TeamGantt believes in doing more with less. We love to see how other small teams have achieved big wins with their projects.
We were thrilled to learn how Wistia launched Brandwagon, a weekly show that became a hit without a large production crew.
We sat down to discuss the details with Chris Lavigne, Head of Production at Wistia, and Kristen Bryant, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Wistia, in What’s the Plan, a series that features interviews with influential brands and influencers about their plans, building, and launching their best projects.
These are three lessons Wistia has learned along the journey.
Your team should be given clear roles and structure
You have to be smart about staffing if you aren’t a large production company with lots of resources. You can take a page out of Hollywood’s script and adapt it to your crew.
This is how Wistia built her production team.
Many people work together in movie and TV productions. Then, everything is rolled up to a director, who oversees the entire production. The result? Chris explains, “You have a bunch people who care about their actions because they’re literally being held responsible for it.”
Make sure that each role is clearly defined and that everyone has ownership of their roles. This will eliminate confusion and make it easier for your team members to shine in their roles.
Here’s an example showing how role clarity might look for a series you produce. Each task has been assigned to a role in the show planning template that we created using Wistia’s process. You only need to decide who will take on each role in your team and assign work accordingly.
Watch how Wistia divided up Brandwagon’s roles and responsibilities.
The easiest way to create a project plan
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Be open and willing to communicate
Wistia, like many small teams, didn’t have the luxury to wrap up video production and send the product to a distributor company for promotion. They had to communicate in real-time with their marketing team to make sure everyone knew what was coming.
Each episode’s deliverables were listed and tracked on a project board. This gave everyone visibility into the timeline, and made it easier to hand off.
“We settled into a rhythm of: Here’s how we know what to expect. It’s great when things happen ahead of schedule. Kristen explains that if things are delayed, you know they’re coming because it’s been communicated that they are.”
Good communication goes beyond the task progress. Your marketing team must know what the storyline is and what the hook will be before they start. They have tons of promotional copy to create for emails, blog posts, and ads.
Wistia did this by sharing rough cuts of each episode early on. Chris suggests that you set expectations and limits if you’re nervous about this. When you send it out, let people know if you are looking for specific feedback or just sharing it as an FYI.
“I cannot stress enough how important it was for us to be open–open to feedback and open to communication, openly held accountable–was essential in the production timeline.” Kristen Bryant, Strategic Partnerships Manager, WistiaDivide.
You have to think creatively about how you approach tasks if you have a tight deadline. Sometimes, shortcuts can make your process easier.
Brandwagon was certainly a case in point.
Chris admitted that they were “very much building and flying the plane” when they first aired the episode. All t