Week 5: Managing Creative Teams

posted Apr 25, 2012, 6:40 PM by Priya Nayar
We have been concentrating on the role of the producer as creative spark, the person who spawns the idea for the project and helps turn that idea into something that can actually become tangible. Now, it is time to begin looking at some of the more practical aspects of producing, the stuff you need to do in order to begin turning your idea into reality. This week, we're going to discuss some of the management strategies that a producer may need to deploy in order to build your production team, keep them working together toward your goal, and even to deal with clients and funders. After you review the materials for this week, please join the discussion. Think about how the approaches described in the lecture notes applied to our case study. How do they apply to your own work -- professionally and the production you would like to create?
  • Managing Creative Projects

    Adapted by Andy Bobrow from Kit Laybourne’s MediaChops



    Managing creative people is not easy. If you micromanage your team, you run the risk of stifling the very creativity that you hired them for, alienating them, and even outright rebellion or sabotage. Not unheard of. On the other hand, too little direction risks chaos. Your project will take off every which way; the result will be an incoherent mess at the end. We’ve all seen that.

    So, what do you do? How does a producer rein in the strong egos and willfulness that are common characteristics of creative people whilst encouraging their best instincts and fostering creativity and originality? How do you motivate your team while herding them gently in the direction you would like to go? Particularly on larger projects, union rules often determine what you can ask someone to do. Be familiar with them. On smaller productions, the rules are probably less formal. But, whatever the scope of the production or the applicable rules, the challenge remains the same for a producer.

    Managing your team is what we call managing “down,” that is, dealing with people who are, at least theoretically, under your supervision. But there is another group of people who the producer must also manage — sponsors, clients, distributors and investors. They all have expectations and opinions that must be heard, but are not necessarily always useful or constructive. So, the producer must also manage “up,” balancing what is best for the project with the occasionally unreasonable demands of those folks who put up the cold hard cash to get things underway. Unfortunately, this often means going against the “Golden Rule” of production: He who puts up the gold, makes the rules. It ain’t going to be easy.

    Not all creative projects are the same, therefore the collected insights that we present here are necessarily general.  We don’ t pretend to have all the answers, but there are some ways — tested by time and fire — to help you keep things under control and on an even keel. It starts, logically enough, at the beginning — assembling the team.

    Building a Creative Team
    Think of each production as an individual company, in which you have to find the best people in the best positions to do their best work.  Getting these decisions right from the outset can be the difference between a smooth production and an acrimonious, smoldering train wreck.

    Who are your "key" hires?

    ·         Each project will require a unique mix of professionals for the production team.

    ·         The producer is the person who must determine what jobs must be filled, which are the most important, which slots must be filled first, and who should fill these jobs at what cost.

    ·         Review The Production Team. This list follows a fairly typical sequence of production steps and identifies many (but by no means all) of the job categories you may need to consider at each step. Some of these positions may be “outsourced” to consultants or contractors, while you might want others as members of your team. In some cases, important specialists may be provided to you by a funder, client, or sponsor. Ideally, you will sort out which specialists you will need early in the production process, regardless of who pays for them.

    ·         As producer, you may know from the start precisely which key roles most be filled. ON a film or video production, these probably include writer, director, cameraman, editor, lawyer, and production manager/accountant.  On an interactive project, they are defined differently, but most likely include programmers, designers, interactive architects, and writers. Do you already know who you want to fill any of these positions? If so, get a copy of their bio and resume (both).

    ·         Every producer has areas of interest and experience that are strong and which he/she can provide to the team. Know your strengths. But know your limits.

    ·         Your goal is to hire the best available people, given the production's resources and allure. It is generally a good idea to hire people who are "better" at what they do than you, the producer, even if you possess a high level of specific expertise.

    ·         In the long run, the quality, the experience and passion of those with whom you work defines your opportunities for learning more about the producer's craft.

    ·         So, how do you accomplish this difficult task?


    Vetting potential hires

    ·         Acquire and screen reels (if possible, check the production credits)

    ·         Evaluate resumes (you will want to determine what the applicant’s skills are, not just his/her past employment, vis-à-vis the needs of your project)

    ·         Check them out on IMDB and Google (not 100% accurate or always applicable but useful nonetheless)

    ·         Follow up on references (when contacting someone, you should have very specific questions or else you will generally get generic positive blather)

    ·         Find a way to spot passion and commitment. That’s the good stuff. Also, learn to spot a hack, or someone who hypes or over-sells themselves. You don’ t need that.

