One of the pitfalls of production within a small studio environment is that process can be pushed to the side slightly and workflow can become a bit ‘fluid’. In order to grow and begin tackling bigger projects for bigger clients I believe that embedding a solid production process at the beginning of the journey will help make the transition from ‘small studio’ to ‘creative agency’ quicker and easier. Below are my key recommendations for effective process within a small to mid-size creative studio.
Know your team
Knowing your team is key to achieving success. Working as a team requires trust which is rooted in an understanding of each other’s skills and abilities. The better this understanding the more effective you are at delegating tasks and balancing your involvement with simply leaving folks to get on with it.
As a project lead your job is not to micro manage, your job is to enable the key elements of your team to achieve success and create their best work together. It’s worth bearing in mind that your designer or developer know more than you, so trust and enable them to find the right solution.
When discussing briefs or sharing client feedback, make sure you’ve covered every single bit of relevant information. It may feel overzealous at times but the more information your team have about the clients view or the project goals then the more equipped they will be to produce an effective solution.
Key to protecting yourself and also making sure you deliver what you say you will. Make sure that all phone conversations are followed up with an email, make sure all meetings have a summary email and make sure all client amends are submitted in writing. Can seem panickity but you’ll regret it when something goes wrong and you don’t have written confirmation to back you up.
Make sure you understand the client’s expectations and make sure you communicate clearly what they will be receiving. When a problem or delay is on the horizon, bring it up early and provide effective solutions. The only thing worse than a missed deadline is a deadline missed that the client didn’t know about until the last minute.
Manage your money
You don’t want to end up doing extra work for free because you forgot to keep track of your budget. Plan your budget out and allocate resource meticulously to avoid any awkward conversations or unhappy clients further down the line. Take the time to explain how your billing process works to your client too. Especially if they don’t usually work with creative agencies. It’s not an easy thing to quantify against billing for time rather than deliverables.
Get shit done
Your job is to make sure deadlines are met and deliverables are delivered. Keep this at forefront of your project goals and everything else fits around that. Manage all other noise, ego, variables separately and try to keep them from derailing the main goal.