Vaudeville Ventures’ work is structured based on its clients and projects. There are over ten projects taking place at once, so that means that most employees are staffed on a handful of projects at once. There are the interns, strategists, project managers, account managers, and execs, and every project likely has at least one employee from each. There are a few permanent remote employees – including one strategist that has moved to L.A. but is still a virtual member of a few of VV’s projects, which speaks to the impact of technology on businesses today.
There is a movement to start following “the PMO,” a term that I had never heard before starting at Vaudeville Ventures. This means project managers have a defined role – they direct employees and make sure tasks are being completed on time and that deliverables are being delivered. Prior to working here, I did not know that project management would be so formalized, or even that someone’s entire role could be project management. The project managers end up helping other people complete their tasks, communicating with clients, and picking up side projects at Vaudeville, so their work isn’t confined to organization per se. Because my mentor is a project manager, I have been able to pick up on some of the terms and norms in the world of project management. I have learned about how producing SoWs and having regular retros during and after projects can be extremely useful in terms of staying productive, hitting deadlines, and being sure that any mistakes are solved for future projects.
Due to the use of project management procedures (which is a new thing at Vaudeville), the project manager has a decent amount of influence and decision-making power within projects. Although the project managers are all young compared to the rest of employees, every member of the projects rely on them to keep things on track and help procedures at Vaudeville become more streamlined. Decisions relating to scheduling, organization and procedures are likely made by project managers, while other decisions regarding strategy are made by the strategists. The three execs make many decisions regarding strategy as well, but they leave a lot of the organizational work to the project managers. This gives the project managers a decent level of autonomy in their work, and allows the work at Vaudeville to stay on track for the most part, because everyone allows the project managers to do their job and follows their lead.
As far as I can tell, the relationship between leaders and followers is rooted in trust and mutual respect. On one hand, followers trust the leaders because of their impressive track records and success in their past careers, as well as success in their work at Vaudeville Ventures, and on the other hand, the followers also respect leaders because they are open and charismatic. Because the organization is so small, everyone must carry their own weight in their work and rely on others to do their part. The execs rely on the interns, project and account managers and strategists to do their jobs well and in a timely manner, and if they fail to do so, it would be apparent to the client and to the rest of the team at Vaudeville Ventures. The culture, the way the leaders act, as well as the small scale of the organization all contribute to trusting leader/follower relationships at Vaudeville Ventures.