The Workamajig Blog
Neither rain nor sleet nor hail may stop the mail.
Yet inclement weather, incalcitrant employees, uncooperative clients, or seemingly just about anything else trivial or significant can derail a creative project. In fact, given that factors as disparate as deadlines, budgets, resources, and expectations must coalesce to stay on track, projects that go exactly as planned are probably rarer than those that derail along the way.
Project management requires both forethought and dedication. Forethought, as in the ability to think clearly about what the entire project will entail and lay out an adequate plan for it. Dedication, as in the perseverance to adhere to that plan and see things through. But the best-laid plans can still go awry. That’s where the third piece of the puzzle arises: flexibility. From project kickoff to submitting your final deliverable, here are the three steps to rocking your next project:
Inspiration isn’t spontaneous.
Yes, the great idea for a creative project is akin to the proverbial light bulb going off in your head. But the light doesn’t come on by itself. In fact, it may require the equivalent of you pushing your way through a crowded room to flick the switch.
Project management has many paths to success. The old adage “there are many roads to Rome” can be applied to agency project management. However, there are a few common areas where a wrong decision can create a lot more work in the long run. Using some simple guidelines, you can keep your project on the correct path and “heading to Rome” without any setbacks. How well do you follow best practices for agency project management?
As 2016 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on this year’s successes and where there’s opportunity for improvement. It’s a particularly fertile time of year for creative teams across all industries. Budgets are redistributed, metrics are finalized, and holiday parties run red with mulled wine.
Cooperation is when you have a group of people who are working together to accomplish a task. Collaboration takes cooperation and moves it a step further. With ad agency project management, collaboration is absolutely crucial. You need the involvement of everyone on a project in order to work together toward a common goal.
Maybe you’ve played this game before: A group of friends decide to see if they can effectively pass a phrase from one person to another without changing the original content. This game, telephone, is a great example of how easy it is for a simple message to transform from “Tim eats bananas every morning” to “Tim’s mother died eating a banana, and now he’s in mourning.”
This tendency to miscommunicate is why crafting an effective project communication plan should be a constant goal for creative agencies. What you’re saying might not be what your clients, teammates, or contractors are hearing.
Creative professionals want to create, and creativity is most effective when it is focused.
Unfortunately, one of these often negates the other at creative agencies, where the pressure to produce can nullify the benefits that an overwhelmed professional could otherwise provide for a project.
What’s the secret to project communication? How can we successfully coordinate and direct our project teams to make sure that everything is done on time and we don’t compromise relationships in the process? There are many items to remember in this regard, but above all, it’s important to remember that your entire team is made up of people just like you, and they also want to have a life outside of work.
Secrets aren’t meant to be shared.
But we’re going to share some anyway so that you can have a more successful creative project. From how you structure your project to how you communicate with your team and complete your work, incremental improvements made in individual phases of a creative project can increase its overall success.