Several people have been telling me that they need to re-evaluate their staffing mix in light of the current economic situation. Customers are relying more and more on their in-house organizations -- meaning that more work is coming in-house and more complex work, to boot.

More work often translates into adding quick turnaround masters -- production artists who are lightning-fast and super-accurate. More complex work can often mean more senior staff who can provide outstanding, nuanced art direction and more sophisticated designs. Getting the right balance of fresh blood and senior expertise not to mention juggling art direction, graphic design, and production artists can be tricky -- especially since you have to staff for the long-term vision as well as today's workload. That's where your contingency workforce can be a strategic asset.

One real-world concept we see being implemented within more shops is the "A" team -- an experienced team capable of handling complex projects that is dedicated to creating sophisticated campaigns, developing specific efforts (like the corporate brand), or supporting specific customers. This helps focus your best talent on the most challenging work while maintaining the efficiency of your production artists.

One perk of this arrangement is the opportunity to use your A Team to mentor junior artists and to share best practices across the shop. The A Team can be positioned as an aspirational goal for others in the organization, providing excellent career paths for new artists.

For information about how Cella can add value to your business through consulting, coaching, and training, please email [email protected].

Cella Consulting is a management consulting company specializing in optimizing operations at in-house creative organizations. Cella relies on the experience and knowledge of our exceptional team of consultants to create innovative solutions for our clients. Our team has been selected based on a specific expertise and their experience working in agencies and/or in-house creative organizations. Together, our teams offers a full range of functional skills--in strategy, funding models, technology, process, change management, marketing communications, and personnel development--and an remarkable ability to find practical solutions for optimizing operational performance and maximizing ROI.