I used to work as the Project manager and Creative director and noticed that the majority of our projects were losing profitability due to the simple reason – miscommunication. And I mean internal miscommunication within a team and with the client as well. As a result, we had to miss the deadlines several times and clients were unhappy even if it wasn’t totally our fault.
What you can do?
I found some simple ways to resolve the problem and optimized our processes:
1) Unified the briefs standards to make sure they are clear and consistent.
2) Limited the number of project reviews by the client.
3) Defined the client’s response time for review.
4) Accepted only change request made on the reviewed material.
The results were really good – the projects were accomplished in shorter terms, the number of reviews and change requests lowered drastically, and clients satisfaction increased. However, we still had some issues with building up the desired communication with the client. The reviews were sent to us via messenger or emails randomly, and it’s hard not miss something. The way client was sending the change request was not unified – some of them were using photo editors to show what they wanted to change, and some were simply trying to describe, saying they can’t use the editor for any reason. Plus, we still spent lot of time pinging clients for review. So, we had a lot of things to improve in our flow.
“Enjoy being creative. It’s also useful to automate tasks you do often. Automate the non‑creative and more boring parts of your workflow. (By Ian Dean on CreativeBlog.com)
Last year I met a guy from Approval Studio team after Websummit 2017 and after communication, for some time we decided to get together in order to create a software product that will help the creative industry in solving the problems that I and my colleagues were facing almost every project.
We focused on a simple idea – to automate the daily routine, so the designer and marketing people could focus on their actual jobs – create the content, not spend extra time playing mind games trying to understand what they actually need to do. Getting transparent and complete briefs was our primary task for them.
That’s what stands behind the Approval Studio – the software to define and automate the project workflow starting from the kick off till its completion.
Measuring results of workflow improvement
We received great results during the beta phase:
- Almost 80% of projects were completed two times faster than usual.
- The number of rejected variants lowered to 2,3 per project.
In other words, the team now understands the client much better and the client can better explain the needs.
What is next?
Our current task is to understand the requirements and specifics of every sphere – branding and packaging, design, publishing, architecture, etc.
Thus, we have involved the Influencer plan, where the participants would use the Business package for free during the 6 months and would share their experience with us. That will allow us to develop the new features, based on the professional requirements. In numbers, that will allow you to use $2000+ worth software and to influence its further development to make sure it fits you perfectly. You will be able to share your experience in our blogs (if you want to) and get additional media highlights, as well as increase your company profitability with the help of our software. The price for influencers is some 15 minutes of your time per month, to discuss your Approval Studio experience and needs with our Customer Success Manager.