3 Key Tips for a Painless Approval Process

Yes, we've all been there: uncountable and painful rounds of revisions. Once you thought you got final approval you find out that the decision maker on the client's side has never seen the final draft. Both marketer and designer are back at square one now, juggling through a deadline that's approaching, and almost ready for a panic attack.

How can we prevent this from happening or at least minimize the stress damage and frustration? These are my 3 key practices for both designer and project manager to consider:

1. Who's the final decision maker?
This is a key element to identify before the design process starts. Not only identify who that person is before you start the project, but also know that person's way of thinking and style so that when you approach her you stand on solid grounds. Understand what she expects of the design project directly from her in her own words with no intermediaries, and get all your questions answered directly by her. You do this, and you will be one step forward from your counterparts.

2. No cookie cutter approval process
Remain flexible. Yes, there's a process established. Yes, that's the way you've been doing things. You need to be flexible to adjust direction and attention if a project needs it, however. Remember it's all for the benefit of the final product/project and the goals established for it.

3. No talk about design
But about the ultimate goal. Yes, you love the design your designer came up with and you both will try to sell it the best way possible. When doing so don't focus on font and color, focus on the ultimate goal of the project and how that design is helping achieving that. Focus on the strategic picture, not the tactical picture and your client will be more welcoming with your solutions.

This isn't simple so you will have to polish up your communications skills. Make that communication process simple and get that client involved for honest feedback at the right time.

Who is the decision maker?