Operational Excellence

Do Small Creative Teams Need Project Management Software?

by Ron Ause, October 13, 2017

Do Small Creative Teams Need Project Management Software?

It’s difficult to measure a creative team’s workflow as they don’t function the same way a traditional team does. Overtime, working odd hours, and even working on weekends or holidays is a normal part of working in the creative industry.

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Working After Hours

Compared to an in-house marketing team that has fixed working hours, a creative agency may not have the same schedule for everyone. That’s why an effective project management tool is so important. This makes sure all schedules and materials are available so team members have everything they need to do their work at any given time.They can also leave tasks or revision notes for team members that have different working hours.

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Small and Global Teams

Creative professionals thrive on having the freedom to pursue different ideas and require a more visual approach. Smaller creative agencies also fulfill some roles with freelancers and employees with different working hours. For smaller teams, the advantage of having freelancers instead of hiring full time employees is it allows them to scale depending on their needs. However, having team members from multiple geo-cultures and time zones may affect team dynamics as the team has to adjust to multiple working styles and working hours.

Here’s where a project management tool comes in handy for small creative agencies:

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Keeps Everyone Updated

Everyone on the team can access projects submitted and revision requests, and communication is available and organized within each project task. With information readily available for every team member at any given time they don’t need to bother others or wait for a point person to ask for already existing materials. This makes project progress faster and more efficient.

blog_img04 (2).pngOnboarding Made Easier

Having this information handy allows freelancers or new hires to check project progress without having to distract another team member from working. It also allows team leaders to create an onboarding kit with a collection of information a new employee or temp may need to get up to speed with the company and how things are run.

Plus, it helps everyone keep tabs on where a project is holding at any given time.

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Know When Something Is Running Late

Creative agencies thrive on stress and deadlines. With project management software team members from all departments, writers, graphic artists, and even clients, can set deadlines which notifies all members involved. This helps everyone check their pace and inform others if they need more time or if they are encountering any blockages that need to be addressed by a team leader or other members. Creative output like ads, marketing or other promotional videos are time-sensitive and will not reach their best potential if they miss a target release. This is why it is very important for teams to keep everyone in check and for delivering successful projects.

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Project Progress

If there’s something a creative company can learn from software development methods, it’s methodologies like Scrum, where work is broken into small chunks. This can greatly improve the progress of a project while allowing flexibility for revisions as teams work in small, reachable goals each week. Keeping track of milestones, discussing progress, and brainstorming solutions allows everyone to see a project’s development, giving team members and clients a more realistic timeline of a project and any problems that need to be addressed for it to move forward.

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All Documents are Accessible

Any creative employee will understand the complicated file naming process “draftproject.psd”, “finalproject.psd”, “finalfinalproject.psd”, and “REALFINAL.psd”. Revisions are a normal part of an editor or a designer’s life. When your team handles multiple revisions from different departments, a team can greatly benefit from being able to access previous iterations to compare and contrast to what the client asks for. An effective project management tool can also help properly name and organize files to help team members easily find documents

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Track & Improve Workflow

A tool that monitors project progress, similar to Workamajig’s, lets project managers and team members assess the current workflow and improve practices to help the team reach optimum performance.

The importance of implementing an effective project management software for small creative teams is to be able to measure what you can do and adjust accordingly to meet set goals or deadlines while giving creative professionals the freedom to explore and improve their creative process.

Read what else you can do to build a great creative team here

About The Author

Ron began a career in the software industry at 13, while working with his father. He's become an expert in job cost and project management for creative teams.

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