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Understand what an approval workflow solution will and won’t do

Posted by Jodie Byass on Apr 29, 2015

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8Characters-ProductSo you’ve realised there’s a better way to manage your 

marketing approval workflow and you’re considering implementing approval workflow and project management software. With these kinds of decisions, the more informed you are the less likely it’ll be that you’re surprised later on (and not in a good way!).

That’s why it’s important to know what an approval workflow solution will do and what it won’t do.

Understanding features and benefits

One of the great benefits of workflow software is that it provides a central platform for all internal and external stakeholders. That means stakeholders have all documents, briefs, feedback, artwork revisions, approvals and digital assets stored in the one place. No more email trails to trawl through to locate briefs, changes or approvals. No more stressing about approvals or assets getting lost or not knowing what artwork revision you’re currently working on.

An online mark up and compare/revision tools makes feedback more transparent and changes easier to decipher which means you’re going to see a lot less artwork revisions. Automated reminders ensure that approvals go to the right people at the right time, and that no feedback has been missed when your campaign goes to market. Approval and project management software should also have easy to use reporting tools so that staff no longer has to manually create reports for things like work in progress.

Different stakeholders will experience different benefits from using the software

It’s worth noting that marketing will experience the benefits of approval workflow and project management software differently to, say, a person working in a studio/ad agency or legal.

For example, an ad agency will find that the compare and revision tools make it faster and easier to make changes while safe in the knowledge that they’re working on the right artwork version. While, marketing will find that having all feedback on one screen makes it easier to decipher and collate changes as everything is clearly typed and marked up. They’ll also find the approval process less stressful with the tiered approval feature which can be set to suit any workflow. Legal, on the other, will benefit from being able to nominate to view artwork earlier in the approval process and offer feedback to dispense with late changes. The auto reminders mean that legal or compliance won’t get missed in the approval workflow process.

The right will spotlight process inefficiencies

This is a fact. The right approval workflow and project management software will actually highlight any problems that you currently have with your processes. For example, if you implement approval software and discover you’re not sure how to set up your approvals i.e. you’re uncertain as to who should review the artwork first and so on, your approval workflow needs to be reviewed.

Even the right approval workflow software won’t fix workflow inefficiencies

Here’s what you should not expect your approval software to do: fix your approval workflow problems.

An approval workflow software should be an intuitive system that will adapt to your approval workflow. It is not, however, a magician who can wave a wand and fix processes that are not clear or workable outside of the system. It’s important that you know this to prevent disappointment at the role out phase, which means you’re business will be less likely to adopt the software.

Be clear from the start as to what to expect from your approval software so that you don’t miss out on its range of great benefits.

Suggested Reading:

3 reasons to introduce a marketing approval workflow solution

The Benefits of an approval workflow soluton

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Topics: Approval Workflow Solution