By: Martyn Cook on January 7th, 2021
How to Ensure Predictability and Speed in Creative Operations
The idea of “predictable creative operations” might at first glance seem like an oxymoron. After all, creativity is inherently unpredictable, requiring you to come up with fresh new ideas and approaches all the time.
However, while the output of your creative operations might be novel and unexpected, the process itself needs to be as stable and predictable as possible. Your creative team is at its best when it’s free to work quickly and efficiently, not held back by miles of red tape.
There are many benefits of predictability in creative operations, including faster creative production. When everything is running smoothly, the timeline for your creative processes is shorter from start to finish. However, these benefits aren’t always obvious when looking at these processes as a whole.
On the other hand, the lack of predictability in your creative operations processes is both incredibly obvious and highly unpleasant. Some of the common pain points surrounding predictability in creative operations are:
- Inconsistent quality and missed deadlines: Without predictability and structure, every part of your creative operations are slowed down and negatively affected, from brainstorming to review. This causes your creative team to lose time, miss deadlines, and produce work of poor quality just to get it out the door.
- Non-standard processes: If you fail to standardize your business processes, the results tend to devolve into chaos over time. Your business processes need rules that clearly define the scope and methods involved in order to decrease ambiguity and guesswork.
- Lack of data: Like all parts of the organization, your creative team works better when it has access to rich data and cutting-edge insights. Creative operations need a steady inflow of information, as well as outflow and better visibility for the rest of the business. Otherwise, you’ll have no knowledge about how long your processes take to complete or how your creative assets are being generated.
The good news, if you’re facing these problems, is that there are steps you can take to remediate them. In this article, we’ll discuss how to address the issues of predictability and speed in your creative operations.
Key Questions About Your Predictability and Speed
Improving the predictability and speed of your creative operations is a worthy goal. Before you start investigating creative operations solutions right away, however, ask yourself the questions below.
- Do your boss and other executives care about solving these issues? Convincing managers and key stakeholders is essential in order to make the transition and adoption process as smooth as possible.
- What type of work does your team produce? Whether it’s digital ads or copywriting, the output of your team will play a large role in the solution you choose.
- What are the handoffs from your team to other teams? At which point(s) does your team interact or interface with other teams and departments? Should you choose a solution that takes their considerations into account as well?
- How do you currently manage your work processes? How many processes do you have, and who takes responsibility for each one?
Solutions for Predictability and Speed in Creative Operations
Mapping your business processes is an excellent way to improve your creative operations’ predictability and speed. This involves building detailed, intricate diagrams that depict how work flows throughout your organization, as well as outlining the responsible parties for each process and the standards for completion.
Business process mapping is a good task for a third party to perform, in order to get a fresh set of eyes on the problem. Working with a knowledgeable creative operations partner can go a long way in this regard.
Once you’ve described the inner workings of your business processes with flowcharts and templates, you can work on streamlining them. There are a number of productivity tools on the market, many of which leverage automation in order to remove tedious manual tasks from your workflow. Again, it’s a good idea to consult with a creative operations technology partner who can advise you about your unique situation.
The Benefits of Predictability and Speed in Creative Operations
- Lower time to market: In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, rapid time to market (TTM) is a must. With the right creative operations solution, you can get your content out there faster without having to sacrifice quality.
- More on-time deliveries: As a corollary, the right creative operations solution will increase the percentage of work that you deliver on-time to your clients, making them happier and more likely to partner with you in the future.
- More time for creativity: Spending time manually gathering data and assembling reports distracts your creative employees from their true job functions. An automated creative operations solution gives this time back to the team so that they can reinvest it in your core business functionality.
Predictability and speed are two essential qualities for your creative operations. By joining forces with the right technology partner—one who truly understands your business needs and objectives—you can make your creative processes more stable and more efficient.
Want to learn more about how you can build the best creative operations team? Check out our complete guide "Welcome to the Age of Creative Operations".
About Martyn Cook
Martyn Cook, Client Solutions Director, IO Integration is an influential strategist with the demonstrated ability to communicate, present, and influence credibly and effectively at all levels of a customer’s organization from C-Level to end user. Providing a consultative and analytical sales approach I am able to advise on industry trends, opportunities and challenges impacting customers whilst offering a solution.