Building effective creative workflows.

JLL encourages greater creative freedom with organized workflows managed with Adobe Workfront.



Employees: 102,000
Chicago, Illinois


Increase in deliverable output in two years


Adobe Workfront >

Adobe Creative Cloud >

Adobe InDesign >

Adobe Illustrator >

Adobe Premiere Pro >

Adobe After Effects >

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Create more design assets to support property sales and marketing

Quantify the benefit of creative teams to leadership

Reduce burnout by freeing up time for designers

Help designers spend less time on administrative work

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Increases design deliverables by 260% in two years, for 10k assets a year

Communicates and measures creative output through more than 200 reports per year

Achieves highest job satisfaction rating among global marketing teams

Leverages dashboards to monitor workflow progress within creative apps

Joel Caracci is a creator with a passion for creative processes. He attributes this enthusiasm to a surprising source: his love for jazz music.

“When you compose for a jazz ensemble, you start with rules for a piece,” explains Caracci. “Then you give musicians the freedom to transcend the framework to create something extraordinary. It’s the same with design teams. My job is to improve workflows for designers so that they can focus on bringing their ideas to life.”

As Associate Director of Creative Operations at JLL, a global leader in commercial real estate services, Caracci works with a team of more than 90 creators across the United States and Canada. JLL Creative produces nearly 10,000 deliverables a year, ranging from creating new brands for properties to building pitches for new business to complex websites and motion graphics videos for clients.

JLL adopted five instances of Adobe Workfront to manage workflows across the company, including Marketing, IT, and the global PMO office. Within Caracci’s creative team, the solution allows designers to work more efficiently than ever — an investment that benefits business teams while raising employee satisfaction to new heights.

“When designers think about essential work tools, they often think about Adobe Creative Cloud apps,” says Caracci. “Workfront is just as critical. It’s the missing link to managing workflows so designers can create their best work without burning out.”

“Reporting is the biggest benefit of Adobe Workfront. It changes how we communicate about creative work. I create over 200 reports per year to help leaders understand how creative teams support the overall business.”

Joel Caracci

Associate Director of Creative Operations, JLL

Visualizing data around design

The majority of content created by the creative team involves property marketing and sales enablement content for local markets. Designers make brochures, flyers, and walk-through videos to help sell commercial spaces. They create pitch slides for sales teams to use when meeting with potential tenants or recommending lessees to building owners.

Typically brokers submit content requests to marketers, who then hand off the work to one of seven regional creative teams. Before Caracci streamlined workflows, these processes were usually handled through email and spreadsheets. Using the workflow app, traffic managers can now see exactly what task is requested, compare schedules, and match projects up with designers who have just the right skill set and availability. This visibility has helped the creative team increase their deliverable output by 260% in two years. Better yet, the team is able to demonstrate the value of this work to stakeholders across the organization.

“Reporting is the biggest benefit of Workfront,” says Caracci. “It changes how we communicate about creative work. I create over 200 reports per year to help leaders understand how creative teams support the overall business.”

Reports convey the hours worked by each team, types of projects, time spent on each activity, and other information that can help leadership decide whether to adjust staffing levels or invest in different types of design skills. Leaders are also interested in learning which business lines or markets make the most requests to determine how brokers use design resources.

“The way the dashboard visualizes projects helps make sure that everyone involved in a project looks at the same thing,” says Caracci. “For the creative team, understanding the data around projects helps us create SLAs and determine whether requesters are sending us the right information in creative briefs. With this, we can set realistic expectations and avoid back-and-forth communications that delay projects.”

More time to be creative

The dashboards are also invaluable to designers. Designers might be juggling multiple parts of a project, and each part may require several rounds of reviews. The designer dashboards show exactly what assets have been assigned to each designer and what the status is — leaving designers more time to be creative and less time managing work.

Designers use a variety of creative apps, from Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects for video to Illustrator for large-scale graphics. But about 85% of the work is completed in InDesign. “We’re starting a beta of the Workfront plug-in within InDesign. The plug-in allows us to see tasks, collaborate, upload and manage assets — without leaving their creative context. Integration with other products adds even more value to our creative process,” says Caracci. “Designers are already liking the integration with Microsoft Teams, as it allows them to easily track reviews and approvals in a chat-like format. We expect that designers will love saving time by checking workflows within their Adobe creative app.”

“For us, Workfront is just the right solution to create workflows that keep communication flowing without overwhelming people, resulting in more creative output in less time.”

Joel Caracci

Associate Director of Creative Operations, JLL

Creative work-life balance

Caracci continues to search for ways to improve creative workflows. He talks to every designer who joins the creative team, eager to find ways to help them work better. But most designers are already impressed by how organizing workflows can help them be more creative.

Because traffic managers have more visibility into schedules, they can also balance workloads and help designers maintain a better work-life balance. As a result, the creative team achieved the highest job satisfaction rating among JLL global marketing teams, with only a 7% unplanned attrition rate compared to 30% for some comparable teams.

“I sometimes think about how the assembly line revolutionized industrial manufacturing. I believe that something similar will happen with creative work when people start taking workflows seriously,” says Caracci. “The right workflow could look different for every team and company. For us, Workfront is just the right solution to create workflows that keep communication flowing without overwhelming people, resulting in more creative output in less time.”

Expanding your knowledge

To learn more about how you can apply these ideas for medium and large design teams, listen to Joel’s Adobe Summit session, 20,000 Deliverables: From Workflow Chaos to Harmony.

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