Every project needs pit stops to reassess or reassure. Outsourcing an out-of-the-box thinker can do
There are several people who have the ability to think out of the box, be creative all the time and come up with new ideas when needed and of course, when no one asks them to.
Even these magnificent and lightened people (did I say 'me'?) have their blind spots. Usually these blind spots appear long after the idea has been given and the project is up and running. Everybody on the team is so in love with the idea and the implementation of it, that they can loose site of the original goal, or not see changes along the way.
Creative and marketing teams use an automatic working process, which is not bad due to work load and lack of time, but each marketing and creative team needs pit stops. Team managers have to acknowledge the fact that pit stops are needed and write them in their work plans.
A pit stop is a physical pause of the project, in which team members take time off the project to get their heads clear and bring in new ideas so they could take a better look at the work done so far, with a different angle, and through a fresh and different pair of glasses. Basically, its purpose is to see if the team and project haven't lost track of the reason they have started the project in the first place. The basic check is to see if their project is still in line with the project goals. Other items on the pause-check-list is customer view and needs, market changes, fresh ideas and more.
Unfortunately, these project pauses are not being done for many reasons, be it lack of time, lack of manpower or even a surplus of team member ego. That is why a new fresh set of eyes needs to be introduced into the project.
These eyes will join the team at critical points during the project and take a look.
During a meeting with team members, the visitor will be given an update at where the team is at and what has been done. This visitor needs to be a very intelligent person to analyze the situation and ask... stupid questions. Basic and stupid questions about goals, crowds, customers or budgets is usually what members seem to overlook during their love affair with the project.
This person will be the devil's counselor, the customer's nagging mother or whatever he needs to be to make the ground under the team shake.
The reason for this shaking is to get the team out of their lock. The person needs to make the team rethink their project stages so they could make the needed adjustments, or to reassure themselves that they're on the right track. Even if everything is ok, the team needs to get that feedback from the outside and from themselves several times during the project.
Using an outside pair of eyes is sometimes a simple solution that can save tens of thousands of dollars, or more, from going down the drain.
Using an outside visitor saves time, money and gives the team a much needed focus slap. Try it.