Stage One

How Much Time is Enough?

‘How much time do you think you’d need to do this?’ Is a question we’re asked frequently. It’s a question that can be asked in different ways and more usually takes the form ‘When is the very latest you’d need the order and still make our deadline?’.

It’s understandable. Everyone is under pressure. Our clients, their clients and their clients’ clients. Crafting ideas takes time. Coming up with excellent creative can take months. Worse still, adapting them so that *everyone* likes them takes even longer. Which often leaves almost no time for drafting, fabrication, testing and installation.

But that’s the industry we find ourselves in. And there is the adage that if you want something doing quickly, find someone who is busy.

So what is the optimum time for delivering a project? Our analysis shows that on average, it’s 12% more than the time available.

And often the only tools we have to get projects over the line are innovation, late nights and extra trucks. The three horsemen of creative project delivery.

The clock is always ticking and deadlines will perpetually haunt us. But it’s part of the thrill of the creative process and if there were no deadlines, creative types would rarely finish anything.

Then what can we learn from this? What would make it better? How might we avoid the sleepless nights? I suspect you may be surprised by the answer.

The pencil.

The humble pencil can solve all of this. Start with a sketch, not a render. Sketch something ambiguous, talk to us about how it might look and play with the dimensions. Bring your client on the pencil sketch journey and let everyone love it before too much time is spent refining the detail.

Think around the creative, not about the creative. Sketch rough lines, not sharp ones. Watch possibilities unfold and time slow down.

It’s a bold approach. But it’s how it used to work.

Let’s bring it back.

Author: Tim Leigh