We are often asked, “If we need to develop an Annual Scope of Work, should there be general “buckets” of jobs or should the Annual SOW be at the tactical deliverable level?”
In our experience EVERY client/brand teams needs to present to management a budget for the year. So some type of annual planning is required.
The question then becomes…what level of detail?
We will answer it 2 ways:
- If the Agency/Client agreement is on a project by project basis with POs for every tactic AND Account Management is part of each tactical estimate…. then the Annual Scope of Work is a guide in order to help the brand team get funding for the year. It can then be at the level of detail required by the Brand Team and their Management. Usually vague. Not our recommended process. But it will work assuming that each Individual Estimate is scrutinized for it total hours as well as Account Mix before opening POs.
- If the Agency/Client agreement is ONE Blanket PO for the year, then we highly recommend that the Annual SOW be at the tactical level. It does not need Account hours in each tactic. In Fact, there can be ONE job to capture all the Account Management hours for the year. You could force the Agency to budget their Account hours in each tactic, but do you really believe they know how many Actual hours they put toward each tactic? By providing you a full list of every tactic and the total Non Account hours you can then Benchmark each tactic as well as the Account Mix. The Agency then has ONE PO for the year. But you still need a process of documentation at the tactical job level. Budgets change, new jobs added, jobs removed from the Annual SOW. This is where ARMS and Benchmarks can be a great value. You can have a negotiated Annual SOW/Blanket PO yet have the control and documentation at the individual tactical level.
Caveat: Ultimately it is the decision of the Client as to what the process will be. It may depend of their past experience, level of resources and support, implementation issues, available systems, trust of the Agencies, trust of Marketers, corporate culture.