I suspect we, as an industry, care too much about how we get to great work and not enough about actually getting there.
I am just as guilty as the next person. I’ve spoken about the process we use. I’ve published my ideas about process. I’ve taught workshops and I’ve tweeted and I’ve read every process article I could get my eyes on.
Some of us sell our work based on our process. We talk about how it’s unique to us, about how we’ve put it through the test of time, about how our work is better because of it.
Some of us are just plain excited when we get to the end of a project and the result is great. So, we look back at what we did and reverse engineer a process for the next gig.
It’s not that this is bad. Honestly, we probably wouldn’t write or speak so much about process if there wasn’t a real desire for this content. The truth is, this stuff is hard and we’re chasing a moving target. Every project, client, budget, timeline, team is different, so it’s incredibly difficult to find a system that always generates great work and doesn’t destroy our relationships along the way. When someone thinks they have a piece to the puzzle, they share it. They share it, and we consume it. Supply and demand, baby.
But, great work is being done all the time. More importantly, great work is being done in about a million different ways all the time. There are an infinite amount of ways to get to great work—the one commonality among them all is a team of people that care about the end result. Seriously, go read any case study for any great project and there will be a section talking about how great the team was.
You want to do great work? Work with great people.
Now, I’m not telling you to forget about process. I just want you to realize that the most important part of your process is the people executing it. Focus on them, and watch the quality of your work improve.