One of the books that has really shaped my thinking about creative operations is Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal. The basic plot is about a manufacturing plant manager faced with a failing organization and tasked with turning the operation around or the plant will close. The book is commonly used to teach introduction to operations classes and provides intuitive and practical examples on both how to measure and how to improve assembly line style work. Not everything in the book has an analog in a creative operations world but most of the basic concepts apply.
Creative operations isn’t an assembly line in the manufacturing sense but there are clear parallels. You have raw goods (camera files), you have to do something to them (retouch them), you have to QA them (approvals), and you have to ship the product (the final images). The process of creating a creative asset is just that – it is a process with a series of distinct steps. (more…)