The true test of a good Producer lies not in the attention to detail during planning. Nor is it in the efficient and effective project management throughout a project’s development. In fact, it’s easy to run a project that’s going well, where everyone knows what they’re doing and there’s enough time and money to do it.

But it’s when things go wrong that the strongest producers emerge. Able to look beyond process, and instead at the bigger picture, they get under the bonnet and help their teams problem solve.

In digital, it helps to have a sound technical understanding, but some of the best producers I’ve worked with wouldn’t consider themselves technically strong. Nevertheless, they can spar with any member of their team to reach the desired solution, offering lateral approaches to people too close to the action to find a better way out themselves.

They know the process and outcomes well enough to know how to save time, as well as make time. They know what, when and how to ask for people’s contribution. And they know when and how to escalate if required.

Some of it can come with experience, but a real instinct for successful problem solving when it truly counts, is indeed a rare commodity. And it’s a commodity I will hire every time.