7 steps to maximize the outcome when buying a project from an agency

By Karin Myhrén

7 steps to maximize the outcome when buying a project from an agency

In many marketing departments it is common to buy projects from external agencies. The projects differ in size, level of importance and strategic relevance. Regardless, there are some actions you can take in order to maximize the outcome of a project that you are buying from an agency. In this post I will give seven steps that I have seen been very successful.

The brief

It may sound obvious that the brief is important to define and lays the foundation for how successful a project will be. Nevertheless, take the time to define what should be delivered and achieved, what the deliverables mean, why it’s important and to set measurable objectives. The objetives shall be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).

Involve the persons that will run the project and the persons that will benefit from the project and make sure all have the same understanding of the goal.

The time plan

The project time plan should include all activities necessary to accomplish the project both on the client and agency side. When deciding the time plan, make sure that all parties involved and/or effected by the project are committed to the time line. Also be realistic when estimating time for the activities and make them visible for the respective team members in their calendars together with their everyday work.


The project team

Put together a mutual project team with key individuals from the client and the agency. Make the team as small as possible and identify one client project manager and one agency project manager. Also, identify who is the main project manager to make the responsibilities clear. Depending on the size of the project it can be either the client project manager, the agency project manager or an additional person.

Decision mandate

The project team will need to have received clearly identified mandate to be able to make the needed decisions and run the project in an effective way. Preferable the CEO or another relevant C-level executive will be part of larger and strategic projects for the project to have full mandate.


The client team members should know how they should prioritise between the project and their ordinary work. It is important that the priority is aligned, supported by top management and clearly communicated in the organisation.


Everybody know that onboarding is important but there is a clear advantage for projects that have been communicated to a broader audience of stakeholders in the company throughout the whole project process. There is also an advantage if the CEO and top management are involved and support the onboarding communication to the wider organisation.

Post launch

Already before starting with the brief, think of the wished for situation post launch. Have the deliverbles and the measurable objectives in mind through the whole project and make sure that will be the base for decisions.

Do you need help planning or running your marketing and communications project?

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Karin Myhrén
Project Manager 2010-2018.
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