A Painless Project Request Process Is Only A Few Clicks Away

One pain point we often hear about when we talk to marketing and creative leaders is the inefficiency of their work request or intake process and the headaches this causes for their team members. Whether they’re serving external or internal clients (or both), getting all of the information they need to create a banner ad, a brochure, a sales deck or an in-store sign is like pulling teeth. Requests are made via email, phone, a scrap of paper left on the creative director’s desk (yes, this really happens) or a combination of all of the above. And these requests are often light on details. What are the dimensions of the banner ad? Where does the logo go on the sign and should it be our color or grayscale logo? What’s the orientation of the brochure? Inevitably, someone on the team will have to track down the request maker with a bullet list of questions that need to be answered before a designer or copywriter can even think about beginning to work. Can’t you just feel everyone’s precious time and energy slipping through the hourglass?

Here at Workgroups DaVinci, we’re committed to taking the pain out of work requests and giving you the tools you need to coach your clients into delivering all of the details necessary to execute their jobs and projects, with no protracted back-and-forth required. Here’s how we make this magic happen.

The requester, who could be an external client or someone from another department within your organization, visits the Workgroups browser-based web portal. Let’s call this person Ned. Ned clicks on the Requests tab, which will show him the current status of his active requests. He then clicks on the New Request button to launch a job request. A job request ticket will pop up and he’ll be able to choose the relevant job type (let’s say it’s a landing page in this case), choose the due date, fill out the Notes field with relevant details and upload any relevant files, including web links.

Once Ned hits submit, this request will be sent to the person on your team (a traffic coordinator, project manager, marketing manager, etc.) who has been designated to vet incoming requests. Let’s call this person Grace. Grace will see this new request on her Workgroups dashboard and be able to review its details. Once she clicks on a particular request, our system will also populate a schedule for that job based on an existing template. When Grace clicks on the job number, she can see that Ned’s requested due date isn’t going to work for her team–the time it would take to complete the project is a week later than his expected due date. At this point, she can choose to reroute the request back to Ned with a polite note asking him to adjust his due date.

Let’s say Ned’s due date is realistic, so Grace is able to bypass that and look at the meat of his request. She sees that he’s looking for a landing page for an email campaign announcing their brand’s new line of boots, but his request is missing some key details. Ned hasn’t attached a completed creative brief, which means key information like target audience for the page, where the page will live on their company website, or whether Grace’s team should use existing product shots or if they’ll need to schedule a photoshoot–all critical details her team requires before they can kick off this job– is missing. In a pre-Workgroups world, Grace would have had to email or call Ned to ask some clarifying questions and wait for him to get back to her. She’d eventually get the info she needed, but it might require sending a junior designer to his office with a hard copy of the creative brief and having that designer fill it in while talking to Ned. Not an ideal way to work.

Now, Grace simply reroutes the request back to him with a single click. She includes a note asking Ned to fill out and upload the completed creative brief template her team has designed for all requests, letting him know where to find a copy on the company drive. The ball is back in Ned’s court. When he checks his Workgroups dashboard again, he’ll see the returned brief in his to-do list and by clicking on the little yellow post-it note, he’ll be able to read Grace’s note and resubmit his request with the relevant attachment completed.

If you’ve ever watched a child struggle to tie his or her shoes, you’ve probably contemplated jumping in to do it for them, but, knowing that doing it themselves, no matter how clumsy it may seem, is the only way they’ll master this skill, you refrain from assisting. It’s a feeling marketing and creative teams are all too familiar with. When you have an unorganized work request process or one that lacks formal, documented steps, it’s very tempting to simply do the work for your clients when their requests are incomplete or missing key information. While this saves time in the short term, it ultimately hurts in the long run. Clients don’t learn how best to communicate their needs, your team assumes the roles of interpreters and babysitters instead of focusing on the creative process and the final product suffers because there was a never a clear, cohesive vision around what it should be.

Automating your work requests with Workgroups provides coachable moments for your clients.With each rerouted request, you’re helping them learn how to effectively collaborate with your team in order to create the kind of project requests and creative briefs that result in amazing work. Internal or external clients who understand and meet expectations, creatives who are equipped with the information they need to execute to their full potential and a work request process that’s streamlined, efficient and scalable? That’s what we call a winning approach.