Overcoming Anxiety Working with an Agency Partner

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”
- Charles Kettering

Published at: 10 August, 2023

Embarking on a digital project with an agency partner can be an exciting journey for businesses and organizations. However, it's not uncommon to experience anxiety and frustration during the design process, especially when there is a lack of communication and uncertainty about the project's outcome. In this article, we aim to address these common concerns and provide valuable insights on how to overcome anxiety when working with an agency on a digital project.

The Problem: Radio Silence and Unexpected Outcomes

One of the major challenges faced by businesses working with agency partner is a long period of radio silence, where they feel left in the dark about the progress of their project. This lack of communication leads to anxiety and uncertainty, as expectations are not met and outcomes may not align with the initial vision. Despite having regular weekly meetings, the anxiety persists, and the feeling of being on the defense prevails.

The Cause: Outsourcing Decision Making

The moment you outsource the decision-making process entirely to your agency partner, it's natural to feel anxious. Placing all your hopes in their hands can be daunting, as you may fear that your vision and goals will not be adequately represented. This lack of involvement in the strategic and decision-making process contributes to the growing anxiety.

The Solution: Embrace a Collaborative Approach

To alleviate anxiety and ensure a successful digital project, it's crucial to actively participate in the strategy and decision-making processes. Many design partners follow a weekly reporting approach to keep clients informed, but there are also teams, like ours, that emphasize a more collaborative approach.

As a design/product thinking team, we value the input of our clients throughout the entire project. We take our discovery process seriously, uncovering all the facts, challenges, and opportunities involved. Moreover, we actively involve our clients in the decision-making process, shaping the strategy hand-in-hand together using frameworks such as LDJ (Lightning Decision Jam) and Design Sprint. These frameworks may appear more time-consuming at first, but they offer greater clarity and peace of mind, as the outcome is based on a well-formulated strategy that you helped shape.

Choose a Creative Process that Works for You

Overcoming anxiety when working with an agency partner on a digital project is possible by selecting a team with a creative process that aligns with your needs. If you have limited time and are working on a non-mission-critical project, it may be acceptable to rely on a team that takes care of everything from start to finish. However, if you desire greater involvement and want to shape the product or project together, seek a team that employs a collaborative process.

By actively participating in the strategy and decision-making processes, you will be surprised by the time and energy saved from the drama and anxiety that often arise during digital projects. Remember, finding the right design partner who values your input and offers a collaborative approach can make all the difference in achieving a successful outcome that exceeds your expectations.

Don't let anxiety hinder your digital project's progress. Embrace collaboration, take an active role, and enjoy the journey of creating something remarkable together with your agency partner.


Kelvin Lee

Co-founder, Product Lead & Technologist

Digital product consulting for over a decade. Almost religiously passionate to find simple ways to solve the most complex business problems.

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