The Operating System is an attempt to visualise all the screws and bolts of our ad agency.
Our ad agency (like most other creative agencies) looks like this: a number of different key functions such as account, creation and planning, various support functions such as administration, IT/HR, etc. Culture is important at our agency so that's why it's included.
Visualising all the structures, activities and tools across three levels (organisation, project and micro-level) you'll end up with something like this:
You can also visualise processes in the Operating System. Below is the planning process:
Opposite to what outsiders think, the creative agency is far from a black box. There are loads of mechanisms in place – some created for efficiency, others to optimise creativity (the trick is to achieve both). So getting the full picture of how the pieces fit together is a good start for discussing what to do and not to do when thinking about spending time and resources on new structures, tools, activities or processes.