    ·         Always be mindful that your various hires must come together into a cohesive team. When the team works well together, it almost invariably is apparent in the final product. Primadonnas and egotrippers will inevitably cause problems. Weed them out early.

    Interviewing candidates for a specific job

    • Interview several candidates for a given position if at all possible. This is the only way to get a visceral feeling for who will work out for you and who will not.
    • Before you start interviewing, prepare a detailed job definition so you (and the candidate) are clear about what needs to be done and what skills need to be in place (as opposed to those that can or must be learned on the job).
    • Consider the questions you want to ask before the interview begins. Listen carefully to the answers. Don't look ahead to the next question; you can easily miss responses that may answer (or lead to) subsequent questions.
    • Ask specific questions about projects and/or contributions. The candidate should be able to answer these questions concisely and without hesitation. This is not the time for vague or general answers. That can mean that someone is “polishing” their resume. Experience needn’t be directly applicable to your project; it isn’t whether or not they have worked on the same kind of project in the past, but whether their skill set fits and approach to the job with your needs.
    • Determine the candidate's network of creative contacts. Has he or she worked on high quality projects (whatever the budget)?
    • Don't oversell the fun parts. Accentuate the hard and routine parts of the job.
    • Don’t make an immediate decision. Always sleep on your choice.


    Managing Down

    The Job Definition

    • Every person on a production, no matter what their job, should be provided with a clear description of their responsibilities. The key items in the job description should include who they report to, their general responsibilities, their specific duties, their direct reports (people who answer to them), and the qualifications required for the job. This is often (and best) included in a comprehensive job definition. It is rare for a producer to prepare a detailed job description on small-scale productions or for freelancers hired to do a specific job for a short term. It is unnecessary for technical and crew people — the job definitions for “gaffer” or “sound mixer” are pretty obvious.  Union rules generally specify the responsibilities for crafts.
    • In some cases, it is valuable for you, as producer, to make an informal (but conscious) "contract" with an employee (they say what they want, you say what you want). This becomes a personal deal, a mutual understanding that will be the beginning (we hope) of a long and mutually beneficial working relationship. It can be “formalized” as a deal memo.
    • Determine in advance the terms of evaluation which you will be using in measure performance.
    • If you are working in a larger organization, it may be useful to refer to the Human Resources department or organization chart when you are working out a job definition. The HR departments of larger organizations will probably have performance evaluation protocols that can help you (and the person working for you).
    • Unions and union rules often determine the job definition, particularly in the crafts. If you are working with union personnel, become familiar with those definitions — who can do what, use which piece of gear, etc.


    Giving Assignments (providing "direction" while not "micromanaging")

    ·        Always refer to project goals and conceptual documents ("Mission Statement" and "Vision"). If you don’t have one, be able to define the goals of the project succinctly and with as much precision as possible.

    • Sometimes it is useful to distinguish between what you hold as fixed ("what we know") and where you see need for invention ("what we don't know"). This helps those working for you determine where you are seeking input, and where there is less room to rewrite the rules. (Stay away from the Rumsfeldian categories of “what we know we know” and “what we know we don’t know” and “what we don’t know we don’t know,” etc.)
    • Different people require different amounts of detail. Some people will need and want a lot of specific direction while others prefer only the most basic, essential information. Which kind are you? Which kind is the person reporting to you? Is this a topic you can openly discuss?
    • A team is more effective if everyone knows what the other team members are supposed to be doing. Hence, you may want to make information about the role each team member is playing available to all. Include your own job in this matrix of who does what.


    Managing Up

    Identify Your "Client"

    • The “client” (or “suit”) is the person from whom you get approval (and usually money as well). Outside of the world of advertising and corporate communications, the term "client" is rarely used. Yet, it remains a useful concept and it helps you be clear about your job.
    • A key to the success of any endeavor is to manage expectations — both positive and negative. This must be an ongoing process throughout the duration of the project. Clear communication throughout the process will help to keep expectations and reality in sync, helping to avoid surprises and the unpleasantness that result when things don’t go as expected.
    • Always try to give your client a heads up before important (or rushed) decisions/approvals are needed. This is particularly important if those decisions have financial consequences.
    • Don't sandbag them with a tough call and no time to think about the decision. Things will not necessarily go your way.
    • Your client (or funder) should think of you as a collaborator, as an equal, rather than as a subordinate. It is essential to keep the relationship with your client as “horizontal” as possible to avoid potentially ugly conflicts. While production is not necessarily a democracy, those with control must not feel that they have “divine right.”


