Creating an efficient sign off process
It’s always a race to meet award deadlines, so you need to plan well and create a process that ensures you meet all the objectives. This includes making sure everyone who needs to offer input has had their say, with time to check and agree any amendments – and all without compromising making the submission date!
Once you’ve developed a process, you’ll find subsequent entries much easier to manage – and everyone will be reading from the same hymn book.
Tips for creating an award submission process
Here are the golden rules for getting your submissions signed off, and sent off, in time:
- Identify the owner – one person needs to take ownership of the award entry, whether you’re doing it yourself or using an award writer. They don’t necessarily have to know the detail of the project you’re highlighting, or get involved in all of the individual processes, but they doneed to co-ordinate them.
- Agree involvement – from the outset, agree who needs to involved in expressing an opinion or signing off the entry. Don’t just limit this to people in your organisation: include any partners in the project and any client which may feature in the entry.
- Balanced input – It’s likely you’ll have two levels of people involved – those who can provide detailed information to support the award criteria, and those who can provide a strategic view. You’ll need both groups to participate in the process of putting the entry together, and also in signing it off.
- Organise senior engagement – the higher up the chain you go, the harder it can be to find time to commit to fast turnarounds. Make sure that senior managers and directors schedule time in their diaries well ahead of time so they can provide feedback. Aim for a first draft review at around 2 weeks to 10 days before the entry deadline, and for final sign off 2 days before.
- Use technology – it can be difficult to get everyone in a room together at the same time, especially if you operate over multiple sites. If that’s the case, use teleconferencing instead. Agree who will chair the call and be methodical in working through the entry, so you can be sure to capture everyone’s feedback.
- Pin down the process – the submission process across awards can differ, so you need to make sure you’re fully aware of the details so you can plan properly. Some are submitted by email, others via an online form, or they may even require everything to be sent on good old-fashioned hard copies. Set aside time at the end to check off everything they’ve asked for to make sure your submission will be read!
If you’re not sure who to assign the organisational responsibilities to, or you’d rather outsource it to someone with experience, were always happy to offer our help and advice.