Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.
Mayday is a Taiwanese rock band with a massive worldwide following. In fact, two concerts promoting their 2012 album, Noah's Ark, were held in the world's largest sports venue, Beijing's National Stadium. Those two performances alone drew 200,000 fans — an astonishing feat for any band, anywhere in the world.
Believe Music manages Mayday — and staged the larger-than-life concerts in Beijing last year. For the music management company, performance — and particularly, passion for performance — is the key to industry success. In fact, the company's success comes from harnessing and managing passion for live music as a program.
The focus on passion as a business driver starts at the top. CEO Yung-Chi Chen believes in the power of live music, and that success comes if you just do what you're good at, and do it properly. Artists and bands that write and perform with passion will naturally attract a dedicated audience large enough to help sustain them in a career.
Believe Music's head manager, Yiu-Yang Chou, has the interesting title of "Creator of Satisfaction." This reflects the company's emphasis on live performance — as long as audiences demand performances, try to satisfy them.
Mr. Chou manages over 100 concerts every year. His managerial level is that of a program manager, rather than a project manager. So when asked how he balances project constraints like scope, time and cost with quality, he says: "You can tell from the sofa bed in the meeting room that our management concepts on time and cost are very weak! But the most important requirement to work in this job [and industry] is enthusiasm. With enthusiasm, you dedicate yourself to creating something that'll make an impact. Time and money will be spent, but something great will be produced."
Across the board at Believe Music, passionate employees define cost control as "surviving" and risk management as "we've still got next time." And although that approach might seem like unsound business sense, the company's faith in passion for performance counts on a major stakeholder — the audience.
Believe Music considers audiences not just passive viewers, but also as appreciative co-producers of the live event. Their enjoyment is a key measurement of the performance's success. It is what Believe Music, and their artists, define as a successful result with each concert (i.e., project). Such word-of-mouth and long-term audience growth cannot be bought overnight, and that is why passion — and satisfaction — is so important in Believe Music's business.
Believe Music team members attribute enthusiasm over any business model for their success. When their specialized experience and passion is combined with a mature concert management system, the power of live performance becomes a money-making enterprise.
How do you apply non-traditional business drivers — such as passion — in your programs and industry? Share your experiences below, and Voices on Project Management will publish the best response as a blog post.
Learn more about the art of project management in the entertainment sector in "Let Us Entertain You," the cover story of the May 2013 issue of PM Network®.
Business drivers can obviously vary depending on the industry, and the creative arts industries, these thrive on passion. I would have thought that the traditional business parameters for project management of time, cost and scope will still have to be applied, if they are to survive commercially. Without the necessary profitability, the passion will have no funding to be expressed! The standard business and commercial models for profitability still applies arts and entertainment industry.
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."