    Anticipate Key Milestones

    • You should identify the key "milestones" or "critical points" in the project schedule as early as possible in the production process.
    • Remind your client ("the suits") what kind of response you need each time you ask. For instance, early in a project you might be looking for broad comments on the overall direction of the project, while, at a later stage, you need “sign-off” on a screening or another decision.
    • If you are unclear about what kind of feedback you are asking for, you may get a level of commentary that you are not looking for and that could potentially hinder your work.
    • Try to anticipate the possible outcome(s) if there are scheduling dislocations prior and unanticipated budget items prior to a specific “milestone.”
    • Try hard to get the “sign-offs” you need within the time window anticipated in the budget and/or schedule. If you can't get the attention of your client, try giving them "the negative option plan": if I don't hear from you by xx time, I shall assume that you are approving and we will move ahead. Put this in writing, or at least in an email. If you can, get an electronic “receipt” so that you are not vulnerable to the classic cry, “I never got the email.”< /li>
    • Delays in “sign-offs” will inevitably throw a monkey wrench into the works, wreck the production schedule, and will usually cost money. It may be necessary to warn those who delay approvals of the potential cost that will be incurred.



    • Covering your ass does not mean using “weasel words” or trying to avoid responsibility. Leave that to politicians. CYA is simply good production discipline.
    • If there is any chance (however remote you may think it could be) of a lawsuit or disputes about who approved what and when, then covering your ass can mean avoiding a whole lot of trouble — and expense.
    • Here are two major CYA techniques:
      • If you still send memos the old-fashioned way, always them. Be clear about to whom they have been sent. Try to get a receipt.  Save them in a file. All of them.
      • In our increasingly internet connected world, a lot of people don’t read memos, or even answer the phone, for that matter. Key decisions are communicated via email. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you save all job-related emails in a file where they will not be lost or automatically erased. You may want to send yourself bcc's of emails just to make sure that there is a time-stamped copy in the file. Request a read receipt. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that someone has read the email, only that they have received it.
      • Really, we’re not paranoid here. Someone may indeed be out to get you. So, be prepared.

    Animal Cunning

    • Get to know your “suits” and, especially, your client: Do they have any pet peeves? Anything that really rubs them the wrong way? When will the decision maker be most receptive to your "problems"?
    • Bring up any "problems" in private (so your suits can respond directly to you, not be on the record and not paint themselves into a corner)
    • Share good news quickly. Your clients should be the very first to know. Let them tell others. This is so simple to do and it makes them deeply allied with your production.
    • Do not go over your boss’ (or your clients’) head (without supreme provocation).
    • Always remember to spread credit upward (as well as to those working for you)
    • Give the boss (suit, client) opportunities to make a real creative contribution (that's why they are in this game, after all).
    • Any producer has at least one experience when a client or “suit”< made a really important observation or suggestion that had not and probably would not have occurred to any of the rest of the team. In fact, it is your client’s distance from the daily problems of your production - plus their understanding of the studio, TV network or other funding institution's interests — that makes them a potentially powerful ally. So, work hard to keep them on your side.


    Status Report Technique

    • Meet the "Status Report", a management tool that can easily be set up using the table’s tool within MS word. The following format is one approach. Some larger organizations already have formal status report procedures. Smaller productions may not have a formal process, but the producer should be kept up-to-date with regular reports on the status of the project. Whatever approach or format you employ, you should use this method to keep track of the myriad details of any production.
    • There are three columns on the horizontal axis:
    Milestones/Tasks      Notes      Action /Deadlines

    • and there are three broad categories along the vertical axis:

    -      New Tasks

    -      Continuing Tasks

    -      Completed Task

    • Underline a deadline and underscore or put into bold the name of the person handling each action/responsibility.
    • The value of the Status Report is:

    (a) People reporting to the producer (you) have a framework that encompasses your expectations of their jobs;

    (b) Staffers reporting to you can exhibit initiative in exploring what their job involves (pro-active, not just reactive);

    (c) the format highlights the name of the person responsible - the "neck in noose" (people inevitably scan the document quickly to see what they are responsible for);

     (d) Deadlines are be specified wherever possible; and

     (e) Some people (not everyone, fortunately) find that moving an item into the "completed" category is as good as sex.


