3 Must Have Review and Approval Metrics For Creative Operations Managers

Posted by Krissie Harrigan on March 7, 2019


The 3 core mandates of Creative Operations is to increase and improve the Timeliness, Capacity, and Compliance of creative production. Achieving this requires the combination of having the right people, technologies, and processes in place - AND -measuring the right things to identify what's working, what isn't, and areas of opportunity for improvement.

Here we take a look at 3 metrics all Creative Operations managers should be measuring and why they're important.

1. Asset Volume

Tracking and reporting on the volume of assets moving through creative production is a fairly obvious metric to track since the number of assets in production at any given time has significant impacts:

  • Workload & Bandwidth: How much work does the team have in progress? Will we meet all of our deadlines? 
  • Future Capacity: Do we have enough people to meet marketing's demand? Can we scale if we need to? 
  • Production Levels: Do we know what the magic number of assets in progress is before we max out and can't take on any more? Can we identify trends in asset volumes that impact production? 

While it may seem like it's pretty simple to just take a quick look at what's being worked on - measuring volume of assets over time and looking back is just as important as knowing what's in production at any given moment. Being able to look back helps Creative Operations managers identify trends and abhorrations that will help them plan better for the future.

2. Review Cycle Time

This metric is less obvious, and often ignored - mostly because many organizations still lack the proper tools to effectively manage and measure the Review & Approval process. 

Measuring how long it takes for assets to move through production from initial request to approved and published is critical to identifying bottlenecks in your process, and opportunities to optimize and improve in areas like: 

  • Number of Reviewers: How many people are typically part of the review process, and what are their specific roles? Does everyone know what their role is and how it impacts production?
  • Number of Revisions: How many revisions does an asset typically go through? Are there obvious trends or opportunities to reduce re-work and revisions? 
  • Timeliness & Communication: Do reviewers know when production expects / requires feedback? Are project due dates and other ciritical milestones clear to everyone? 

Relying on email or job jackets to capture feedback on creative assets can make tracking review cycles difficult - but - it can be done, albeit manually, by asking for input from your team and using a spreadsheet to track and report on findings.

3. Marketing Process Compliance

This metric is especially important for enterprises in regulated industries like banking and pharmaceutical in order to avoid regulatory oversight and costly fines - but measuring process compliance has benefits for marketing & creative teams at organizations in any industry. 

By measuring marketing process compliance we can answer questions like: 

  • Ease of Use: Is the process we outlined clear and easy to follow? Does everyone understand how to follow it, and know the impacts of ignoring the process?
  • Productivity: Do all of the steps we implemented still make sense when put into practice? Are there parts that are creating new bottlenecks that we didn't anticipate? 
  • Compliance: Are there steps being skipped, putting us at risk? Are we confident that the assets we produce meet all of our regulatory requirements?

Some things seem like a great idea in theory, but can fall apart in practice if we're not tracking and measuring how they work. Understanding how process is being followed helps assess the performance and impact of each step and identify specific areas for improvement.

The goal of tracking metrics like the 3 above  is to arm you with the knowledge and tools to supercharge production, review and approval processes, and make sense of the important data that comes as a result.

Did I miss anything? What metrics are you measuring, and how has it had an impact for you?