Tips to Design & Optimise your creative workflow
By Jodie Byass
For a moment, think about everything that goes into a creative project, from receiving the brief from the client to brainstorming ideas, creating content artwork, reviews, approvals, and more. Sure, for one or two projects, managing these effectively wouldn't be too challenging.
Now, multiply the number of projects by 10, 20, or even 30, and, suddenly, managing your projects becomes much more complicated. So, it's a good idea to optimise your creative workflow for it to be as efficient as possible, which will not only enable you to complete projects faster but also allow you to be more productive.
But how should you do this? Fortunately, we're here to help, and in this post, we'll show you some tips you can use to design and optimise your creative workflow.
What Is a Creative Review Workflow?
So, what is a creative workflow? Simply put, it's the process you use to create marketing content. Put another way, it's the process where you and your team generate content and new ideas, approve them and launch completed marketing campaigns and projects.
This process typically involves multiple stakeholders, often from different parts of the business as well as many steps where the content is created, reviewed and feedback is collected and collated.
Why You Need a Defined Creative Workflow?
At its core, defining your creative workflow gives you consistency in your processes. In other words, you'll know exactly what should happen and when it should happen during every stage of a project. As such, it makes it much easier to plan projects and keep them on track, get feedback at the right time, and streamline your approvals.
The result is that you'll be able to get projects done quicker and more efficiently which, in turn, eliminates missed deadlines and prevents you from going over budget.
Tips To Design and Optimise Your Workflow
Now that we've looked at what a creative review workflow is and why it's important, let's look at some tips you can use to define and optimise your workflow.
1. Define the Project
The entire creative process starts with defining the project. During this process, you'll clarify the project's objectives by considering what your client wants from the project. Once you know what the client wants, you'll develop a basic plan to achieve them.
Ultimately, this process will give you the clarity you need in respect of the client's goals, budget, and timeline. From here, you'll be able to develop a clear and succinct project scope that will form the foundation for the rest of your project.
2: Use a Creative Brief Template
This could be one of the most valuable strategies you can use to optimise your creative workflow. It's simple, when you use a creative brief template, like admation's online project brief, you don't have to create a new brief for every project which, ultimately, saves you a lot of time and effort.
But it goes further than this, though. By using a creative brief template, you'll also eliminate errors and, more importantly, get all the information you need for the project upfront. This means you can start working on the project faster, reduce revisions and make your creative process more efficient.
3: Define the Project Team and Clarify Responsibilities
Next up, you'll need to define the project team and clarify their responsibilities. In other words, you'll need to delegate the various parts of the project to the right team members. This makes it easy for everyone on the team to know what they're responsible for which, in turn, ensures that your project team has structure.
When you do this and your team has structure, you'll allow your team to collaborate and communicate better while also being more productive.
4: Clarify Project Milestones and Deadlines
When designing your workflow, you must break projects up into smaller milestones and determine exactly when they should be completed. If you don't, there's no way for you to track your progress towards completion, especially on projects that could take some time to complete.
With clear project milestones and deadlines, your team can see which milestones they should complete and by when, which allows them to stay on track.
5: Map the Process
To be most effective, you'll need to map out the entire approval workflow. Doing this has several benefits. For one, it simplifies an often complex process. Just think about it, during the approval process you have defined intake, creation, and approval and review processes, each with its own role players. In addition, you'll also commonly work with legal, compliance, and other teams during the project.
During your workflow, these role players all have a specific task to perform or approval to give and you'll have several rounds of review. So, when you map all these out, everyone knows exactly what's required of them and by when, which then streamlines the entire process. You'll then also benefit because you'll eliminate wasted time, missed deadlines, excessive revisions.
6: Get Sign Off on the Process
Once you've designed your creative review process and mapped it out as described above, it's crucial that everyone on the team signs off on the process. During this stage, you should also emphasize the importance of everyone being on board with the workflow.
This, ultimately, ensures that everyone on the team has the information they need and the map they'll follow during the project. As a result, everyone stays on the same page.
7: Use Creative Workflow Software
Although it's entirely possible to design and map out your creative workflow, there's no reason why technology shouldn't help you make it easier. So, consider using creative workflow software to not only map out your workflow but also track your progress on every project.
Also, because creative workflow software standardises your process and makes it more transparent, your creative projects workflow will:
- remain consistent across different project and different teams
- enable everyone on the team to know exactly what's expected of them and when
- reduce conflicting instructions and excessive revisions.
As a result, you'll save time and money, be more efficient and productive, and keep your clients happy.
The Bottom Line
You can think of your creative workflow as the roadmap your team will follow from the conception of an idea, the creation of artwork, its approval, and the delivery of a completed project. It's, therefore, vital that you design and optimise your workflow to make it as streamlined and efficient as possible.
Hopefully, this post helped illustrate some actionable tips you can use to do this. In turn, you'll be able to save time and money, reduce revisions, increase collaboration, and deliver projects well within deadlines.
To learn more about optimising your workflow or admation's Project and Approval Management Software schedule a discovery session today.