I think it’s time for us to go back and look at our processes a little bit and not plant the tree until the client has seen the tree.

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– Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, yet again, coming to you from my house during the lockdown. Now, I want to talk to you about something that happened here at my house that I think happens in our agencies all the time. So I bought a brand new house in November, brand new build, so there were no trees or anything in the yard. So when spring came, I hired a landscaping company to help me envision what the yard might look like, and begin to plant some of the plants and trees that we decided would make sense. But the process was a little flawed. So, they showed me a list of the plants and trees. They showed me a schematic but it was sort of flat so I couldn’t really see through the landscape of what everything would look like. And then we went right to put everything into the ground. So I’m standing here next to a tree that I thought was going to be seven to eight foot tall. And as you know, I’m not seven or eight foot tall. You can see the tree is brand new, and they’re going to have to take it out, because they went from concept to done, as opposed to allowing me to participate in the process along the way, where in this example, I got to see the tree before they put it in the ground. And I would have said, “No, no, I want a much taller tree. That’s what we talked about.” So I think in our agencies, we do the same thing. A lot of times we go from concept, and because of the technology we have, the tools we have, we can very quickly get to a finished product. But oftentimes when we get to the finished product, how often has a client said to you, “Yeah, I don’t like that,” or “That’s not right,” or “You didn’t hear me say this.” And I believe that’s because we don’t have iterations in our process, and we don’t have places in our process for clients to approve things before they’re done. So, what that causes is re-work. We have to go back and do it again. It causes an explosion of the original budget. It causes scope creep, causes all kinds of things. When I started in my career many moons ago, and I know it’s going to make me sound like a caveman, but we didn’t have computers, and so we had to do everything by hand. So we literally, the art director would take a board and draw whatever we were doing, whether it was storyboards or a print ad or whatever it is. And the headline would be written, handwritten by the way, and then the body copy would just be a bunch of squiggles, and the photograph or the visual would be sort of penciled in, but all along the way, the client got to see the evolution of the work we were doing. And so that allowed us to catch where we were off, before we were done, or before we thought we were done. Ans so my message to you this week is I think it’s time for us to go back and look at our processes a little bit and not plant the tree until the client has seen the tree, if that makes sense, okay? I will be back next week. See you then.

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