    Dealing with Crisis

    Bruises are good teachers

    • Over time, you will be able to anticipate where difficulties will occur with the kinds of projects you are producing.
    • In general, you can expect things to get hairy
      • during shoots (when there is greatest velocity of events)
      • with talent (the prima donna syndrome, and this is as true – or more true -- of non-professionals as professionals),
      • at key milestones or approval points.
    • Whenever you go over budget, there will be a crisis.
    • The likelihood of a crisis rises in direct proportion (or a multiple of) to your distance from the resources that would be needed to prevent it.
    • The severity of a crisis is determined by the cost it imposes on the production – usually in time which quickly translates to money.


    Move quickly

    • It is often enough for the producer simply to identify the problem and label it. Shining a light on a tricky, problematic or difficult issue goes a long way toward getting it solved.
    • Try to find a neutral time and place "to talk" with those involved. It is sometimes, but not always, a good idea to get everyone involved in a dispute into the same room.
    • Try to separate "fact" (this is what I observe) from "interpretation" (this is what it makes me think).
    • Often, especially during shoots, the problem is caused by changes in circumstances, or unanticipated exigencies (the guy with the leaf blower outside the window where you’re shooting the love scene. Here, the producer must become a diplomat (with a handful of cash at the ready).


    Firing people

    • It is not fair to fire someone if you have never given them a specific job definition. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever do it, or won’t do it, or that it is never the right thing to do. After all, life isn’t fair. Just don’t add unnecessarily to the unfairness bank. You already know about karma.
    • Build a record of problems you have encountered.
    • Firing is often "counseling" a person out of job that is wrong for them, and, if it’s wrong for them, it’s wrong for the production.
    • Move quickly once you know that the person needs to go. Don't keep someone around once they know they are leaving, or once you know they need to go.
    • Be as generous as possible with money and benefits.
    • Talk with the person about how they would like you to word the separation. Or propose how you intend to explain this action to others. Often the “perception” is more important to the person being let go than anything else.
    • If you are firing someone "for cause", be fast and maybe not so nice. It is important for everyone on the project to know how you will handle inappropriate behavior and performance.  It also provides some protection from liability that may have been incurred by this behavior, although it is not an “invisible shield” from that liability.
    • Many people working on a production will be freelance, and they understand that their assignments are only temporary. In those cases, it is often enough to simply let them know that their services are no longer required.


    Giving & Taking “Notes”

    Whether given casually or formally, a few words can become powerful levers that change what you are working on. Coming from your boss, such comments can be ironclad directives. (Change your work or else!) Coming from a colleague or a friend, observations can be helpful, inspirational,  distracting, or worse.

    People proffer their opinions about your work quite regularly, without the slightest pause, thoughtful analysis, or consideration of the effect their comments might have. And most of the time this is fine because we all tend to take such casual opinions with that proverbial a grain of salt.

    However in the context of production, words can become hugely powerful when they are directed toward a project that is under construction. This is especially true when the words convey requests or commands that will be difficult to achieve within the often quite limited parameters within which you are (not always reasonably) expected to accomplish great things.

    Without thinking much about it, even so-called professionals will give and receive notes with casualness and imprecision. This can bring unwarranted chaos to the creative process, — a matrix of ideas, personalities, tasks and logistics that is complicated enough to navigate in the best of circumstances. Maybe sloppiness is so prevalent because there is so little consensus about what notes are and how they should work.


    Origins of "notes"                                                             

    The phrase “giving notes” originated in the theater. During a show’s rehearsal period, the director, cast members, or others involved in the production are able to stop the working out of a scene to offer a critique, give suggestions, ask questions or whatever. But, once the audience shows up and the house is filled, it is no longer possible to stop the show to give feedback in the moment. Instead, those who have something to say must jot down observations. When the performance has concluded and the audience has left the theater, the cast will assemble on the stage and the director, producer, choreographer, etc. will go over his or her notes on the performance that just concluded.

