In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed the marketing and creative operations landscape and how it has become increasingly complex. 

Let’s take one more look back at the first two do’s and don’ts that are important to your success:

1. Create the ability to measure.

2. Know your creative operation’s value proposition.

With these two key components in mind, let’s look at the final two:

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3. Be an expert on your operation’s process. This goes well beyond prioritizing the effort to keep your process workflows up-to-date and accurate, although that is a good start. It means you know where in the process time is spent, which roles and dependencies are involved and the systems and tools that are utilized. You know which steps don’t add value for the specific roles and where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threats exist (SWOT). 

Be a champion for your process. Coach your teams on the process to ensure they understand and can confidently speak to it. If everyone understands the process, they can contribute to the improvements. 

Dedicate resources and set the expectation around continuous process improvement. In truth, process improvement never ends, so ensure time is set aside for process updates. Identify the roles that will lead process improvement efforts for your organization and take measurable goals around those improvements each quarter. Multiple smaller improvements can have big wins for an organization over time and should be measured. 

Connect the dots to your process. Marry process information with your KPIs, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and goals. Use the information when making business cases to highlight where in the process change will be impacted and the Return on Investment (ROI). For example, if you are able to automate steps in your process, highlight the step, the savings from the time on task and any quality improvements such as reducing errors from duplicate, manual data entries or increased employee satisfaction. Celebrate the wins and let your teams know you are invested in making the process better.  

Do Not: 

Let process workflows get outdated. Your process should always be evolving and improving. Understanding your process is key to the decision you make.
Let the process own you. Constantly evaluate the business needs to ensure your processes are accommodating and supporting each one, and be prepared to adjust accordingly. 

Identify Systems/Tooling Opportunities. Technology tooling is incredibly powerful for any operation. Especially in marketing and creative spaces where we should be looking to systems and technology tools for efficiencies within our teams. As a strategic operations leader, be prepared to identify systems and technology tooling opportunities by understanding the organization's needs. 

Look to your process to identify where there is opportunity for improvement or a current gap in tooling exists and to support requirements gathering.

Use your KPIs to capture the ROI from implementing technology tooling. While in the process of evaluating tooling solutions, you will need the ability to identify if the ROI will be favorable over the cost of specific capabilities. Knowing the specific steps, time on task and roles in your process will allow you to determine the impact of opportunities.

Gather systems user stories from your team. If your organization is getting a project management tool or an asset management system, know how each role within your operation needs to interact with the tool and for what purpose. Then be prepared to share this information during tool selection sessions. 

Do Not:

Assume meaningful technology solutions just happen. Educate yourself on what it takes for successful tool evaluation, implementation and adoption. 

For marketing and creative professionals who are interested in evolving the strategic leadership capabilities of their operations teams, Cella Consulting can offer support in the areas of developing KPIs, identifying value propositions, technology solutions, process improvement, and customized solutions for your organization.