No more searching for needles in branding haystacks (Improving Version Control - Naming conventions for better sharing and collaboration)

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No more searching for needles in branding haystacks (Improving Version Control - Naming conventions for better sharing and collaboration)

Feb 25, 2019 10:47:00 AM by Michael Pfeiffer |0 Comment Add Comment

Do your people spend too much time searching and too little time actually doing?

It’s a bigger problem than you might think. McKinsey found that employees can spend an average of 1.8 hours a day searching for and collating information. More recently, Nintex found that around half of employees said they had trouble locating documents. 43% reported difficulties with approval requests and document sharing, while a third struggled with document versioning.

 For anyone involved in the production of marketing materials, these problems can be all too familiar.

On the one hand, the power of technology allows us to collaborate better than ever, while products such as Papirfly can unlock the creative potential of more of your employees. If a team of 10 people are each wasting 1.8 hours a day because they don't have a Papirfly brand portal with it's powerful digital assets management (DAM) functionality, all searching for files and assets – or on dealing with versioning issues – then that’s a huge chunk of resources being wasted!

The good news is that these problems are easy to fix. Here’s how…

Naming Conventions

How are your assets and campaign materials organised? For many companies, the system “kind of just happens”. It might seem quirky – and equally, there might be a complete lack of consistency – but so what? If everyone knows how it works, why bother changing it?

This is fine for a close-knit team and a handful of campaigns. But as both your team and your production volume grows, that quirkiness can soon escalate into downright confusion.

Just by paying attention to how files are organised and named, you can make the production a lot easier for everyone. Follow these tips:

Make them unique. An obvious must – but relatively easy to get wrong in a collaborative environment (e.g. if two people are working on the same project and – unknown to each other – they save files relating to it at more or less the same time). Tip: consider requiring users to incorporate their initials into document names.

Make them indicative. In other words, users should be able to tell what they relate to, without having to open them. With this in mind, it also helps if they are readily scannable - i.e. the information contained in the title is naturally ordered and makes sense (ideally, at first sight!).

To keep the titles to a manageable length, a company-wide system of abbreviations often helps (E.g. BA for a banner ad, LP for landing page, etc). It’s worth speaking to your people on the ground to work out a system that works best for them. There’s really just one golden rule here: for whatever system you choose, make sure it’s universally understood and consistently applied.

Version Control

Marketing departments can be especially prone to versioning errors. This is because (quite rightly!) it’s common for documents to go through a considerable amount of editing before they are deemed good enough to be placed in front of customers.

We would suggest a two-pronged approach to tackling this…

First off, you need central control. In collaborative projects, your document control policy makes it clear to everyone involved in the creation process which version of the document they should be working on. Coupled to this, there should be a clear procedure for archiving or otherwise quarantining out-of-date files – so that rogue documents do not upset the process.

Secondly, look closely at the type of tools that reduce the need for editing in the first place. For instance, for social, print, Web and email, Papirfly’s comprehensive templating tools can have your people producing on-brand and perfectly-formatted marketing content in a jiffy: slashing the need for a time consuming revision process.

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