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How We Keep Every Project On Time and On Budget

NDA mascot Chicken poses with a checklist and pencil, title reads 'How we Keep Every Project on Time and On Budget'; simple animated drawing on a red background featuring the NDA logo

Animation projects are notorious for exceeding budgets and timelines. A one-minute video ends up needing many rounds of edits, blasting through whatever deadlines were set, and racking up more fees with each round.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! 

Not only are we often meeting very specific deadlines, (ahem – check the name…) but we are also dedicated to fair, value-based pricing that our clients can count on.

How do you keep projects on time and under budget? We’re happy to share some of our hard-earned wisdom from 12 years of experience.

We made this video a to break down some of the factors that impact the pricing of an animated explainer video.

Project Management Tip #1: Pricing up front, please!

At Next Day Animations, we’ve flipped the pricing model on its head: we offer flat rate pricing. Rather than provide estimates for projects, we provide the exact cost in advance.

This pricing forces us to maximize efficiency in order to keep projects on time and on budget. Using information from the pre-project questionnaire and kickoff call (see Tip #2!) we make a clear plan for each step of the process so that we have a very specific schedule and budget to be accountable to.

This model means that we reduce the amount of work we’ll need to redo later on. It also means clients can budget ahead of time, easily, for our work.

Project Management Tip #2: Early, Intentional Decision Making

Planning is crucial to keeping projects on time and on budget. That means taking time up front to hone in on your core message, who on your team is a stakeholder (and who can sit this one out), and what your goals are in making this video. 

Lucky for our clients, our standardized, tried-and-true process addresses all of these issues. Every project kicks off with a pre-project questionnaire designed to help us really get to know you, and to help you get aligned on your goals and messaging. During our kickoff meeting, you’ll connect with an in-house team – including a scriptwriter and producer – who will walk you through every step of the production process. (This includes 3 rounds of script revisions, and 3 rounds of video review.), This means you’ll get off the call with a clear picture of what to expect. 

Providing clear guidelines up front on what kinds of edits are allowed when prevents a lengthy (and costly) editing process.

This hybrid-style animation video features our friendly team mebers Laura and Krystal, who break down our Process from beginning to end.

Project Management Tip #3: Get Input from Important Stakeholders ASAP!

We’ve all been there… we’re almost done with a project, and we get excited and show it to someone to get their input, and… they have a lot of it. Like, so much that we have to basically start all over again. On the one hand, we’re glad we got the feedback before we were completely finished. On the other hand… what a drag to have to re-do all of the work we just did! The Swoop And Poop (as it’s fondly known here) is a budget-gobbler, a time-waster, not to mention a morale morass.

We encourage our clients to get key stakeholders involved in filling out the Pre-Kickoff Questionnaire, so they can guide the direction of the project from the very start. Then, there are opportunities for all those Key Stakeholders and Big Idea Havers to weigh in on scripting, and on the video. 

Giving these voices a chance to be heard up front means we don’t have to retrofit them in later. And it can be helpful to revisit these conversations if there comes a point in the process where you need clarity about the direction of the work.

Got an idea for a campaign that needs to be pulled off without a hitch?

Give us a call at 202-747-0404 to get a quote for your video, or schedule your consultation here.

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