Developing Process Through Client Work

Progress on agency process enhancements can feel like an uphill battle when it seems like every moment of the day is consumed by client work and meetings.

We say, "if only there were more hours in the day." We work late. We try to shift the team's schedule to make time. It's taxing on ourselves and the team, but we keep trying anyway.

After going down a similar route one too many times, I've learned that having this kind of time is a luxury, and the chances are that if the core team has that much of it, the agency is likely on the wrong path.

So, what do we do? Never evolve our process?

There's a lot to gain through controlled experiments rather than trying to create time for the team to go into a corner and design the "perfect" process.

During my time leading the Design team, I used this approach to change our process several times. I'd take the time to get feedback from team members to identify the most critical opportunity for change. I'd point the team toward the vision and work with them on the next client project to give it a try. We'd take any learnings to our next client project and so on.

Sometimes, it only took us weeks to have a new, tested process that most folks understood and could now get documented for the rest of the team. Contrast that with months of trying to find time to "work on our process," only to come out on the other side with something that no one has experienced yet and may not deliver any value.

We're currently in the midst of many changes to how we work. I've been keeping this approach top of mind, taking our time to think through solutions but being bold about testing in the real world.

This post originally appeared in Edition No. 087 of my newsletter. Subscribe here.

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