Give process a second chance

Try as we might to make it sound compelling and use our most energetic jazz hands, we’re all prone to rolling our eyes at the word ‘process’ and treating it as a box ticking exercise.

At a glance it may seem like something we could glide through without even giving it a second thought. However, there is a deeper purpose to processes beyond moving projects from conception to completion, it can be the backbone of a team and add value far beyond the final output. So what can we say about process?

1. It’s the client experience
Whilst our main objective and final result is very often design led, the process of how we get there is a journey for the client and how they experience that can make a huge impact on the overall project outcome. Delivering eye catching creative can be diminished by a lack of clarity at each stage, whilst being able to support a client effectively through even a simple project can lead to a number of positive outcomes.

2. It’s where consistency meets coherence
Consistency can sometimes imply regularity (otherwise known as dull) but consistency and coherence combined can be the foundation of creativity. A project underpinned by a clearly defined process = everyone knows what do to and what is expected of them. This frees the team to concentrate on solving the problems and creating great design. So as a result, regardless of the project size/scope, your process stands strong, being built on the same principles of the team so you can scale it up or dial it down, and ultimately prove it can deliver every time.

3. It’s a lesson learned
When a project goes sideways, and we all have our campfire stories, it’s very rarely an individual’s fault (controversial to say I know!) but more to do with a breakdown in the process. When the dust has settled and you can bear to talk about it, without finger pointing, you can usually pinpoint the stage where things started to wobble and the exact moment it spiralled, analyse it and begin to fortify it. Your process should be a living, ever evolving part of your agency.

4. It facilitates collaboration
Whilst there are parts of the process that will be carried out by a different expert, it is not as black and white as handing over once your part is done and letting it go. Collaboration is supported by a good process from start to finish encouraging the team to have conversations that are led from a different perspective.

We can certainly see how ‘process’ has gotten a bad rep — when there are too many, when they are too rigid, when they become overbearing, when it is mistaken for productivity… the list goes on.

Perhaps we can take a step back, strip out the things bogging us down about process, remember the good times and give process a second chance, maybe it is just a victim of its own success.


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