Most marketers face traffic jams of Los Angeles-level proportions when attempting to secure final approval for projects.

Consider the common process of sending almost-finished assets out to stakeholders. Some stakeholders respond in a timely manner, some don't. Oblivious to the fast-approaching deadline, a stakeholder can suddenly request drastic changes. Then the changes are made and another round of feedback ensues.

Repeat that process several more times, and you have an inkling of what it feels like to be stuck in the review and approval traffic jam. It feels as if your project—which once had so much momentum and promise—has stalled at the finish line.

Mixed-up versions, endless rounds of feedback, wasted time assembling everyone's feedback... whatever your biggest gripe in the review and approval process, wishful thinking won't be enough to get things moving. You can't just hope people will provide speedy feedback without any babysitting or follow-up. Even bombarding stakeholders with email after email won't produce the desired result.

Unless you start applying some much-needed accountability and structure to your process, tardy projects and headaches are inevitable for the foreseeable future.

To help you get out of the review and approval traffic jam, here are four best-practices.

1. Identify approvers at each stage

From request through creative brief, asset development, and production, providing a clear picture of the needed approvals ensures that no one will be forgotten or added to the list at the last minute.

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Bryan Nielson is the CMO and work management evangelist at AtTask, maker of cloud-based enterprise work management solutions. He is the author of the e-book The Five Most Dangerous Marketing Productivity Myths: BUSTED!

LinkedIn: Bryan Nielson

Twitter: @AtTask