    While we don’t know when this tradition began, it has continued because it works: the entire cast and crew are present; comments are timely and specific; actors are expected to integrate suggestions into their performance, but they must do this themselves. There is a shared sense that the entire company can work together in refining and polishing their show. Notes are about making the work better.

    However, the work of producing is very different than the work of performing. In production, notes tend to come at odd moments — often when other things are going on. Notes come from above and from below. In production, notes can have significant implications on schedule and major financial impact. There are more people involved in most media productions than in theatrical ones. The organizational structure is different from one kind of production to another. As a result, the producer can easily find himself or herself in a quagmire of conflicting comments, opinions, expectations, and demands. There is pressure to move quickly and respond fast. However with a little care, the process need not be as anxiety provoking and destructive as it so often is.

    Always announce that a note is a note. If you simply make an observation or suggestion, without identifying it as a serious "note" for consideration, the receiver can miss the significance of your note, or simply not realize that you are giving a note. So be conscious, alert those involved that you are offering a considered, carefully formulated comment intended to make the production better. You’re not just making idle conversation.

    Good notes refer back to the deepest goals of the project. They should be based on an awareness of the intent of the overall enterprise. Good notes anticipate their impact on the production budget and people resources. It is unreasonable to ask for something that simply is not feasible, or not feasible within the schedule or available budget. Yet that often precisely what happens. It is not helpful.

    Notes come in two sizes. There are “line” notes or little notes. These relate to small items, specific scenes or cuts, aspects of a performance, a camera move, lines of copy, graphics, etc. Then, there are “big” notes. These can impact the overall merit of the production. You should flag such big notes and give them at a time and place where they can best be heard and understood. “Big” notes should never be given in a large group or in times of crisis.

    Now, it may be inevitable that a crisis will elicit a “big” note from someone with overall authority or a significant financial interest in the outcome of the production. Even if that is the case, the “note” should not be given in a way that would undermine the authority and position of the producer, director, or other personnel to whom the note might be directed. Find a place off set, or out of the production office, for the meeting. If you can, explain that retooling a production is a little like turning around an oil tanker — it can be done but it will take some time to execute the turn.

    Notes come from two directions. They can come from "below" – that is from someone who reports to you or is on the same level. You should listen and acknowledge these notes, but you don’t necessarily have any responsibility to respond, and certainly not to act on the suggestion. Notes from “above” are an entirely different matter. These notes come from someone who has authority over the production and the expectation that you will not only listen to their comments, but that you have the obligation to consider them and respond, whether or not you feel that the comments have merit.

    When you are being given notes, wherever they may originate, your first job is to hear the notes in an objective way. Don’t get defensive. In most cases, you don’t have to answer notes immediately. Simply say, “Thank you. I will get back to you.” Buy yourself the time you need to carefully consider the note from different perspectives. You may well find that the person offering the note -– usually in a rushed moment and with less analysis and background than you have —has a valid point.


    Clarity of listening and responding

    If you know you are entering a meeting where notes will be given, take a pad, or laptop, or iPad, or whatever you will use to write down (record) what you are told. Listen carefully. Make sure you understand what the note giver means. Ask for clarification if you’re not sure.

    $        As receiver of notes, you should take care to record and/or log them (date, note, from whom)

    $        If there is time, it is preferable that the note giver write out his or her notes. This lets receiver study comments in a neutral moment. But it takes time and discipline and a facility with writing clearly to deliver good notes.

    $         Emailing notes before or after the meeting is good. Notes given remotely by email without any interpersonal communication are not necessarily the best approach, although that is becoming more common, especially now that digital post-production makes it easier to send a link to an online edit.

    $        When you have received notes, inform the person giving them to you that you have or will be considering each of them carefully. Buy yourself a few days to evaluate, if you can.


    Say "yes" as often as possible

    If you want those working with you to continue offering their ideas or entrusting you with more creative responsibility, then you need to respond clearly and within a reasonable time frame. This actually becomes more important the higher you get in the food chain. If those “in the trenches” feel that their ideas are being ignored, they will cease to offer them, and, as they do, will tend to invest less of their own personal creativity into the project. You do not want that to happen. On the other hand, production is not a democratic process by which ideas with the most votes win out — you need to retain overall creative control.

