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Can Just-in-Time Principles Work for Video?

April 23, 2015

In this age of engagement, finding how to control and manage short notice video requests is an imperative for video creative and production teams.  Applying classic just in time (JIT) principles to the video production process can help relieve the stress and result in some great video!

If you are old enough, you’ll remember the phrase ‘just-in-time’.  It’s the cost-effective and efficient manufacturing process pioneered and perfected by automobile companies like Ford and Toyota.  JIT is commonly referred to as a production strategy that streamlines costs and improves ROI on a project or product. It infers the ability to produce projects on an as-needed-basis so that investments are minimized and outcomes are maximized. As such, the principles of JIT are applied to many business challenges, and video production is no exception–hooray for that.

I started thinking about JIT and how it can help the video production process after reading 2015 – The year of unleashing powerful IC leaders from Melcrum.  The author highlights three ways masterful IC leaders are creating highly connected, engagement focused brands using internal communications.  All three are great, but it is the third way – Operate like a newsroom that really caught my attention

Operate like a newsroom means having a plan, a focus and a commitment to create and publish important and impactful stories – whether they are written or visual.  So what does this actually mean for a communications and creative team?  It suggests that these teams need to be agile and consistent in how they approach and respond to stories. It also requires they have the right people and infrastructure in place to do it.  A just-in-time video production facility provides the infrastructure creative and production teams need to deliver of the moment, short notice request video.

For many organizations, stories and content comes from employees, the C-suite, customers and the news.  Capturing stories and responding to events via video enables all of us to engage and inspire one another.  A just-in-time mentality lets you manage, control and brand these moments while at the same time, letting your storytellers seize the moment.

Creating a more connected culture through video makes a lot of sense, and spur of the moment video production helps. We are now in the engagement era, and the more interconnected our brand messages and employees are, the more successful organizations will be, whether that’s measured in employee satisfaction, customer engagement or new revenues.  A connected culture radiates positive energy throughout the organization and to customers and partners as well.  You can enable a connected culture by sharing stories from within and creating a manageable process to capture them on video. Use these short stories throughout the organization, to freshen up traditional content, add depth to company conversations and convey thought leadership.

Stories don’t have to be visual but they are often more impactful when they are.  Consistently producing stories that have context and insight is challenge enough never mind adding the extra burden of translating content to video. But for those organizations that have cracked the video code and embrace what colleagues call “pop-up” video requests, improved engagement and a more connected culture are their reward.

Insightful and just-in-time content creation– particularly video, doesn’t have to be hard, or time consuming.  In fact, many organizations effectively use video crews and other DIY video options such as smartphones, tablets and skype to create inspired and effective video.  But can such tools deliver the consistency and reliability needed to scale video production and the increase of video requests?

So where does the JIT production philosophy come in? JIT video solves a number of business problems – particularly for a distributed enterprise.  It gives creative departments and communications leaders a response time advantage – closing the gap on the time it takes to produce video content and distribute it.  JIT production can also help connect a distributed workforce, allowing creative teams to tap into resources that are otherwise less accessible.  Whether you are responding to a crisis, or have an internal corporate communications initiative, the ability to create, produce and distribute video is essential to stay competitive.

We are in the midst of a digital transformation, and savvy enterprises are using video communications to seize the moment.  Stay tuned for part two of this series “Creating a connected culture with video” and see how creative teams and marketing leaders are using video to own, control and brand their content.

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