In our previous post in this three part series, we discussed the importance of asking better questions to obtain stronger information. This second post explores the usefulness of flexible project templates.
Most creative teams use some kind of project management tool, and many of these tools allow for the creation of project templates to get repeatable projects kicked-off quickly. However, as creative teams travel through the constant ebb and flow of the creative process, one factor remains absolute — nothing goes as planned. Content is constantly being altered and different tasks require different attention. In short, no one project is uniform. So why be trapped within rigid template lines with no room for customization?
The answer lies within the second secret to better workflow management – be repeatable not rigid.
Most project workflows – such as those for a banner ad, email blast, brochure, or annual report – are able to be repeated and become a large portion of the design team’s work. With project management software, these project workflows (meaning the tasks, deadlines, and team members associated with the project) can be saved and used again for future projects. By using a method that makes it easy to create consistent project workflows, creative teams can increase productivity. However, within this consistency there is always change. Each new project may demand different specifications, requiring flexibility. The scope of the project may change, tasks and deadlines may need to be added or removed and different reviewers might be added last minute. You need a template that is flexible and easy to manipulate project changes on the fly. Since projects rarely go as planned, templates should have the ability to be repeated, but also flexible to allow room for change.
Click here for a refresh of our first secret about enhancing creative briefs or take a peek at our third secret about using review rules to improve efficiency.
About the Author
Rob Munz is the founder and Chief Product Officer at inMotionNow. A serial entrepreneur, his previous businesses involved graphic design, publishing, internet and marketing. He’s worked directly with creative departments at national brands, agencies, associations, and mid-size businesses for more than 15 years to help them improve their production workflows and complete projects more efficiently.