Washups are admin, and if you are anything like me, admin is the last thing on my list when I am busy and being pulled in a million different directions. However, learning from my mistakes and moving past them makes everyone not only better at their job, but also better as a team. 

I recently ran my first wash up, and although I had an idea of what people were going to be talking about, and what the “issues” or learnings were, it really was helpful and interesting to learn from others, and listen to their points of view. I saw the project not only from my point of view as an AD, but also from the point of view of the rest of the team, be that the creative team, our developers, or our fulfilment team. 

For our washup we stuck to an agenda and read a best practice guide to ensure we kept on topic and achieved what was needed, but this is not a guide on how to run a washup. There are plenty you can find on the internet, but I will never run a best practice washup as I do things in my own unique way, and that is just how I am! This is my view on washups and how and why I think I will be running one after every major project moving forward. 

What did I learn? 

Firstly, make sure you book in the time for a wash up – they really are so important! Plus no one wants their thoughts to be rushed in a “box checking” meeting. Our meeting took place a couple of weeks after our project finished, so we had a full recap on the project which was shared prior to the meeting as well as took up the first 15 minutes of our agenda (it was post Christmas break so we all needed that nudge!). 

We then went around the room and talked about the project from every little detail. I soon learned that assumptions I had made on how people like to work were VERY wrong. I was always under the impression that our developers wanted to be involved in as few calls as possible, that they didn’t want to have creative input and that they were happy to get on and code. I assumed our creative team also didn’t want to be involved in the early meetings, or to see and test the work they have created afterwards. However both of these teams showed an active interest in working together. I knew that they checked designs / development together and that our creative team would run technical capabilities past the team, but in our washup the team showed an active interest in wanting to work together. We discussed innovation and ways that we could create fun and new things by working collaboratively across the teams! I have brought this learning into our new projects and it now means that we are presenting more interesting designs to the markets and suggesting fun and interesting new things! 

Timelines were another thing that we discussed. Both our creative and development teams flagged that they simply had not had enough time for the project. This was due to a very tight deadline from the client, and the team thinking these timelines were put in place by me. During the washup we discussed the timelines and why there was a tight deadline, and made things clearer for the team. 

Washups are now just a part of a project cycle

I don’t know why I was surprised, as bbd is so different to any agency I have worked at before, where the team are invested and care about the project and client as much as you do in CS. But it was doing this washup that really hit home with that for me and really highlighted that bbd truly is a team! 

So in summary – Washups are great, the whole team are interested and care about improving with you. 

Now, to practice what I preach!!