The fifty percent rule that every agency needs to watch like a hawk

 |  By: Steve Johnson In: Agency management

Your car alerts you when you're running low on fuel. Your phone alerts you all day long for any number of reasons.

But if there's one alert that should be etched on your mind, it's the famous 50% rule. Every creative agency should be all over this one. It's one of the most talked-about rituals that just about every agency adopts when they implement their new system. So, what's it all about?

It's astonishingly easy to trigger, yet without it you're at unnecessary risk. Here's how it works.

  • You set an alert to notify you when the costs of a job have reached 50% of the budget.
  • You check the system to tell you if your project is at or above 50% complete.
  • You compare the two and drill down to the issues.

What could be simpler? Yet over and over again we hear from agency managers telling us that this is one of their favourite, their most sacrosanct checks of them all. Because sometimes the results are surprising, which of course is exactly when you need it most.

Part of its power is in its timing. By that stage there's a very substantial amount of the job under your belt, yet there's still time to fix the issues. These might be such things as:

  • Over-servicing is taking place
  • Someone working on the project may need extra support, guidance or training
  • The brief might be being misinterpreted
  • The client may be slowing the job down, perhaps without even realising it

Valuable insights all. The Operations Director at a UK agency told us:

“We use Synergist’s Report Alerts. For example, when estimated costs logged to a job reach 50% we see whether we are half way through completing the job.

"It flags up problems early. So when we get to 100% there aren’t any surprises.”