Productivity Hour

Sharing the stories behind how different businesses are blueprinting efficiencies in the workplace.

Interview with Dimitri Perera, Marketing Sciences Manager at Copacino + Fujikado


Tell us about your background, and your current role at Copacino + Fujikado.

I am the Marketing Sciences Manager at Copacino + Fujikado, a Seattle-based advertising agency. I work pretty heavily across our digital accounts, developing the digital strategy and working closing on the measurement and analytics for our campaigns.

What’s your experience as a project manager, and introducing different tools and techniques to manage projects on time? How do those tools and techniques carry over into your current role?

I started my career at Copacino + Fujikado as a Project Manager. My background was very PM focused, having worked as a Project Manager at Tune and as a Senior Account Executive at Wunderman Seattle. Over the course of my career, I have worked with a number of different project management tools — Smartsheet, Trello and JIRA. These each had positive and negative aspects to them. I love the scheduling with Smartsheet but balance workload management with JIRA and Trello. Each of these worked for the company, time and team when they were implemented, but there were challenges getting adoption and ensuring teams were on board.

What do you think is unique about an agency setting, in working with productivity tools? Are there any tools that work particularly well for agencies?

Recently, our Project Management team at Copacino + Fujikado implemented Wrike, which is catered to a creative environment and allows for the flexibility needed at a design and advertising agency. My team and I use this pretty heavily to keep track of the various tasks needed to implement and launch our campaigns (tagging, tracking, QA) as well as the various reporting deliverables and check-ins needed.

Agencies are unique. It’s a creative environment and a system tied to a traditional waterfall or agile workflow can be a bit limiting. A tool with flexibility to customize to the agency and organizations preferred way of working and collaborating tends to have the best success.

What software tools do you currently use to collaborate and manage work? Do you have any favorites?

Outside of Wrike, currently we’re using Microsoft Teams. I’ve been really surprised with it. It helps a lot from basic conversations, screen sharing and document collaboration.

What should people be thinking about if they are looking to bring in any new productivity tools or processes?

Identifying the way your company works is integral to finding the best tool. If a tool is going to require a complete change from the way your organization has traditionally worked, the implementation will take some time and buy-in from the various teams and stakeholders will be a lot tougher.

To assist with buy-in, ensure all parties are involved and have a seat at the table. We implemented a new Ad Operations team and process into our digital and social campaigns early last year. Divided into three sessions, it required all stakeholders to sit in a room and list out components of the process, where the handoffs are, where Ad Ops will fit in, what tools would be needed, and what the timeline looks like. Over the course of the year we naturally hit some roadblocks, but we have made tweak and optimizations to the process- clearly spelling out the timelines, building out schedules in our PM system, QA’ing. This has all helped ingraining the new process within the workflow.

What is your physical work environment like? How does that impact your productivity?

We have an open office concept and the respective departments sit together to help foster collaboration. It helps with productivity, as questions can get answered in real time and we’re continually making our work better by constantly communicating. On my desk, I always have a written To-Do list with the week’s task, and a smaller list to focus on things for the day. I’m a little old school with the traditional list, but there’s something satisfying about checking off an item.

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