Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in purpose-built creative workflow management. Now it’s time to shop! But where to begin? Once you are armed with the 4 pillars of creative workflow ask these 12 questions (6 for you, 6 for your vendors) to pick the best solution for your team.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself
What is our current creative workflow process?
A common mistake is to think that software can guide your process development. While a good vendor will supply you with best practices and resources to help, ultimately the software is here to support your process, not direct it. Make sure your team is ready to discuss your process as you start reaching out to software vendors.
What quantity and type of work do we produce?
Believe it or not, there is software out there advertising to marketing and creative teams that doesn’t support video, HTML email, web pages, or has limits of file sizes and storage. You want to make sure you’re picking a solution that can support the type and volume of work your team does.
How would a creative workflow management software fit into our existing tech stack?
A great marketing and creative tech stack is made up of best-of-breed point solutions that integrate seamlessly with each other. Choose a solution that plays well with your other technologies, like Adobe Creative Cloud, and storage solutions like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
What are our organization’s IT and security requirements for new software purchases?
This is not the fun part of creative workflow management, but it’s essential to understand what the IT team looks for in new software. It will save you a lot of time and heartache when you get to procurement.
What challenges should this software solve?
Get specific here. What exactly is slowing your team down or holding them back? Look for software solutions that solve your problems, not just those with the longest list of features.
What kind of training and support does our team prefer from our vendors?
Does your team need hands-on help, or are they the self-guided types? Customer support defines the success of the software over the long haul. Make sure you’re partnering with vendors that give you the support you need.
6 Questions to Ask Your Vendors
Does your solution support role-based privileges?
This question matters for both pricing and functionality. Suppose your team of 10 supports 50 stakeholders. Do you have to buy 10 seats, or 60? You also want to ensure that stakeholders have defined roles that sets their access appropriately.
Can your software be customized to fit the way my organization functions?
You’ve already defined the best process for your team – make sure anything you invest in can flex to fit your process now, and grow as your process matures. You shouldn’t need to change to fit the solution.
How will my reviewers communicate feedback on proofs?
Feedback is such an important part of the creative workflow that you want to really understand how that feedback is going to be collected to make sure it’s clear, actionable, and auditable.
How are projects managed in your software?
Verify that the software conceptualizes work the same way your team does. The features and the way work is designed to flow through the system should align with your process.
What does implementation look like?
You want to make sure their timeline lines up with yours. Depending on the size and complexity of your team and process, it may take a couple of months to fully onboard, but if they dodge this question or tell you six months or longer, that’s a red flag.
What reporting capabilities are included with our subscription?
The fourth pillar of creative workflow management often gets glossed over in the buying process. Be sure to verify that the software will give you the data you need.
Download the eBook Creative Workflow Management 101: A Comprehensive Guide.
If you’re ready to start streamlining your creative workflow process, request a free trial of inMotion ignite.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual In-House Creative Management Report for 3 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 1,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.