How to Shepherd a Video Project Through the Obstacle Course that is Your Company

animated explainer videos for business

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One of the banes of big business is that, unlike small, agile businesses, there is a lot of bureaucracy to deal with. In a big, multi-level company, getting anything approved can seem like navigating an unfamiliar city with a GPS in a foreign language.

You have to get the idea heard, you need approval, you have to scratch and claw for the budget you need, a whole bevy of stakeholders have to be placated and you have to prove that there will be a decent ROI on the project.

Herding cats? Ha. That’s got nothing on trying to shepherd a big project through a big company. So, this one’s for you, project managers who have been tasked with getting an animated explainer video made for your corporation that pleases everyone involved.

Just follow this step-by-step process.

1. Determine Who Should be Involved

Of course you’ll want every stakeholder group represented, but you also want to avoid having a huge working group that is impossible to manage. To determine who absolutely needs to be involved with this project, ascertain:

  • Who within the company the video will be used by,
  • Who will benefit from the video, and
  • Who has the best insight into the message the video will be conveying.

It’s best to start with a larger group than you think you will need during the first meeting and then narrow it down to a smaller group.

2. Get Involvement from the Higher Ups

Regardless of which department the video is for or who the audience is, it’s a good idea to get some feedback from management during the process, particularly before the actual animating begins.

Ben Dalton/Flickr
ben dalton/Flickr

Seeing as how an animated video can be a hefty investment depending on the length, etc., someone from higher up is bound to get involved eventually. What you want to avoid is having that person step in later in the process after significant time and resources have been expended to say they want it done differently.

Make sure you get approval for the script and the visuals from the necessary higher ups before any actual animation gets done. You could potentially be saving yourself a lot of hassle and lost productivity down the line.

3. Get Your Geese in a Line

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and probably some money if you are fully prepared when you call your video provider for that first consultation. It’s best to have as much information as possible about the video you want.

You should come to the first kick-off call with as much of the following information about the proposed video as possible:

  • The objective
  • The message
  • The use or distribution
  • The desired length
  • The desired style (whiteboard, 2D, 3D, stop-motion etc.)
  • Examples of other videos you’d like to emulate
  • The branding

The more information you can give an animation and writing team ahead of time, the smoother the process will flow.  

4. Don’t Forget to Get Clearance

Double check to make sure the script and visuals are cleared by all necessary parties. This could be the company’s legal counsel, the marketing team, the branding team, even the CEO if they want to get involved. Get this all out of the way before any animation work begins so you don’t have to scramble later.

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5. Get Your Reviews Done

You’ll know your own working group best, but for the sake of your own sanity, it’s a good idea to schedule meetings — whether in-person or online — to review the deliverables from the animation company. If you feel confident that your group will respond to emails, then you can go that route, but often it’s a safer bet to gather them together to make sure you get the feedback when you need it. Don’t forget to schedule meetings well ahead of time.

6. Consolidate Your Feedback  

Jurgen Appelo
Jurgen Appelo

Go through the feedback you get from your team, put it into a convenient list and get your team members to confirm that everything is accurate. Take care of any conflicting feedback (for example, one person loves something that another person hates) before you send the feedback to the animation team. Compromise on a resolution that all the team members are happy with and make sure they acknowledge that they’re happy with said compromise.

7. Invite the Animation Team to Some Meetings

They don’t need to be there for every meeting (because obviously you’ll want some privacy for the working group to relay their honest feelings about the work), but inviting the animation team in for at least some meetings will be beneficial. New ideas will most likely crop up and both the working group and animation team will be able to communicate with each other better.

8. Know how You’re Going to Measure Whether the Video is Successful

Identify your KPIs and make sure you have the necessary tools to measure them. If you’re video is successful, you’ll want to make sure you can show that and if it turns out to be less than successful, you’ll be able to learn from the experience and do better next time.

Taking an animated video from idea to finished product takes a concerted team effort. By being organized and following a clear framework, you can get it done quickly and efficiently. One of the best ways of being organized is having a ballpark figure of how much your proposed video is going to cost. For that, click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much your video will cost. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)

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