The showcased PIF (Project Initiation Form) was generously submitted by Marci Dillon from The Companion Group. Below are a few of her insights regarding her use of the form…
The actual form is a live PDF that requesters can fill out using their computer or, print and fill out by hand. They seem to like it and compliance has been very good after the first few bumps in the road. It really makes everyone think about the details that go into a project. It took the support of management to really make a go of it. The selling point is how much more efficient the work is when we have all of the details up front.
One of the more interesting fields (to me) is the NEED IT BY field. The first version had a a notation under it stating that ASAP is not a date. Cheeky. : ) On this second version, I made it so that it defaults to a date, so there is no choice but to commit to the calendar. We got permission to reject ASAP’s as it only served to wreck time management.
We have adapted the request form for projects other than packaging now that everyone is used to it. To be sure, there are still the occasional emails or verbal requests for some things and we do accommodate that, but the big projects must have a creative request. The creative request will never replace a conversation with the person requesting, and I wouldn’t want it to. I usually follow-up with at least a brief conversation of some sort. It helps.
As a postscript, I think if the creation of such a document, like any design project, is undertaken with the involvement of the end-user and considering their unique needs, it can’t help but succeed.