Process.

There is a word that you have heard of and seen before.  How is your workflow process working for you? I guess the first question is – does it even exist?

When you are a one-man operation, it is ok to work “without” a process because you (I would assume) are organized and know what you are doing.  What happens when you start expanding and need to replicate what you do while needing to be elsewhere at the same time?  The only way to get things done is to have a process nailed down and to have your employees follow it.

It never ceases to amaze me when any size company, moves forward with a project, without a signed contract or scope document.  Why?  Do you really think that the client will appreciate the lack of efficiency when no one remembers what exactly it was that was asked for as a deliverable?  Do you really believe that the people working on the account will correctly remember every single detail that was discussed, without documentation?  Do you wholeheartedly believe that everyone that is in place right now, will stay in place to the very end of the project?

Really?

One of the top rules in business is transparency another one is a clear and documented scope of work.  With these two things in place, regardless of what happens, you will have greater confidence that everyone on the team is on the same page and if in doubt, you can refer to something that is on hard-copy and is signed.  No confusion.  Greater efficiency.  

For as long as I have worked in the agency world it has surprised me how many agencies refuse to learn these lessons.  I suppose when people that are good managers leave for other agencies and they were the ones policing the system, things start to shift and change and the process is lost.  But if the whole company subscribes to the method of doing business, there will be more than one person that can ensure that what works is kept intact.

Many balk at the word process because it means that there are rules but the truth is that rules make everyone’s life easier in the long-run, from senior management all the way to the intern.  And who would not want efficiency to be a trickle-down effect from owning and managing a system like that?