The importance of a single inbox

Having a single inbox can be a life safer for small design departments. Scheduling graphic design projects is hard enough, make your life easier with this best practice.

The case

Small design departments often have one project manager/account and a few graphic designers and copywriter. While the pm (project manager) is the main project lead, small jobs are often handled directly by the creative team. Things like sending out a logo or making a small text for the website for another department.

In theory this should work great. But the problem relies in the direct access to the creative team by clients (or even worse to coworkers if it is a in-house department).

The direct access will quickly be abused by the coworkers to override the project manager and get things done on their schedule. Graphic designers and copywriters are in this work setting not able to deny a request by the client and so they accept.

This screws up the scheduling made by the project manager, but he/she is not aware of it. Even worse, the project manager might accept additional workload.

Even notifying the project manager doesn’t improve the situation as the he has lost the lead and does not manage anymore.

Solution: Single Inbox

The solution to the problem is easy. The project manager has to be the only “inbox”. All requests must pass through this single point. It might seem a bottle neck, but in fact this is by far a smaller problem than the not controllable scheduling of multiple access channels.

Even when 2 Minutes lost by reading an email about a logo request and forwarding it to the graphic designer is well spent. This way the project manager knows how much times is occupied by this recurring jobs.

Note that I talk about the single inbox, not outbox. Graphic designers should still send out themselves the files etc. they just shouldn’t  respond to any request.

Photo courtesy of Matt McGee

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