Project Managment: Go Media Style

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Go Media’s Prooflab Demonstration Video from Go Media on Vimeo.

This video will walk you through our customer and project management system called “Prooflab.” We built this application from the ground up based on our specific needs as a design firm. There are many 3rd party apps out there like Basecamp, but we needed something tailored to OUR business. So we built it. It’s not exactly the most perfect system (its only version 2) but it’s helped us streamline our design process with our customers for over 2 years now. It works great (when our clients are using it). Most do, but some need a little educating on why it’s important to use it.

So, to help educate our clients and potential clients (maybe you?) we created this video. We want to show a typical customer experience when they are working on a project with Go Media. Whether it be shirt designs, a website, business cards, brochures, letterhead, logos, etc. It works great for just about any project.

The only shortcoming might be on really large scale projects with a large team of designers and a large pool of clients. For example, a website that costs $400k and requires muiltiple tiers of approvals from various agencies, this system won’t work for them. That’s usually because the client is large enough to have their OWN project managment system that WE must follow. But for most of our jobs, this is a great tool.

For the customer, you request work, view proofs, supply your feedback, ask questions, and manage all your projects with us. We want to make the customer experience second to none so we worked hard to develop a system that works well for our customers. We want to encourage long term relationships, so we try to make it easy for them.

For our designers at Go Media, this is a time-tracking tool. It’s easy to log your hours and describe what you’re doing on a project. Each designer has a project queue and can view all of his or her projects and what is critical, needs revised, or on the backburner. All communication is kept in the Prooflab and can be referenced if there is ever a discrepency. For example, the client says “can you make this blue” and the designer posts a new proof with the design green, then we can go back and find where the client requested it and we will take the blame for the mixup. And the same goes the other way around. Where the client could be requesting work that is out of the project scope and it is the designer’s responsibility to identify what is out of scope and communicate that with the client.

We even built a desktop application that hides in our Windows task bar. As a designer, I can access all my projects and press a start/stop button to track time and with a few clicks, record the hours I’ve logged along with a description directly into the Prooflab. Clients know exactly how much time we are spending on their project and what we’re doing. When you’re billing hourly, this is important. Even if you’re billing flat rate, it’s important for a customer to know that you’ve spent 24 hours doing revisions on their business card that they have only a $100 budget for. Or that the designer actually spent less time than estimated and client’s final balance will be less!

So yeah watch the video. You’ll get a solid understanding of how our workflow goes. And hopefully, maybe we could work together on a project someday. If you have any pressing needs, let us know!

About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design and development firm. We also specialize in print design and branding. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. In my spare time, I write songs and play drums in Campfire Conspiracy. I'm a happy husband and an aspiring b-boy and lucid dreamer.

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