December 4, 2020

Why a Flat Structure Is Good for Project Managers & Clients

At Campaignium, we have a flat structure team of professionals who oversee the life cycle of your digital marketing projects. That cycle begins the moment a marketing proposal is signed and ends with the completion of all advertising campaigns, creative projects and website builds.

Project managers assign resources and team members to client projects and play a vital role in managing the collaboration, coordination and communication that goes on behind the scenes. Our goal is to deliver projects that align with our high standards and exceed client expectations whenever possible.

The real trick is managing without micromanaging. Yes, we make sure deadlines are met and keep everyone in the loop. More importantly, though, we build trust, guide decision making and ensure clients are comfortable with project deliverables. Project managers are facilitators, multitaskers and peacemakers. Like a Swiss Army knife, we come prepared and are well suited for all sorts of challenges.   

 

What is a Flat Organization?

We have a flat organizational structure designed to leverage the strengths of our diverse team and encourage collaboration and innovation. In flat organizations, most employees are on the same level. There aren’t unnecessary barriers between clients, team members and executives (or partners, in Campaignium’s case).

By comparison, a “tall” or more traditional organizational structure will have multiple levels of supervisors or managers between lower-level employees and upper management. That’s what we call a bureaucracy, friends, and it’s a bit of a dirty word. 

 

What Are the Benefits of a Flat Structure?

A flat structure may not be right for every company, but it can be a good fit for smaller, more collaborative organizations like Campaignium. We think it’s played an integral role in our company’s success and helped us build a healthy workplace culture.

A flat organizational structure has many benefits, including more direct communication, lower operational costs and a greater emphasis on trust among team members. That trust is perhaps the most important benefit, as it fosters a work environment where creativity thrives.

Comfortable, valued employees are more likely to collaborate and participate in brainstorm sessions where they feel safe to share their ideas and opinions. Trusted employees are also more motivated and satisfied with their jobs overall. 

According to Forbes, at flat organizations with clearly defined missions, goals and growth plans, “employees find their place, meaning and passion for the work. They feel motivated to pursue leadership and projects to further their career and the company. Retention and positive work culture run high, while costs run low.”

 

How Does a Flat Structure Affect Project Management?

Project management in a flat organization looks a little different than you might expect. Typically, a client has access to just one or two people from an agency—like a salesperson, account manager or project manager. In a flat structure, clients have access to all team members on their account, and communication doesn’t funnel through a single point of contact.

Project managers are on the same level as their fellow team members. Rather than becoming a bottleneck, the project manager becomes an organizational guide, team motivator and problem-solver, clearing the path for all parties to communicate well, address issues and pursue objectives as a team.

 

What Is the Project Manager’s Role If Everyone Is Even?

Campaignium’s project managers are only managers in title—they don’t have any direct reports. Instead, they plan and develop project timelines, allocate resources and work closely with teams to ensure projects stay on budget and within the original scope. They also provide moral support to keep everyone motivated in the face of project delays or unexpected pivots.

In a study on motivation in project management, researchers found that “team motivation can be heavily influenced by the project manager, especially during early stages in the project,” and “project managers have the ability to create a subculture within an overarching organization in which team dynamics can lead to higher levels of motivation than in the encompassing organization.”

Project managers rely heavily on their soft skills like time management, conflict resolution and creative problem-solving. And at Campaignium, we “own” the client relationships. Think of us as “people persons” who bring together a diverse range of skills and experience that translates to unwavering client service.

 

Do Clients Benefit from Campaignium’s Flat Structure?

Absolutely! We’re committed to every client, and our entire philosophy revolves around long-lasting client relationships. Our organizational structure not only benefits our employees, but each and every client.

Here are just a few of the ways clients benefit from the flat model:

  • Cost savings
  • Faster project turnaround
  • Constant flow of communication
  • Direct contact with all team members at all times
  • Flexible communication options (if you’re a “give me just the highlights” kind of client, we can provide pared-down, easy-to-read executive summaries)
  • No chain-of-command constraints or hierarchical obstacles

Campaignium’s project managers look forward to showing you the many upsides of working with an agency that’s embraced a flat structure. They’ll be alongside you every step of the way, but you’ll always have full access to the rest of the team on the off chance they’re busy assisting another client.

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Olivia Young

Olivia Young

Olivia brings Campaignium’s specialists together as a team to help clients reach their digital marketing goals.

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