The Impact of Planning on Your Publishing Project
While many often view planning as a stifling construct that inhibits creativity, a well-planned project frees space for creativity, enables increased levels of collaboration toward a shared vision, and removes unproductive anxiety.
A plan identifies and addresses linkages both internal and external. Internal linkages are usually easier to identify, where one element is dependent on the other. For instance, the editing process is wholly dependent on the execution of the writing process. As the writing process hits the inevitable hurdles and stumbling blocks the timeline stretches, inhibiting the ability to complete the editing process. Strong planning recognizes these linkages and the resulting ripple effect it causes in marketing and other developmental elements.
External linkages are usually more difficult to identify but can impact a project just as much, if not more. External linkages are elements that are outside of your control and outside of the intended process. For example, the Christmas Holiday season in the United States and other parts of the world greatly inhibits productivity, impacted the ability to get project elements completed compared to other parts of the year.
Good planners will take advantage of external linkages to enhance a project. One element that is particularly effective in the marketing component of the plan is timing. While the holiday season is often the targeted timing for most published projects, there are opportunities during the publishing process to target specific dates. A well-planned project will target those opportunities, leaving plenty of time to find creative and collaborative approaches that maximize the opportunity afforded. A project that is only scheduled and lacks sufficient planning typically leaves you reacting late, scrambling to poorly piece the elements together at the last minute. Just as often, a schedule that lacks the appropriate level of planning will miss the opportunity all together.
Comprehensive planning coupled with a well communicated schedule creates time and allows the project participants to be proactive instead of reactive. It enables the creative process rather than restrict it, providing a framework for the collaborative process that cannot thrive otherwise.