Habit Number 2 is to begin with the end in mind. This is the habit I most often associate with video production, and the one I had in mind when I decided to write a series of blogs about on the application of the Seven Habits to producing marketing and training video.

I first learned the importance of this principle as a graphic designer. Designing collateral for offset printing offers some very concrete, and sometimes painful lessons on beginning with the end in mind.

Having to recreate a design from scratch because it was done at the wrong size or some other incorrect spec is a right of passage for every rookie designer. Inexperienced video producers often make similar mistakes.  If you don’t know what your client wants, how they intend to use it and what they intend for it to accomplish, your production could be headed for disaster.

These collisions are caused by expectations that are not understood and expectations not fully developed.

It seems obvious that key expectations should be communicated, but it doesn’t always happen. What everyone thinks they agree on can be their undoing.

Each person’s imagination of the video is different and it’s essential to align those visions. The producer should develop a list of key assumptions and run them by the client. I do and in most cases, I learn something important.

This leads to the solution for expectations that are not fully developed. Sometimes the client hasn’t fully fleshed out what it is that they want. It may be that they were tasked with outsourcing the video and doesn’t fully understand their mission, they are busy with the many other tasks they do and, rightly, expect you to help them flesh out the vision. The producer should have a standard list of questions that help the client see any blind spots in their own vision.

The bottom line is to understand what your client intends to accomplish with their video and make sure that every decision you make furthers their goals.

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