In my blog about supporting processes I stressed the importance of establishing a Governance group. So here I will explain a bit more about why such a group is required, what its purpose is, the roles of the team members and how its focus changes as you move from project implementation to post-project operational support.
To deliver an excellent artwork service you need excellent cross functional support
When we work with a new customer a requirement that appears to be missed in many cases, in my experience, is the need to have ongoing cross functional leadership. It is often recognised as being necessary during the implementation phase of a project but not thought of as necessary when you move to day-to-day operations. So why do I feel so passionately about its importance?
When you ‘walk’ the complete artwork process from end to end you realise it touches many departments and external groups. In most cases, not only is it cross functional and cross organisational, it is international as well, with several functions being located in different countries. So yes, you need ‘buy in’ from those groups during the design phase but if your ambition is to have an excellent artwork service, that is sustainable, you will need a senior governance group.
In most cases this is a new group, as existing groups do not have appropriate cross functional or geographical representation, or do not have the bandwidth to do the job effectively. The members need to be selected with enough authority to carry out their responsibilities and represent their functions/geography effectively. As a result the members need to be much more senior than the implementation team.
The Governance group provides leadership
During the design phase the Governance group which is, at this stage, a Steering committee needs to provide a clear vision of what they want to see as the capability of the new artwork service and how they want to see it develop for the future. Good sponsorship should then follow, ensuring this vision is communicated out to the organisation, resources provided and any stakeholder conflicts resolved. The team should set out the standard required of the service and agree how its performance will be measured.
The transition to supporting ongoing operations
Post implementation, the Steering committee will transition to the Governance group. It is likely that some of the members of the team will change but it would be my recommendation that this should still be seen as a senior team to provide the sponsorship and leadership required. The purpose of this group is to oversee the ongoing performance of the service, monitor and set ongoing targets, agree priorities for future improvements and sponsor the resolution of issues arising in ongoing business.
The frequency of meetings will depend on the organisation but I would recommend setting them up on at least a quarterly basis.
In my next blog I will consider the opportunities of outsourcing, what to consider and what are the pros and cons.
To help you in your Artwork Improvement Program, you can also find useful information in my book Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities
Should you have any questions about this or any other of my blogs, or would simply like to request a copy of my booklets, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on my email.
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