Here are five ways to manage creative projects more effectively and increase the quality of work whilst doing so.
Start with a plan
Once you understand the brief, you can map out the scope of work, budgets, timelines and allocate tasks to role players. Don’t underestimate how time consuming this initial phase can be, or how important it is! Make sure everyone is clear on the deliverables – what is expected of them, and by when.
Use a task management system
There are dozens of free and cost-effective options to choose from. At Yellow Door Collective we use Asana – each project has its own board with columns including project management, design, strategy and content creation for example. There is an entry for every single task, allocated to the relevant person, with a set due date. There is also space to add a task description and post comments.
Schedule regular meetings
Have weekly, and then (closer to crunch time), daily check-ins with your team to ensure the project is on track. As an account manager or project manager, move towards your creative team if you feel any part of the work isn’t 100% on track or up to standard. The sooner issues are ironed out, the better. Also keep your client in the loop on the progress, so they know you haven’t forgotten about them, should anything take longer than expected!
Create space for creativity
This is just as important as being organised. Give your creative team sufficient opportunity to brainstorm ideas and do research at the beginning of the project. This is a great way to improve the quality of work and to prevent ‘road blocks’ or creative differences down the line, which are likely to cause delays.
Master the art of keeping your team encouraged and challenged at the same time. Make sure you have a healthy culture of feedback, with no room for egos.
Expose your team to external experts
Whether it’s collaborating with an industry expert, attending an event or watching a TED talk, try to draw inspiration from industry benchmarks. Encourage your team to apply this knowledge or trend to the project at hand.
At the end of the day, agency excellence and the client’s happiness are always the main priorities. Each manager will need to develop their own style and figure out what works for them, but hopefully these tips will be a good starting point.
With her big picture thinking and ambitious ideas, Emma Donovan of Yellow Door Collective ensures that the business keeps growing without losing sight of their values. She sees to it that every campaign is strategically thought out and executed in the best way possible.