Collaborative working can help at any stage of a project. We’ve all seen the benefits of open workshop sessions, but they can also help internal design teams think in new ways at a challenging stage, later in a project. And it’s invaluable when working on a particularly technical piece, finessing details alongside developers or broadcast teams.
For this to work, clients must adapt too. It may mean a different approach to briefing, often starting conversations before the brief is fully formed. Being visible about upcoming project roadmaps, and more open about budgets. This is a big barrier – as a client you might be nervous about revealing how much you can commit, or afraid the agency will see the budget as theirs to burn.
But it’s crucial, because it helps us to plan ahead and commit resource to projects much further out, which means we can then be more adaptable and offer better rates based on guaranteed work. It may also mean pitching less work out, and instead committing to working as a ‘trinity’ between the marketer, in-house team and agency, building a more trusting relationship.
So, why bother? The benefits of collaboration are huge. Projects are more effective, because knowledge and understanding is shared and retained in the business. They’re delivered quicker and on budget, because less time is spent on communication trails. It’s a more rewarding experience for everyone, and the client team ends up with more understanding and ownership of the work.
The old hierarchies are breaking down, and the challenges are too big to tackle alone. Agencies and clients – dive in and get working together. Can you afford not to?