We started a 4-part series on 5 stages to a Creative Development Process. We've covered Stage 1 and Stage 2 in previous posts.
Stage 3 involves the development of the ideas you decided to produce. This phase tends to be the longest, depending on how involved the concept is.
Stage 3: Development
At times, you will find out that an idea gets to a certain point before discovering it's just not possible. When this happens, you will either modify the idea or abandon it altogether. If you leave it, remember you have a whole stack of sticky notes. Take a look at one of the last concepts to be cut from the list to see if one of these would work. Or, consider whether or not you even need it. Your other ideas might have grown into a more substantial element.
If there's one word I can ask you to remember for this stage, it's "PROTOTYPE." Test your ideas to make sure they'll work. Build mockups and storyboards. Go on a test shoot. Pull together a focus group to get their reaction and feedback. Prototyping takes extra time, but it is a vital part of the development process and will save you in the long run. When elements change — and they often will — don't forget to inform those who have been involved with the project. You want to try and avoid surprises as much as possible.
When elements change, don't forget to inform those who have been involved with the project. You want to try and avoid surprises as much as possible.
We had a concept we were developing for Easter one year. It was a video project hat involved filming in the local prison. We presented the idea to the lead pastor, who envisioned using the video in his message as one of his illustrations. As part of the development stage, we contacted the prison. We learned that filming in this way was not going to be possible, so we began to modify the concept, finalized, shot the footage, and post-produced the modified sequence.
Two weeks before Easter, we were able to show the pastor the rough cut. He was not expecting what he watched and didn't see how it would fit with the direction he was going. Essentially, he was surprised that the video wasn't what he thought it was going to be. We cut the video from the service altogether.
The video producer and I went back to his office to discuss the turn of events. Here's a question you can adopt when things like this happen — I asked, "What caused the surprise?" "Well," he said, "We changed the concept but didn't tell him." Exactly right. Communicating throughout this stage is vital because things will most likely change as you develop unbaked ideas into fully deliverable plans and products.
This stage ends when you have deliverable elements that are ready to implement. In the next post we'll take a look at Stages 4 and 5: Implementation and Evaluation.
If you would like more help in the area of Creative Process Development, we are ready and able to assist you! Contact us to chat about the possibilities!
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Don Wambolt has over 25 years' experience in leading church communications. More