Winning Workflow Leads to Winning Work

You’re dedicated to finding the best talent available and advancing your team each and every day to stay ahead of the competition. It’s important that you approach your project and workflow management practices the same way by implementing the tools and evolving the processes that will enable you to meet your operational objectives. Here are some practical workflow features that can give your in-house agency a leg up when it comes to gaining time and ensuring access to the information it needs to be most successful.

Smarter Workflow. Your company is launching a new product and the in-house team is tasked with developing designs for a homepage teaser, three segmented emails, banner ads in multiple sizes, and three versions of a direct mail piece. A freelance writer has been hired to generate headlines for the entire campaign. Once the headlines are approved, picture yourself logging into each job and manually advancing the workflow to the next step.

As an alternative, picture yourself using a project management solution with automated rule-based workflow that supports multi-element campaigns. The best project management systems have campaign management built right in, advancing each deliverable automatically. Tying each element into a dynamic workflow gives you a bird’s-eye view of the progress being made across the entire campaign, plus the ability to drill down on the details.

Smarter Routing. Wouldn’t life be easier if every creative project progressed from step one to step two and so on until it moved out the door? We know from experience that this isn’t reality. Sometimes your design is approved by Marketing and Merchandising and then rejected by Legal, so the whole thing has to go back to Creative. When your adjustments are made and the design is re-submitted into the approval process, perhaps Marketing doesn’t need to see it again—but Merchandising does. Advanced workflow routing capability automatically directs work to the right place based on your policies and processes, keeping projects moving without redundant reviews or manual intervention.

The 5-Second Dashboard. You’ve heard about the five-second rule, right? While there’s plenty of debate as to how it applies to food, there is no question about its application to workflow. Winning workflow dashboards give you and your stakeholders a snapshot of all of the projects in play, digestible within five seconds. Dashboard indicators show project completion percentages, with green/yellow/red indicators highlighting whether projects are on-time, at-risk or behind schedule. Programming project summaries to be emailed each day or displaying them on monitors throughout your department will ensure that the entire in-house agency has visibility to the status of every active job.

Make workflow effectiveness a priority for your team. Not only will it have a positive impact on in-house agency operations, it will boost productivity by giving your most valuable assets (your people) the time and the freedom they need to create. When your systems, processes, and people are all gaining efficiencies together, you’re on the right path to doing some amazing work.

For more about workflow, contact IHAF member MetaCommunications. MetaComm develops collaborative workflow and productivity solutions for marketing, creative and production organizations, helping workgroups worldwide take productivity to the next level.

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