Creative production

How creative workflows help teams produce their best work

Ever wonder how successful brands and agencies consistently push out the most engaging creative content? 

Whether short or long-form video, animation, sound productions, or design, the creators of high-quality content have one thing in common. They understand the importance of efficient creative workflows. 

These workflows enable teams to deliver complex, rich media when there are tight deadlines and support overall creation execution.

A solid creative workflow can help any team get from ideation to delivery seamlessly and enables contributors to concentrate on producing high-quality work. They also help mitigate many challenges teams face when collaborating on large projects remotely.

Here’s an overview of the key elements that make up a successful creative workflow and the steps and processes creative teams should follow.

The benefits of a well-defined creative workflow

Creative workflows help teams organize, track, and maintain productivity while working together on complex projects. They help to ensure progress and decisions are not bogged down by common blockers like delays in receiving feedback and approvals, scope creep from clients, or the challenges of working remotely to edit and revise files. All manageable tasks that run the risk of easily snowballing into team-wide headaches. 

In contrast, when systems and processes are clear and direct, it lessens the friction that causes employee burnout and frees creatives’ time to focus on delivering high-quality work.

Successful creative workflows take an iterative approach to ensure teams can quickly adapt and make changes when necessary without significantly impacting budgets or deadlines. Additionally, a solid workflow utilizes the right tools and technology to decrease the time spent on repetitive tasks. 

For example, cloud storage technologies like LucidLink can help teams avoid versioning conflicts by providing remote access to files and assets from a central location in the cloud. Additionally, project management tools can aid teams in staying organized and meeting deadlines as they plan and carry out sprints. 

Four phases of a creative workflow 

Creative workflows typically have four key phases, although they may vary depending on the team or industry.

Four phases of a creative workflow

These are the four phases of an efficient, creative workflow:

  • The brief—defining the project

  • Creative production

  • Reviews and approval 

  • Project launch

Many teams also include an additional debriefing phase to review the project’s workflow, execution, launch, challenges, and successes.

The brief: defining the project

Before launching the execution of a creative project, it’s essential to create a brief that defines the project scope, goals, and objectives. The brief unifies the team toward the project’s vision and aligns the project with core business objectives. Essentially the project brief is your team’s roadmap or North Star. 

The project brief includes:

  • The scope: a set of boundaries that defines the goals, deadlines, and deliverables you’ll be working to achieve.

  • Key messaging: refers to the most important points of information that you want your audience to receive. These messages align with your company’s branding, voice, and tone.

  • The timeline: A list of project milestones that includes the roles and responsibilities of each team member.

  • The target audience: The specific group of consumers most likely to want your product or service.

  • The stakeholders: The people or groups who will be involved in or affected by the project.

  • The budget: An estimate of the various costs required to complete the project. 

  • Risks or challenges: A list of potential challenges that may arise during the project.

Research and gathering resources to help inform the project’s direction also fall into this initial stage. The project brief is used as a reference for the project’s duration. Therefore, the more information you outline in your brief, the better!

Creative production 

Creative production is where the magic happens. It’s the stage where creatives can flex their muscles to produce and design various assets for projects. Team members execute various tasks in this phase specific to their roles and expertise. 

These tasks may include creating visuals, pre-and post-production, and recording audio and video. For a team of product designers, this might include brainstorming and exploring ideas, comparing competitor products to refine a unique advantage, and developing prototypes. 

The creation phase of a production team’s workflow can be divided into three parts: Pre-production, production, and post-production.


Pre-production is crucial for establishing the vision and plan for production. It sets the tone for everything that follows. The creative tasks in pre-production include collaborative planning and production strategy to capture, design, and secure all the required materials for the project.


During the production stage, the goal is for teams to assemble everything they need to bring a project to life. This includes gathering resources, such as raw assets, and creating and organizing media files, such as designs, prototypes, and digital assets.


Post-Production is a significant step and often the most collaborative stage of a creative workflow. It’s where teams add the finishing touches to a project. Post-production tasks may include cutting raw footage, adding music, dubbing, and adding visual and sound effects.

For video projects, the production phase can involve capturing video and audio on set, conducting interviews, capturing B-roll footage, and uploading the media to a shared platform like LucidLink filespaces for easy access, allowing teams to collaborate across files remotely.

For photography projects, the production phase may include capturing photos in a studio or on location, with a post-production process of previewing, selecting, editing, and color-correcting the best shots. The final edited media is then reviewed and approved by stakeholders.

A motion graphics team’s creation phase for a commercial advertisement might include storyboarding, designing, and laying out visuals using tools like Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and LucidLink to collaborate remotely across all media files and assets.

Common hurdles teams may face during the creation phase include:

  • Limited time or resources

  • Lack of inspiration or creativity

  • Neglecting audience research

  • Overcomplicating or simplifying a concept or design

It is crucial to ensure that remote teams have the necessary tools and resources to collaborate effectively during the creation phase, especially when working across different roles.

Creative workflows with LucidLink

Using cloud-based solutions like LucidLink in conjunction with creative applications like Adobe Creative Cloud can significantly enhance collaboration for teams working remotely in different locations worldwide. These collaborative workflows enable team members to access and edit files and assets on demand without the need for time-consuming tasks like downloads or syncing.

Reviews and approval

In the review and approval phase of a project, key stakeholders and team leads will assess the work against the original project goals before it is completed.  

When taking on an iterative approach, feedback and revisions often occur early on as tasks move to the review and completion phase. This helps ensure that the team is on the right track and minimizes the need for extensive revisions later.

Multiple stakeholders may be responsible for evaluating progress and providing feedback on a project, and there may be multiple rounds of editing to incorporate their input, depending on the project. 

Project launch

Once the team receives final approval from all stakeholders, the project launch phase includes handing over the final deliverables to your client, or launching them to your intended audience across various channels. This can take many forms, including releasing a new soundtrack for a feature film, launching a mobile application, or publishing printed collateral for distribution.  

Optional phase: Debriefing

After completing a significant project, many creative teams include an optional but valuable phase called the debrief. This is where you identify what caused a project’s successes and failures. There are many ways to conduct a debrief— the most common include distributing feedback surveys or conducting a debrief meeting with your internal team and stakeholders. Recapping your project and the outcomes can be very useful for improving your workflows on future projects.

The most efficient creative workflows in the cloud 

Working with large media files can be a significant obstacle to an efficient, creative workflow. Uploading, downloading, revising, syncing, and even physically shipping files and assets takes considerable time. 

For example, ingest in video production can be particularly expensive, time-consuming, and mentally taxing for video teams.

LucidLink filespaces in action

Cloud-based productivity tools help teams focus on creative projects by eliminating time-consuming tasks. They also offer a centralized repository for storing files and assets, making it possible for remote and hybrid teams to work together as if they were in the same location. Cloud-native solutions like LucidLink provide this experience while looking and functioning similarly to a local hard drive.

Additionally, LucidLink allows teams to work seamlessly and efficiently on the cloud with the tools they are already familiar with, thus providing a stress-free workflow. 

Ready to bring your creative workflows into the cloud? Try LucidLink for free.