If ideas are an all-you-can-eat buffet, agencies are the teenager whose eyes are bigger than their stomach.

We pile our plates high, then end up feeling bloated and unable to finish everything.

Some are even like the friend I took to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant, who filled up so much on chips and pasta salad from the buffet he couldn't manage much of the delicious steak they came to carve onto his plate.

With each idea to improve our agency, we have a tendency to load it up with as much as possible — "we'll improve our whole client experience!", "we're going to improve our whole sales process!", "let's redo our whole website!"

This results in feeling bloated, and unable to finish what we put on our plates. Internal improvement projects (which have to be fitted in between client work) feel like they drag on for ages.

That can be demoralising and frustrating.

The trick is portion control.

Last week I wrote how it's important to limit the number of different ideas you try to do at once. It's also important to limit the size of each idea.

Define timeframe constraints. I favour quarterly cycles.

Define the time available to work on internal ideas, and actually schedule it in for people. I've always tended to set Friday afternoons, as it's a nice way to round out the week.

Then, allowing for holidays etc, you know that there's probably 10 half-days of agency time to work on improvement ideas.

That's equivalent to a week.

So, every single idea you're going to work on needs to be portion-sized to a week.

"Could we improve our entire client experience in a week?"

Probably not.

You'd probably end up having the chips part of it, but not having room to get into the meaty stuff where the nutritional value is.

What would be the best next step towards that goal that you could eat in a week? Perhaps you could improve the onboarding experience for new clients?

By constraining the portion sizes of the agency improvement ideas you work on, you'll be able to complete them, getting the maximum value from each — and that will be a big boost to momentum and sense of pride in the agency.

This week, what internal projects do you have cooking? How can you design them to be smaller portions?

Have a great week,