Smart Folders - Satisfying The Dashboard Needs Of Your Creative Operations Team
Take 10 people involved in the creative operations process and ask them what information they want in a dashboard and you'll get 10 different answers - at least. The people involved in planning, designing, developing, routing, reviewing and approving creative work are a diverse group. There are marketers, project and traffic managers, merchandisers, clients, legal, medical (if you happen to be a pharmaceutical company), and many other groups involved. The information that each audience cares about is equally varied. Dashboards are valuable when they give you the information you need to get your job done. And, as you know, we all have different jobs and responsibilities. The idea that a single dashboard could satisfy the information needs of every group and individual involved in the creative operations process? It's a pipe dream. Let's say, for example, we're working with a national bank that produces thousands of campaign assets every quarter. What are some of the dashboards that their groups and team members need?
One example would be Traffic Managers, who are responsible for tracking all of their projects. They may want to know...
- How many projects are currently at the Design stage, and how many are at the Review Stage.
- How many projects have been reviewed and then sent back to design for changes (therefore increasing the risk to their deadline).
- All of the open work items on a certain project, or the open work items being done by a certain team or individual.
Another example is Creatives. Their job is to review all marketing assets to make sure they comply with company and industry regulations. They may want to know...
- How many assets are currently waiting for change requests to be completed.
- How many outstanding reviews there are for the current marketing projects.
- All of the Deliverables currently in progress by the Design team.
Those are just two types of people involved in creative operations, and each of them already has a big (and growing list) of information they want to see. When you add in individual preferences to these lists, you start to see why the idea of a singular dashboard for a group or even an individual probably isn't realistic.
So what's the answer? Smart Folders
Over the past few years the concept of Smart Folders has become increasingly popular. It's not new, or something we created, but it is something that can help creative teams. By definition, a Smart Folder is a collection of information based on a set of rules, and instead of having to manually maintain what goes into the folder, it fills up with everything that matches the rules, automatically. Smart folders allow individuals to surface information that they care about, based on criteria that are relevant to them. But it's not enough to put information in a folder and have to wade through all of it to find what you need. To be helpful, the information has to be laid out properly so that the people who need it can easily understand and sort it. That’s why we built Smart Folders into ConceptShare. With a simple setup process and clear interface for viewing information that's relevant to your work.
Smart Folders in ConceptShare
We created one default Smart Folder for everyone called My Work, which brings together a personal dashboard of things that they have to do related to their role and what's been assigned to them. We knew, however, that this functionality could serve a much broader number of use cases, so we made sure it was flexible. Users can build additional Smart Folders based on these five types of information.
By specifying the type of information, along with variables like date range, tags and others, users can create dynamic folders of all of the current and past information that meets their search parameters. The folders will also automatically update to include new information as it's added.
Here's a quick look at how each type of smart folder could be useful for a specific person involved in creative operations.
Asset Smart Folders
An Account Manager at a big agency is preparing for a big pitch with BMW, and she knows they've done work for Audi before. With Smart Folders, she can setup a folder that searches for everything tagged with "Audi" and "Digital Marketing" in order to give her a list of the past projects she's looking for. Now, all of the assets are at her fingertips if she wants to use them in the pitch.
Deliverable Smart Folders
The Project or Traffic Manager needs to know where each project is in the production process. With Smart Folders, they can produce a list of all of the In Progress Deliverables, and see where each one is by stage - creative brief, design, review and any other that matter to the overall success of the project.
To-do Smart Folders
The manager of the Design team wants to see every to-do that their team is working on for the Christmas campaign. Using a Smart Folder, they can see every to-do associated with projects tagged with "Christmas", "2013", and the to-do status of "In Progress". They now have an accurate overview of how much work their team is doing, right now.
Project Smart Folders
A new hire comes on board to create templates for the email marketing efforts for the whole company. Using Smart Folders, they can easily review all of the past email marketing projects, seeing the final projects as well as the recorded feedback from each stakeholder.
Review Smart Folders
A major bank is releasing a new line of credit cards. Using Smart Folders, the Vice President of Legal can see all of the reviews in progress, since her team has to review each asset before it goes for final approval. By bringing all of the reviews tagged with "Credit Card Launch" and an "In Progress" status, she gets instant visibility into how much work is expected of her team for this project.