Being the operations (Ops!) lead can be a tough gig, especially in a service provider like an agency or consultancy. You’re often the only one, and you’re figuring it out as you go without other experts to lean on. There aren’t any university courses, training or qualifications for what you do. And the needs of the job keep on changing. It can feel like a marathon – Ops is never ‘done’. And it can feel like firefighting along the whole marathon – just as you get one fire quenched, a new one has broken out.
This package was created for you. If you have wide ranging responsibilities to ensure your agency runs smoothly, the course with a cohort of your peers will give you fresh perspective and ideas to improve efficiency, while the coaching will help you thrive.
Overview – Agency Operations Package
The package is a blend of a group course (16 hours) and individual coaching (8 hours), tailored for the leaders of operations in agencies. The cohort is small – 3 to 6 individuals – to enable everyone to learn from others’ experiences. The support and friendship from the cohort is likely to continue to help you for years to come.
There are two parts to the learning.
The course itself, which goes deep into a range of essential Operations topics. Sessions are collaborative, with emphasis on being able to better anticipate and prepare for the next requirements. We look into all the main areas covered by Ops, with attendees identifying and implementing improvements in each area throughout the course.
The coaching component is of equal weight in helping both the person and their company further improve. Each individual has private 1:1 coaching, tailored to their needs – whether it’s exploring business obstacles, or behaviour patterns that are holding them back.This enables the course’s learnings to be embedded and amplified long after the course has finished.
- 8 x 2h group course sessions – weekly for 2 months.
- Core module – The remit of Ops; what the best version of Ops would look like for your company; where you can get to over the 2 months. Operating models and company strategy. Ops roles and team growth. Confidentiality. How coaching works.
- Tools – Core tools and systems; requirement gathering and assessment; business process analysis and modelling; implementation and change management.
- Resourcing – Time logging and team planning; resilience planning around skills and bottlenecks; scaling successfully; tools and considerations. Fulltime v freelance; onshore v offshore; vendor management. Forecasting and project pipelines; CRMs and sales.
- Spreadsheets and reporting – Improve general spreadsheet skills – Google/MS. Core internal reports and measurement; balanced scorecards and company-wide KPIs; Project profitability; reporting and measurement. Ops KPIs and success measures.
- Communications – Negotiation techniques, critical conversations and best practices. Knowledge management. Communicating Ops to the wider company.
- Finance – rate-card calculations; margins and profit types; estimation techniques; improving profitability; reading balance sheets; top level budget management. Governance, compliance and legal; IT management.
- Projects and processes – Efficient process building and adaptation; client management practices. Quality management. Ops processes and SOPs. Risk management, and how to get beyond firefighting.
- HR and team leading – 1:1s and team management; coaching; performance management and measurement. Recruitment; onboarding; off-boarding; attrition management. Company-wide comms and events. Managing and scaling yourself, your role and your team.
- 8 x 1h personal coaching sessions – fortnightly over 4 months.
- Private 1:1 coaching for each individual.
- Some people may find personal coaching useful to help them work through impostor syndrome, fear of failure, work-life balance, confidence issues, etc
- Others may prefer to use this time to deep-dive company goals or specific business issues eg dealing with difficult stakeholders, critical conversations, etc.
Who’s it for?
- Anyone with ‘Operations’ in their title will likely find it useful – but roles such as ‘digital delivery’ ‘head of production’ etc are welcome to apply, if their remit is focused on the areas above.
- If you’re planning to move into Ops, this will give an excellent foundation – but you will need reasonable access to all the above materials, and the ability to start rolling out changes during the course, to really get most value from it.
- The content – and cohort – is for companies who sell their creative, technical or production skills to clients on a time&material or project-cost basis – generally, agencies or consultancies. It’s not for product-focused companies, who rely on their product for their profits – see the ‘Startups Scaling Package’ instead..
All courses are for 2 hours weekly for 8 weeks. All sessions all happen online, using Google Meet. In-person sessions coming soon – let me know if you’re interested!
Next start date:
- AO2304 – Tuesdays at 4pm UK, starting 25 Apr 2023
- Later course dates to be confirmed; let me know if you have preferences.
The coaching sessions are flexible, happening at a time that best suits the individual and myself – the first session is within a week of the course beginning.
Cost: £2,950. Early bird discounts: bookings before end February get £500 off; bookings by end March get £200 off.
How to book
To book the package, just contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to know more before booking, book a 30 minute slot here and we’ll cover any questions.
My mission is ‘help companies work smarter; help people be better’.
I started in digital delivery and project management back in the 90s; moved to operations direction roles in digital agencies from 2007. More recently, the last 5 years have focused on operations consulting with a wider range of companies, along with business and personal coaching.
The operations consulting roles mean that over the course of a few months engagement, I analyse the operations systems, delivery processes and tools; define and roll out the changes – supported by coaching. Between this experience, and having been operations director / project manager in over a dozen agencies, I have unusually deep and broad practical expertise in this topic, with exposure to a wide range of business environments, tools and challenges – supplemented by academic expertise from my MBA in Technology Management.
In addition to my operations experience, I’m an accredited coach (ICF ACC – the International Coaching Federation’s Associate Certified Coach qualification). I’ve been coaching for five years – I love it as an even more practical (and sometimes transformational) way of helping companies and individuals improve. I typically spend up to half my working time coaching, and half consulting – the two approaches are opposite in many ways, but complement each other beautifully.