    If you have time and resources, try out the most promising ideas, even if your hunch is that they will not work. Sometimes you are pleasantly surprised, and the note-giver always appreciates that you are taking him or her seriously.

    Give credit for good ideas. People who have ownership of their ideas work harder at them.


    Be clear about saying "no"

    “No” can be a beautiful word even if it is difficult to say, for such a short sound.

    You should be prepared to own the decision that says “no” to some option or request.

    “No” can come from several different rationales: aesthetic; financial; time; experience (already tried it), or that the idea is simply not applicable to the project at hand.


    When does a note become a change order?

    It is not always easy to figure out when you are obliged to follow a note and make the requested change. When in doubt, try the change and, if it clearly doesn’t work,  seek out the person who gave the note to show them that it didn't work (if you are rejecting the note). Of course, if the note does work, it is an even better idea to seek out the note giver to show him/her that it did work, especially if they are in a position to provide financial support in the future.

    If your boss (client, funder) makes the wrong choice and sticks with it even when given clear information about other (right) choices, then you are probably stuck. Even the most creative person can make a bad choice. Suck it up. Move on. Maybe it can be reversed later.

    When possible, create a process for giving notes

    In giving notes or getting notes, it is generally a good idea to create a process to synthesize all the notes into a single message or document. As mentioned above, notes can range from serious concerns to off-handed, incidental comments.  If you and your team are giving notes, discuss them and try to get everyone on same page so you can provide a single set of notes. Similarly, if you are on the receiving end,  try to manage the note-taking process by requesting that they be presented in a unified fashion or at a single meeting, so that they can be addressed at once (and contradictory notes can be discussed and vetted).

    This is particularly important during the post-production phase, when it is relatively simple for several people to view an online cut and provide notes via email.  When this happens, there are often contradictory notes, or people working at cross-purposes. It is essential to resolve those contradictions before proceeding, whether it is via conference call, online meeting, or another “ real-time” interaction. In the privacy of their own thoughts, without direct exposure to other ideas, people tend to stick more stubbornly to their own position. There are times when real face-to-face communication, or some simulacra, is the only way to get things done.

    The Deadlock

    If you are partnering with someone and you have equal voices, then it is good to know in advance how you will handle a terminal deadlock. They way I do it is to say that if logic and passion cannot solve a dispute, the "no" prevails (if it is a go or not go situation). But watch out – this arbitrary way to end an argument can also end the project — and the partnership.

    Moguls will be moguls. Because they control the money, many media executives feel they should control the creative process as well. Their power to approve or disapprove means that they get listened to more attentively than others, and that those who depend on them for financial support are less likely to disagree. This kind of power easily corrupts. That is when the process of giving notes dies. Notes have become demands.

    But in enlightened media production, notes are feedback and suggestion mechanisms, not hard edicts. It is understood that in the case of all “major” notes offered (from above or below), the production’s leadership (usually a producer) will gather input from the appropriate craftspeople, creatives,  and executives. The note is thus attended to in a considered and full way. The production gets better.

    By the way, this is most certainly the case vis-à-vis this course, where you have the sole responsibility of shaping your project however you wish. You should know that in grading, our concern is for thoroughness and rigor, not for what may or may not be the "best" choices.

  • Managing Creative Projects

    Attached Files:
    Here is a link to the PowerPoint presentation and lecture notes that I used for the onsite class. It essentially covers the same ground as the notes, but in bullet point form.
  • Giving & Getting Notes

    Attached Files:
    This is the lecture notes version of the Powerpoint that I used for the onsite class. It covers the same content as the Notes section in the lecture notes but in classic PPT bullet points. Good for review..

Week 5 Assignment: Individual Projects: Researching and Writing Scripts and Treatments

(due week #8 – 22 March )

Based on your Beat Outline, each student should create at least 20 pages of Full Script in standard screenplay format if you are working on a narrative project or develop complete segment Treatments for at least 15 to 20 minutes of documentary material, if you are working on a documentary project.  Other projects should develop a similar chunk of detailed “paper proxy”. It is critical that everyone make these deadlines so that we can begin Budgeting and Scheduling.

Priya Nayar,
Apr 25, 2012, 6:41 PM
Priya Nayar,
Apr 25, 2012, 6:41 PM
Priya Nayar,
Apr 25, 2012, 6:41 PM