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Au’Guest’ Blog Post - A week in the life of a Senior Producer

Written by Gavin Mallory, Senior Producer at Cogapp based in Brighton as part of the Wired Sussex guest blog month.

In the digital world the role of ‘Producer’ can potentially mean several different things. In this guest blog post, Gavin, who has worked at Cogapp since 2006, shares a week in his life at work to give us a sneaky peek as to what the title means in a busy international digital media agency.


Controversially, I quite like Mondays. I start the week with project team meetings so everyone working on my projects – UX, design, tech etc – knows what they are doing for the rest of the week, and any dependencies. There is prep needed for each team meeting and usually there are things I need to follow up on, action or arrange with the client afterwards.

It’s important to get the whole team together regularly and to work collaboratively. I know that is a total DMC (Digital Media Cliché), but we really do work collaboratively and encourage cross-disciplinary sharing.

WARNING: Of all the Vines in this post, the following is the most poorly acted.

I am running three live projects at the moment – a website rebuild, a mobile app and a massive new online portal for a major UK cultural institution. I am responsible for every aspect of the project; ultimately coordinating a high quality delivery on time and in budget.

We have a pitch for some new business tomorrow so today is our last chance for a run-through and to think about questions we might be asked. The pitch team practice in front of colleagues who give us some really useful feedback. We make the necessary amends to sharpen up our presentation and focus our minds on really getting under the skin of the client’s brief.

Next I review a set of wireframes and give answers to colleagues who had some questions about the best way to approach a couple of aspects.

I finish the day with a regular check-in call to clients in America. We share progress – me with the build and testing of their site, them with content and internal communications. We also discuss PR around the launch of the site, which is coming up in a few weeks. I then relay this information to the project team.

We are lucky enough to do a lot of business in the US which I love as it’s a chance to travel, and to work with even more world-class institutions. I’ve been to the US three times in the last twelve months and some of our team have just got back from Qatar. There’s usually someone with jetlag floating around the office. Today it’s Josh!


Up early to London to pitch to a well-known charitable organisation who need a new website. Time to hope our run-through yesterday paid off. The client pitch panel includes Senior Directors and they are really engaged with the strategic possibilities a new approach to digital could bring. They have a few tough questions for us, but I think we did ourselves proud. Time will tell!

Once that's done, the tie comes off and it's back down to Brighton. I have a Steering Group to chair. Steering groups are regular project reviews with the Cogapp Directors and are a really useful way to keep them informed with projects, as well as get the benefit of their knowledge and experience.

A big part of my job is about managing relationships and expectations plus everything in between – and of course the final project deliverables. I deal with lots of different kinds of people at different levels within my own and client organisations. Feeling comfortable with this and the responsibility that comes with the management of projects, people and accounts is a key part of a Producer’s role at Cogapp.


We have our weekly Production meeting today. I love this meeting as we all talk about the work we've been doing and share successes, questions and project issues.

It's a great opportunity to catch up with the rest of the team, followed by Production Training - another weekly affair. This week our UX specialist, Chris, is talking to us about techniques for stakeholder interviews, which is handy as a refresher because I'm running some of these next week.

If it sounds like we have quite a lot of meetings, that’s probably right. It’s particularly important for me as a producer to talk to people and to get people together. Meetings vary from one to one’s through to multiple departments so the purpose can be an informal catch up to structured workshops or delivering specific outputs. I review my workplans and track progress against budget on my projects, flagging any issues with the relevant colleague and communicating status on to my clients.

I spend the rest of the day planning a new project that we have just won, and putting together the Project Management documentation. Not terribly glamorous, but I do love a good spreadsheet.


We start the morning with Allocations – this is resource planning for the following week. This week's meeting is particularly action-packed as the studio is really busy with work and we need to make sure we are able to deliver everything promised within the resources we have. The meeting is collaborative – there’s that word again! – and I quite enjoy the bartering!

In the afternoon I have a regular client call which takes some preparation, and also provides me with some actions at the end of it.

There's also a bit of troubleshooting on some development work as we've hit an unexpected problem. I work closely with the tech team to find out what the issue is and then talk it through with our client, with an indication of any impact to the project. 

At 4 o'clock I take a break to have some cake with everyone (it's a Cogapp tradition). Among the sugar buzz there is table football and ping pong. But I’d rather chat to the ladies and catch up on gossip.


I start the day with one to one weekly catch-up meetings with the people I line manage. A key part of my role as a Senior Producer is supporting colleagues.

I also have a weekly catch-up with my boss which is a good opportunity to ask for any advice if I need it. You are expected to work autonomously at Cogapp, especially as a Producer, but you’re never alone either and while managing projects for a large UK gallery, an American museum or global charity is a big responsibility, it’s not carried solely on your shoulders, which is a really nice feeling.

In the afternoon I'm running the back-room of a user testing session. The clients and I are actively observing the sessions, which means we are taking notes and sharing them. This is good fun and offers authentic insight into user behaviour on a new section of their website.

After the four research sessions have finished, I run a workshop with the clients to highlight the key findings from the day and agree the next actions.

As my sense of being very busy and important fades, I can hear the pub calling. The summer evening gets the better of us and as the sun crossed over yardarm we stroll on out for some well deserved beverages to start the weekend.

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