This past Friday we hosted a virtual conversation to continue discussions started during our roundtable Getting Clear, Actionable Feedback on Creative Work at this year’s IHAF Annual Conference. We were joined by four creative leaders from both large and enterprise-level companies — all serving on their in-house creative and marketing teams.
It was also a good mix of industries, ranging from construction and financial to marketing services and advertising. But even at such different companies with different focuses, creative teams struggle with getting clear, actionable feedback during the approval process. As we talked, we heard some themes resonating from another recent roundtable discussion, so we won’t go into details on those.
However, there was one challenge that really seemed to hit home with the group that wasn’t as prominent of a talking point during previous roundtables; managing voices during feedback.
Managing Multiple Voices During Feedback
In-house teams of all sizes have repeatedly indicated that one of their biggest challenges is feedback management, but what about trying to combine that feedback into an understandable, single voice. With multiple reviewers all trying to give their feedback and suggest revisions, your quality, creative work can slowly go from sensational to senseless.
And imagine how that issue compounds when it’s managed and filtered through multiple channels like email and spread sheets. It’s a cumbersome process. Not only are you losing quality, you’re losing time. But there are ways to get everyone to get in line — literally. During the discussion, we discovered that some teams leverage project tiers to manage not only intake, but approvals. Projects are given an effort level indicating project size and scalability. Part of the process of applying work to a tier is that feedback rules are established.
Even if you’ve got more than once voice telling you what to do, and even though it might make you feel crazy, at least you can arrange them into a logical line so you can process the right feedback at the appropriate time. Another theme that surfaced is assigning someone to manage all the feedback coming in, especially at companies with high volumes of requesters and reviewers. Doing this allows you to do three things:
- You will develop a personal relationship with those little voices that always tell you what changes to make;
- Your designers will spend less time collecting and deciphering feedback and more time producing quality content; and
- You will gain control over who has authorization to determine which feedback should be acted on and which feedback deserves to be pushed back.
If you implement the feedback-manager-method you’ll see the number of projects your team can churn through increase. And you will see your team’s creative contribution go from pixel-pusher to revenue generator.
Try It and Let Us Know
We actually use these same practices here at inMotionNow, but with an automated feedback manager, of course. If you try these methods yourself, or if you have ideas for additional ways to manage multiple voices during feedback, let us know!