When every client & project is unique, the backbone of an agency must be a clear process that reliably produces great work.
The workflow we’ve developed over years of executing many different kinds of projects provides an ideal balance of internal & external collaboration, thoughtful discussion, and quality control.
Rather than just formalizing how we produce work, we’ve formalized our process from choosing who to work with, all the way through retrospectively evaluating each project.
The success of a project doesn’t always come down to how good the work is. The way a client and their agency mesh has just as much effect on the outcome of a project. We find that expectation setting is critical to the success of a relationship.
We don’t miss deadlines or go over budget because of how clearly expectations are set with clients, including our expectations of them.
The Storyboarding Meeting is the meeting in which a new project is officially kicked off. We use a combination of Agile Methodology and lessons we’ve learned across many projects to get the most out of these meetings and ensure that all parties involved are fully aligned.
While Storyboarding is meant to inform our project together, it’s not uncommon for clients to get substantial value out of the meeting completely separately from the project.
Execution & Internal Review
After Storyboarding, our team has an internal strategy meeting before any work is started. Collaboration doesn’t just include creative output and feedback; it also means collaborating on what we all learned from Storyboarding. From there, our projects always start with content.
With the story established, it moves to design. With the visual language in place, implementation is completed. Before anything reaches the client, a great deal of internal feedback is given and addressed.
Round One Presentation
No matter how big or small a project is, the first time a client sees the work, they see it in person if at all possible. No phone conference or screenshare can replicate sitting across a table.
Many projects at many agencies have been neutered because a client reviewed work and dictated feedback without proper context. Our job in these meetings is not simply showing a client what we have done; it’s getting a client to put themselves in the shoes of their audience before they consider what we’ve put together.
Feedback & Revisions
The majority of our projects accommodates an initial presentation and two revision rounds. That means we present work, get feedback, make revisions, go through that process a second time, then present the final product.
Following a presentation, there is a strict review window of two workdays. Again, we don’t miss deadlines because we choose to work with clients who are excited to review and give feedback with agility.
Most creative firms perform a round of quality control before they present anything for the first time. Our team, instead, establishes from the get-go that there may be small errors in early presentations, but that it’s in the best interest of the deadline and their budget to save QC for last.
We have three rounds of internal QC before a client is presented with final work, and we encourage them to give it their own QC pass. A client will always see work differently than the agency, which makes their eyes a valuable asset.
Training & Next Steps
For clients engaged in a website project, we produce detailed, custom training documents available online for their use going forward. Unlike some other agencies, we completely hand over the keys to the car after the project has concluded. It’s up to them to invite us back in.
If a project doesn’t require training, we make sure to have a robust discussion about what next steps, if any, are on the horizon. These include thoughts on future creative efforts, phase two of a previous project, and more.
With the project concluded and the client pleased with our work, it’s time to discuss how our team feels about it. After every project, we talk through what we liked, what we didn’t like, and what we can learn to inform decisions going forward.
On a quarterly basis, we sort all of our past projects in order to identify what types have been successful, and which were less successful. That call is made based on culture fit, industries where we thrive, what types of clients bring us joy, and what types of clients we bring the most joy and value to.
Our process works because it hinges on collaboration with the client, extensive discussions, and exhaustive reviews.
If a client is ready for their next project, we start back at the top. If this process makes sense to you, let’s start a conversation.