the conditional to “Team Assignment” is “Creative Team”
Create a Mirror of the task on the Creative Team board in the New Requests list. Any time a new design request is assigned to the Creative Team, it will mirror that task to their workflow!
ON THE CLIENT BOARD
Give the Project Manager Status Updates
Letting other teams know when the task has been received has never been easier! This trigger looks to see if the Custom Field “Status” has been set.
To make this trigger extra-specific, add the condition set to “In Progress.”
Move the task from “Backlog” to “In Progress,” and notify the Project Manager with an in-app notification. That way, your PM will know the second the Creative Team starts working on it. Boom! Status updates are now automatic! 💥
ON THE CREATIVE BOARD
Notify the Remote Team of New Tasks
A new task is created in Backlog with the Custom Field “Team Assignment” set to “Creative Team.”
Add a condition with the Custom Field “Team Assignment” set to “Creative Team.”
For your actions, post a message to the #creative channel in Slack to let everyone know something new has arrived.
Finally, notify the Head of Creative via email. Notifying the remote team is now a piece of cake — no matter what part of the world they’re in.
ON THE CREATIVE BOARD
Give the Remote Team Status Updates
Save time updating custom fields and current status of a task. This automation looks for when a task is moved from “New Requests” to “In Progress.”
Change the “Status” custom field from “Not Started” to “In Progress.” That way, all the team has to do is move the task to “In Progress” and the custom field will automatically update — triggering some of the previous automations as well. Time saved? ✅
Automate managing your boards and tasks
To make it even easier for everyone on the Client Success team, we can also automate the management of boards as tasks are completed, the new client is onboarded, and the assignment wraps up.
You can use automation to keep the board as organized and clean as possible! For example, moving tasks to the “Done” list when all of its sub tasks are marked complete. Under triggers, choose “Marked sub tasks complete.”
Mark the parent task complete.
Move the task to “Done.” This helps you save time updating the board and manually moving individual tasks.
Then, create a new task on the “Sales Board” for a “Post onboarding follow-up.”
Notify the account representative via Slack in the #sales channel. Not only does this automation help you keep the board clean, but also gives other team members a heads up!
How to automate client onboarding
Suppose you’re using a project automation tool to manage and automate your client projects. Internally, we’ve got two teams who work with clients: the Sales team (they’re sourcing and closing deals), and the Client Success team (they’re responsible for onboarding the new client, training them if necessary, and making sure they get the most success out of the engagement.
For automation, we’re using a “Sales board” to manage our Client Deals, and when the deal closes or is won, we’ve got a “Client Operations board” for the Client Success team to manage the brand new client accounts.
We can use Rindle’s Automations and Mirrors to automatically create and assign new tasks the second you need to onboard a new client. Combined with board templates, you’ll also be able to save even more time creating the same types of tasks over and over again.
ON THE SALES BOARD
Start the Onboarding Process When a Deal Closes
To begin, we’re going to automatically add a task to the Client Operations board for the Client Success team once a deal closes on the Sales board. The Sales board is used to manage active deals and acts as a simple CRM, but once it “closes” and the agency wins the new account as a customer, onboarding has to begin!
In this workflow, tasks represent client deals. When any client deal in the “Deal Flow” moves to the “Closed Won” list, it will fire off the onboarding actions.
Set the value of the “Ready for onboarding?” Custom field to Yes
Under actions, on the Client Operations board, create a task in the “To Onboard” list. This enables us to automatically assign the new client to the Client Success team.
ON THE CLIENT OPERATIONS BOARD
Create onboarding tasks for the Client Success team
Now that the new client has landed on the Client Success team’s plate, we can also automatically add the tasks for the team to complete for actual onboarding. Plus, we’ll automatically assign it to the Client Success Manager to notify them of this new task.
Next, we’ll automate the onboarding process for the Client Success Team, by setting the trigger to when a task enters the “To onboard” column on the Client Operations board.
For actions, assign the task to [Client Success Member].
Notify [Client Success Member] via Slack in the #client-success channel.
Set the due date of the task to two weeks from today.
Create the following sub tasks:
- Assign following onboarding tasks to team members
- Send confirmation email with next steps to client
- Create a folder in Google Drive for new client
- Create weekly check-in document for new client
- Add in signed contract to folder in GD
- Schedule internal kick-off meeting
- Schedule onboarding meeting with new client
- Share Google Drive with new client
- Send onboarding email to client; link to relevant docs
- Schedule weekly check-ins with new client
Put your agency projects on autopilot
As you can see, automating processes and projects is truly attainable and an actual time-saver. (And as we all know, more time = more clients = more revenue.)
Hopefully seeing these examples got you thinking of your own internal processes and ways you can automate to make everyone’s lives a lot easier.
Are you looking for a scalable tool to help align your team as well as monitor and support projects and goals? Give Rindle a try today.