Andrew: Process isn’t about rules for the sake of rules, it’s about providing a flexible structure to guide us — and our clients. It injects a kind of ease into the business and allows us to focus on the writing.
Dale: In the freelance world, there’s a romantic mythology about the deadline — that the rush and the adrenaline of racing to meet it are somehow fun and ‘part of the process’. But in fact, good process takes the mania out of our work and makes for far superior results.
Andrew: Besides, when you burn the midnight oil too much, what you end up burning out is yourself.
Dale: Totally. Process is the key to sanity. And it allows you to scale. We’ve been able to take on some extraordinary projects — producing a 350-page book of white papers with content from 16 subject-matter experts around the world; writing 300 pages of website content for an international tax organization complete with rebranding and tagline development; or just managing 20-plus smaller projects simultaneously each month.
Andrew: If we didn’t have good process, I’d be daunted just from hearing that list. With our agency model, we’re able to break projects down into manageable functions — interviews, concept development, content structuring, writing and editing, editorial review, et cetera. It allows us to get the most out of the skills and capacity of our entire team.
Natalie: I didn’t anticipate that in an office this small process would be a big concern. But the value is real; Ascribe’s processes allow each member of the team to have a full grasp of their assignments and to understand client expectations. They allow for exploration, inquiry and creativity — and they’re adaptable.
Dale: When we created this company we looked at organizations that made hard work look effortless and took lessons from their example — design agencies we’ve worked with, our accountant, even my eye doctor and dentist. They all had a process — and a strong commitment to client service. In applying their best practices we came to recognize writing as a service, not a function, and that orientation continues to guide us as we evolve Ascribe.