Pre-production = Done
Production = Done
Post-Production = Review and approval process pending ...
Going back and forth between multiple email chains, having over 5 rounds of feedback, lost files, delays, mess ups, lots of miscommunication, heated arguments, abandoned projects, missed deadlines and lost business opportunities.
Post-production Review and Approval (R&A) process can be a pain in the nether regions, and the difference between producing less than satisfactory work and creating award-winning work.
Miranda Barnard, vice president of content development at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, says,
“If there’s a road block involved with the approvals, it can stall the project to the point it’s no longer relevant. It can also cause a logjam in the distribution process, which can impact the distribution plans for other content in the distribution queue.”
Inefficient review and approval process results in,
- Less time to work on video projects.
- Abandoned projects and less-than-satisfactory work.
- Miscommunication and unnecessary delays in project.
- Taking up fewer video projects (less business = less revenue).
- A negative work environment.
- Team members unable to give their best work.
If you’re going through all this and more, remember you’re not alone. One in five Content Marketing World attendees revealed that "tangled review and approval processes regularly delayed their projects by over a week."
The only solution to this problem is to increase your review and approval process efficiency and automate most of it. Your forte is creating and scaling video content with your existing team, not losing your mind and countless precious hours over organization chaos. Build a highly efficient review and workflow process to substantially increase your company's revenue, scale up your video content, and create better videos, faster.
Let’s learn how you can do just that.
1. Avoid project scope creep
Overstock Senior Marketing Manager, Jonathan Burgoyne, says,
"One of the issues we used to run into was when a project … was marked highly important, but would lack proper details. When review time would come, decision makers would have changes that should have been addressed before the creative/project was made.’’
“We have tried to get folks to think through the entire process by using a creative/project brief. Though not perfect, this has helped get things moving in the right direction.”
Before you embark on video post-production process, clearly define project details. Outline the following things.
- What task each team member will work on and when do they need to submit it by.
- How many rounds of feedback can your client give.
- When will you submit the rough, fine, and final cuts to the client for review.
- What is the mode of communication for feedback - email, Skype, all-in-one review and approval platforms like Wipster.
Before you even begin the project, define a step-by-step process for everyone. And once you're done, CC it to everyone in the team; remote employees, stakeholders, and all team members. Address all questions there and then, and make sure everyone’s on the same page. This way, every time a client wants an additional round of review or there’s confusion as to which team member is responsible for a certain task, you can ask them to refer to project details.
2. Receive on-time, actionable, and layered feedback
"What do you think about this scene?"
Vague feedback is one of the main reasons why ‘60% of folks say their projects see five or more rounds of review, and 14% endure 10 or more’. Asking for vague, out-of-context feedback may result in either a lot of irrelevant feedback that slows down your editing process, or an infinite amount of procrastination from your client’s end.
In short, delay in project and losing out on other opportunities.
“Having to redo work because of poor communication is demotivating to the team,” says Overstock’s Jonathan. “And the project typically turns into, ‘Let’s just do what we need to (do) to get so-and-so off our backs’, instead of, ‘Let’s create something amazing.’”
Get layered feedback. When asking client for feedback, ask specific questions that relate to the current stage of the project by creating a comment on the video itself. Once you gain approval on that layer, move on to the next layer.
First layers should consider things like storyline, scene selection, overall pacing and feel, later layers should get more detailed and nit-picky in color of shots, when to cut certain scenes, color of text etc. Don't bring on high-level big thinkers into the later layers, bring them in first so they can approve the thematic/big picture stuff, and leave the editing small details to immediate creative teams who are best to give this feedback.
3. Conduct in-house reviews throughout production lifecycle
Don’t leave review for the final stage and don’t rely on just your stakeholder’s feedback, because that further delays the process. Keep reviewing proofs at every stage and get edits done there and then.
Let your team members and remote employees know stakeholder’s content expectations, goals, and all other significant details that pertain to that project so that they’re on the right track from the start and there are minimal revisions.
4. Invest in a software that automates most of this
From bulky phones in the late 20th century, to emails and collaboration tools, we’ve come a long way. With accelerating technology, businesses no longer have to manually perform organization and management tasks. They can easily automate most of these tasks via a plethora of effective tools.
There’s Slack for collaboration, Buffer and HootSuite for social media scheduling, and Wipster for all of it - video collaboration, publishing, and review and approval.
Businesses investing in management tools are scaling their business at an astonishing speed. Their revenues are increasing, they’re increasing the video output, they’re taking in more stakeholders, getting better ROI on their videos, and generally producing better work.
5. Cut down the number of reviewers
A better review and approval process doesn’t translate into more reviewers. Rather, it’s the opposite. Cut down on the number of reviewers (and video editing+production team members from your end, as well) till only the most important ones are left.
And if you still need to answer to a group of people, make sure you know who really holds all the cards and whose opinion matters the most. Otherwise you’re going to be running around holding multiple rounds of revision and trying to please everyone.
Creating an efficient post-production workflow is no rocket science
With efficiency-boosting tools like Wipster, streamlining your review and approval process is super easy, and saves you tons of time and money. Wipster allows you to,
- Layer feedback so clients don’t give you uninvited advice.
- Receive and respond to feedback with real time annotations for a speedier and shorter review cycle.
- User tracking to further increase R&A efficiency.
- Share video files securely among team members and stakeholders, with you controlling who can view which file.
- Collaborate with team members, remote employees, and clients easily with all media files stored in a centralised space.
In short, it organizes your review and approval system so you’re spending more time creating award-winning videos and scaling up your video content x10, and less time reading email chains and finding required video files.
And that’s the kind of efficiency we’re all looking for, right?