By Bridget Weizer Granger
Whether you’re managing the production of videos, events or interactive media, your mission should be the same: to meet communication objectives in inspiring ways, on time and on budget.
According to Mike Yearling, owner of the Yearling Media Group, great creative and outstanding talent are critical, but behind every success there’s typically something deeper at play: the production process itself. Yearling notes, “Show me a project that aligns the warring siblings of quality, cost and speed, and I’ll bet there is a production process behind it loaded with wisdom.”
Through the years, Yearling has come to define ”wisdom” as the ability to avoid the following seven deadly sins of producing:
- Not asking the right questions up front. “I’m always struck by how many downstream production issues can be avoided by just asking the right questions before the spending begins,” Yearling noted.
- Not squashing creative ambiguities early one. In discussing creative, words are never enough. He advises using images or reviewing past projects as frames of reference.
- Basing your budget or timeline on a Utopian dream. “If you know executives will make a lot of changes, plan for it,” said Yearling. “Nice surprise, if it doesn’t happen!”
- Not getting work in front of key decision makes early. Better to avoid a complete project reversal days before the project is due.
- Spending 80 percent of your budget on the first draft or cut. Rather than build the whole house at once, show rooms along the way.
- Not seeing the forest while gazing at the trees. “Approach your communication initiatives as a comprehensive annual program, and not a bunch of separate projects,” noted Yearling.
- Not learning from your mistakes. Before rushing off to the next project, take a moment to reflect frankly on this one first. “Your next project will love you for it,” he added.