Process is King: How We Drive Success
At Yellow Line, we reach hundreds of thousands of people each week on social media. Over the past few days, I’ve worked on a political ballot initiative, helped a nonprofit prepare for a board meeting, built a plan to drive traffic to an online store, performed a top-down digital strategy review for a national consumer brand, and prepared a report for a university client. Things are always busy, and our client mix is broad.
We also hold our work product to three key standards, saying it should be “objectively good, on brand, and always improving.” These values are clear and adjustable: they can be applied to a single Facebook graphic or to a six-month social media program.
The best way we’ve found to deliver the three standards is by building strong processes. A simple, robust work process removes both laziness and over-indulgence. Sometimes people just have bad days. Maybe they’re tired; maybe they’re just feeling down. A well-constructed process serves as a checklist that can be followed even if a designer isn’t “feeling it” or an ads specialist worked late into the previous night. Processes also guard against the opposite danger: if a client’s brand or mission really connects with someone on our team, the process they’re following on the client’s behalf helps prevent a waste of resources and ensures the team member’s efforts bring strong, swift results.
There are a few pointers that we’ve found call for something to have a process:
• Does the project type often suffer from scope creep?
• Is the desired result or outcome important to meeting business goals?
• Does the project type sometimes require geographically dispersed teams?
• Have we struggled to explain how we execute the project type to clients?
• What’s the frequency with which we find ourselves facing this project type?
We have processes for our marquee product, the social media connection plan; we also have processes for on-site video production, animated video production, digital campaigns of any length and budget, and promotion build-outs. We have processes that dictate how we run our clients’ social media on a day-to-day basis: processes tell us how content should be designed, written, edited, and promoted. We even use processes within our sales efforts to build proposals and pitch decks. We even have an internal process to document individual KPIs, hours logged, monthly revenue, and other business metrics.
Every department at Yellow Line boasts a rich set of proven processes. They’re a crucial part of our success! If you’d like to talk about how we can engineer tested, process-driven results for your brand or cause, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.