Every new project starts first with conception. Conception is when the germ of an idea is born. That idea is then brought to fruition by creativity, sweat, and a healthy dose of humility if you’re doing it right. You have to be humble because the path from first iterations to final approval is a dark road littered with twists and turns and peppered with umpteen revisions.
You have to be able to take criticisms and then use that feedback to make improvements. That’s why it’s so important to have systems in place when managing projects. When you implement set workflows, they can help to streamline the approval process and minimize any gray areas that may arise along the way and slow things down.
Establishing systems and processes helps to mitigate any potential confusion or doubt as to whether a project is in fact, ready to be given final approval or has been given final approval. Keep reading for some tips and questions to ask yourself on creating approval systems that work for you and your business.
How Do You Know a Project is Ready for Approval?
Do you have a process in place for notifying whoever is in charge that something is ready for approval? What about a process for notifying you that something has been approved already? Unfortunately, receipts aren’t handed out with a signature on the dotted line, stating “This project has been approved.” So, you need to have a system in place that triggers this crucial step in wrapping up a project to completion. And on that note…
Who Actually Has Final Approval?
You can’t have too many chefs in the kitchen. Someone needs to be designated as “the one” when it comes to finalizing a project and giving it the final stamp of approval. Do you have someone like that? Is that person you? It needs to be clear to your team and it needs to be the same every time, so there is no ambiguity.
Do You Have Due Dates and Deadlines?
These are important in order to keep the process moving. You don’t want to wind up with a backlog of revision requests that stall out the project’s momentum and brings the whole team to a standstill. That’s not productive or lucrative. Create deadlines, milestones, and due dates for every step in the life of the project, so that everyone is on the same page and can keep things progressing smoothly.
Is Your Approval Process Recorded?
This is important because there are a lot of steps between a first draft and a project’s completion. There are revision requests asked for and edits still to be made. You should have a way to keep track of all of these things in one place, so someone can see at a glance where in the workflow the project currently stands.
Is Your Approval Process Repeatable?
The best approval processes will have clear, defined, repeatable steps that anyone can follow. This is what makes processes and systems so effective. Sometimes a pre-built template can be helpful, or you can create your own template to use with a variety of different projects. Your template could even have multiple options for the workflow, depending on the scenario and type of project you’re creating a system for.
Also, keep in mind that your process should be simple and concise, with a limit on how many steps are needed to reach final approval. Obviously, you don’t want it to be a maze just to approve a project, but you also need to make sure you’re addressing every aspect necessary.
Can Technology Be Used to Streamline Your Approval Process?
There are a variety of apps and programs today to help a business manage their current projects and help them to create systems and workflows. Mobile capabilities are a biggie too for savvy business owners because approvals can then be made while on the go. This suits busy lifestyles and helps speed things along.
Finally, don’t freak out if your processes don’t seem to be working the first time around. Systems are constantly evolving to keep up with the times and keep up with the needs and demands of a particular business.
You most likely will not nail the perfect process the first time around. That’s okay. Keep trying because ultimately, streamlining things and creating systems within your business will only serve to increase your success and multiply your earnings.