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Creative Studio Manager


Here at Portable...

We are a design and technology company that cares about people and the world. We seek out areas of social need and policy failure and make transformational change using design and technology. Our clients and partners are as passionate as we are and are working in government agencies and nonprofit organisations. Our job is to help them define, design and deliver new products, services and ways of working.

There are currently 50+ of us working as researchers, strategists, designers, developers, producers and visionaries towards our mission from our office in Collingwood and working remotely from home.

We’re looking for an experienced studio manager to help staff our projects, forecast upcoming resourcing needs and ensure the smooth transition of new work into the Studio and onto our clients. Reporting to the Head of Production and supported by two Lead Producers, you’ll be a central figure in the business – coordinating placement of work across teams, improving the efficiency of our staffing processes and creating the space for our team to deliver impactful work.

Then there's you...

You’re the person who knows how to keep a creative studio humming and harmonious. Primarily you’re a people person – you’re good at building relationships and engaging people at different levels across the company, including the Business Development team, account managers and technical experts. You know how to listen to varying opinions, read a room well and use your EQ to mediate tricky conversations and trade-offs. You are a natural problem solver who can flex between big picture, strategic thinking and detail-driven, hands-on work.

You could be one if...

You’ve worked in a similar role, in a similar-sized agency (we are 50+ staff). You understand the language and culture of digital and design and the processes involved in forecasting and delivering work of all sizes. You have a strong understanding of production-related tools, including resource management software, and know how to use data to accurately forecast staffing requirements, make recommendations and decisions and confidently back your approach. You’ll cultivate and manage a pool of external contractors to enable scaling in busy periods, working with People & Culture to engage and support them in a consistent manner. You will learn in this role, but you’ll also bring core skills that will position you as an authority in Production.

If you were here this week, you would have:

  • Highlighted a capacity issue emerging in two months and made a recommendation to develop our contractor pool to plug the gap
  • Prepared for and facilitated our weekly resourcing meeting with producers and senior leaders to discuss and resolve project staffing needs
  • Attended a handover of a new project into the Studio, contributing your knowledge of the project, team and timeline
  • Met with our senior Business Development specialist to discuss an upcoming proposal and map out likely implications on the Studio schedule
  • Worked with the Head of Production on strategies for increasing billable productivity
  • Made some updates to our resource management tool to display more accurate information
  • Resolved a resourcing conflict that emerged when a Design Strategist was booked by two producers
  • Ran a series of reports for the Head of Production and wider Studio that outlined the upcoming capacity of the design team and how availability could be best utilised
  • Learned about a new tool we are implementing at our weekly production team meeting

Key Outcomes

In this role, you’ll work to deliver upon the following key outcomes:

  • All resourcing requests requiring support from the Studio are staffed efficiently and effectively with the right people for the job
  • Utilisation of our team is maximised from a quantitative (time & cost) and qualitative (alignment with skillset, areas of development, wellbeing and environmental factors) perspective
  • Resource forecasting actively contributes to and/or drives timing of new business, hiring decisions and short-term scaling to meet demand
  • The Studio is able to scale effectively and efficiently and contractors are engaged with consistent documentation and processes
  • Your resourcing plans are created independently and confidently and are representative of the needs of the project and team members

Qualities of an ideal candidate:

  • 3-5 years experience in a similar role
  • An in-depth knowledge of digital and agency project production, including a broad knowledge of waterfall and agile methodologies
  • Experience working in a similar ‘agency side’ environment with a range of client types and project sizes
  • A vision of the world that aligns with our own, with experience and evidence of this in action


The salary range for this role is between $100,000 - $115,000 per annum plus super, depending on your level of experience. We are committed to building a diverse and equal team and people from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

We are open to structuring this role as part-time (minimum 4 days per week).

How to apply:

To be considered, please send us your resume and a cover letter answering the following questions:

  1. Describe a complex ‘people problem’ you’ve solved. What was it and how did you go about solving it?
  2. Tell us about a difficult conversation or conflict you’ve mediated and resolved. What was it? Who was involved? How did you facilitate the conversation and resolution?
  3. Describe a time you’ve used data to drive a decision.
  4. Tell us about a time you improve the efficiency of a process or way of working.

How to apply

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