Excellent Packaging Artwork Capabilities 9 – Leadership and Governance

Excellent Packaging Artwork Capabilities 9 – Leadership and Governance

Given the cross-functional and cross-organisational nature of the artwork capability, establishing the right inclusive leadership and governance is key to the long-term success of the capability. All stakeholder groups involved in the delivery of the artwork capability need to contribute effectively or the whole process will fail. Therefore, all parties must buy into their role in the process and actively contribute to it. This will rarely happen if they are simply passive bystanders in the design of the capability or the delivery of the resulting activities.

Role of an Artwork Governance Team

As we discuss in other articles in this series, we would recommend establishing a cross-function governance team to steer the establishment, ongoing delivery and development of the overall artwork capability. This governance body should include membership from all stakeholder groups involved in the process, including, where appropriate, external service providers.

It is all too easy when forming and managing governance teams to focus on the steering and decision-making aspect of the activity. If you are not careful, this may result in the leadership responsibilities of the team being overlooked. The governance team needs to ensure that they provide leadership to the artwork function in a number of distinct ways. Firstly, they need to ensure that a vision and strategy for the artwork capability is developed, agreed across all impacted stakeholders and communicated effectively to the broader organisation. Secondly, they need to ensure that the journey to achieve this vision is structured and managed effectively and that progress is communicated to the wider organisation. Thirdly, the leadership of the governance team needs to manifest itself in decisive decision-making that supports the vision and goals of the artwork capability. Finally, the behaviours the leadership display need to actively model and support the key cultures that underpin the successful service delivery.

To support these leadership activities, some organisations purposefully put in place a number of key roles:

  • Senior sponsor – a senior member of staff who will represent and support the overall artwork capability at the highest levels in the organisation.
  • Governance team chairperson – the leader of the governance team who ensures that the governance team activities are managed effectively.
  • Artwork process owner – an individual who is responsible on a day-to-day basis for ensuring that the end-to-end artwork process operates effectively and that any improvements to the process are appropriately designed.

With all of this in place on an ongoing basis, the artwork capability should remain effective and appropriate for an organisation over time.

This series of articles, taken from our book Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities, describes the key capabilities required to deliver right-first-time packaging artwork in today’s environment. They also discuss potential future developments in the area to help the reader design any improvement activity with these in mind. Finally, they look at how an organisation can go about understanding how they need to adapt and improve their capabilities to meet their evolving business strategy and go about the often complex change-management journey to achieve it.

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