Join Lauren Bacon for an in-depth discussion in this video How to structure a collaborative design project, part of Collaborative Design: Process and Efficiency.
- My goal in this course is to give you the tools you need to make your collaborative project hum right along at maximum efficiency. We're going to talk about all the things you need in place in order to wind up on launch day feeling like everything went very smoothly. So let's begin by looking at the importance of structuring expectations for everyone on the team, by which I mean making sure that everyone knows when their involvement is needed, what kind of input you'll be looking for, and the tone that you expect from the team's internal communication.
Here's an outline of how I typically structure a collaborative design project, so you can get a sense of the interplay between the various people on the team. I've identified four different types of collaborative work. First is with the Creative Team, so this includes anything that you do on your own or with the rest of your creative team, but without anyone from the client's side. Second is with your Primary Contact. This is the stuff that typically gets sorted out one-on-one between the creative team and the primary client contact, such as content gathering and any documentation that you need to circulate to the group for feedback.
The third is All Stakeholders, so this includes any points in the project where you want everyone in the room. And fourth is Decision Maker. So at key points, mostly sign-off points, you might liaise directly with the decision maker for approval, rather than going to the whole group. I'll walk you through these types of collaboration in detail shortly, but for now I just want you to notice that there's a lot of flow here. You won't see any points in the process where it stays in the creative team area for long. It's always a little bit of work over here, and then moving over to the full group for discussion.
That being said, I'm not suggesting that you need to have a dozen meetings to complete a project. Some of that full group work can be done via email or phone. And you certainly don't need to follow this template. What I do encourage you to do though is to map out your own template before you begin. So using your own project processes, identify the places where you'll want input from the whole group, approval from the final decision maker, or coordination with your primary point of contact. Once you're clear on this and share the communication structure with the rest of the team, you'll be over your first hurdle, which is ensuring that everyone has clear expectations for the input that they'll be invited to provide.
- Setting expectations
- Assembling your design team
- Gathering input from stakeholders
- Getting effective feedback from non-designers
- Avoiding pitfalls