At most companies, even small ones, there’s a ton of value to be had in collaboration. Sure, you can probably get big projects done yourself—but should you? A smart professional takes advantage of the talented people around them, and luckily there are tools like Dropbox to help you share ideas and gather feedback. Still, it can be tough to know exactly who to ask for help. So here’s our short list of the team players you should consider hitting up for advice.
The decision maker
Whether it’s your manager or a VP, this person has a vested interest in your success. For larger projects that have a direct impact on the brand or bottom line, the decision maker is a key stakeholder who can serve as a goldmine of knowledge about high-level company goals. Plus, they can clue you in on potential upcoming strategy changes, and help you secure additional resources. Start early, though—you’ll want to get input from the decision maker sooner rather than later. Then you’ll know your project is headed in the right direction from the start, and you can avoid scrambling to make changes at the final hour.
The design expert
While the designers in your professional life probably won’t get excited about last-minute creative requests, they might welcome the opportunity to give you a little advice. If your project needs high-quality graphics or illustrations, be sure to work those into your project timeline before you kick things off. But if you’ve created some visuals yourself, are feeling unsure about your layout, or just need some brand advice, the creatively inclined folks at your office are a great resource. They can help you identify areas for visual improvement—or hopefully, give you a sign-off that everything looks great.
Even if you’re comfortable working in Excel, storytelling with data isn’t easy. For a little help, check in with your office’s numbers expert. This person can point out any misrepresentations of data, tell you which kind of graph will best illustrate your points, and remind you when citations or sources might be necessary. A data expert’s help can go a long way, because professional, well-presented numbers add credibility to any project.
We all have our strong suits. Some of us might be brilliant strategists, but not exactly masters of the pen—and there’s no shame in that. But your deliverables still need to be polished in every way, and that includes clear communication and tidy grammar. To be sure your project’s content is at its best, track down your company’s copywriter, technical writer, or content strategist—anyone who has a reputation for being articulate. Odds are they’ll be happy to help, because everyone wants the company to look and sound its best, right? Even if you pride yourself on your ability to produce results independently, budgeting some time for input from subject matter experts can make your project shine. Plus, the feedback you get from your co-workers will help you learn about new areas, so you can produce even better work in the future.