4 Questions to Ask to Improve Creative Project Management
There are many ways to improve your creative project management. With some careful investigation, you can determine the best area to focus your efforts. Use these questions as a jumping off point, and figure out where you can start to improve how your next creative project operates.
Are Your Resources Adequate to Meet Demands?
If you have a lot on your plate, you might feel like you’re fighting from behind. But if you’re delivering quality work on time, then that’s all that matters, right?
Wrong. You need to make sure that your resources are not only able to keep up with the current demands, but have enough reserve capacity to meet fluctuations. When you work in overdrive to produce an important deliverable, things may have turned out fine. But if you’re juggling multiple projects or have a limited capacity to switch into high gear, then things get complicated.
Are You Meeting Deadlines?
This is similar to having enough resources. If you are too crunched for time to meet deadlines, something needs to change. Either extend deadlines or find a way to get the work done more quickly.
Extensions are granted by working with the client to update the timetable. This can be tricky, especially if you are constantly needing to ask for more time. When you ask for an extension once, make sure that you’re prepared to defend the reasons for it. And also, make sure that you have everything lined up so you don’t have to ask for it a second time.
Working more quickly is a function based mostly on current resources. If you can’t or don’t want to get an extension, then it may be your only option. And usually, it means that you need to find more resources, not squeeze out additional work from you current staff.
How do You Handle Scope Creep?
Allowing your clients to change the scope of a project is totally fine. After all, they might realize that they need something slightly different as the project moves towards completion.
However, allowing them to constantly make changes that create significant additional work on your end is not totally fine. Scope creep happens gradually and can be almost unnoticeable. But when the end of the project is nowhere near where you were headed in the beginning, some push back on your part is required.
This doesn’t mean you should refuse the work and requests of the client. Rather, you need to be honest and fairly blunt that you cannot undertake a completely different direction without additional allocations on the client’s end. This will allow you to manage the resources you have effectively, and meet the deadlines and budget that you agreed upon.
Do Your Projects Match Your Overarching Goals?
Having work to do is fulfilling. But having fulfilling work to do is an accomplishment in and of itself. If you keep taking new projects to “stay busy”, that’s well and good if you don’t have a larger goal. But if you want to define yourself in a certain niche, or distinguish yourself from competitors, it requires a little more forethought into which projects you’re working on.
This doesn’t mean you need to completely dismiss current clients or start beating down doors and cold calling new ones. It does mean that you need to evaluate where you’re currently at, and what type of business you want to be bringing in. Work with your current clients to reach that goal, which can include referrals and bring in more specific work down the road.
About The Author
Mike joined Workamajig back in 1997 and now serves as the Workamajig Director of Training and Support.