While the professional world is full of logic, numbers, structure and reason, it’s also composed of imagination and creativity. Without using creative outlooks and resources, no progress can be made in the business world. To truly achieve success, businesses need employees or resources that look outside the box for unique, innovative strategies that will bring them positive attention for expansion. Without creativity in professions, businesses would be clustered into a stagnant never-ending plateau.
What Is a Creative Project?
A creative project can come in various forms. If you work for a creative agency, your project will be assigned by clients who have marketing or promotional goals that you and your team need to help them reach. If you are a creative team in a corporation, you will be producing your company’s art graphics, media resources, promotional materials, communication materials and more.
As a creative project manager, you will collaborate with your team of creative professionals to shape a completed product using their unique talents and objective standards of quality. This process is unlike project management in other fields because you need to fuse imagination with business principles. If you can successfully manage this, however, the results could be incredible.
What Responsibilities Does the Creative Project Manager Need to Fulfill?
When leading a creative project, you’ll be guiding your team along various stages as the project begins, is in progress and nearing completion:
- Creative briefing
- Guiding creative operations
- Determining the quality of creative work
- Reviewing and revising product draft
- Client/stakeholder approval
- Project sign-off and publishing
There is no break or downtime for creative project managers. You’ll need to be present for all stages of creative project operations. While you’ll be actively involved in the thick of the creative process, you also have overarching leadership responsibilities to keep your team on the right path to completing the project.
Ongoing Missions of the Creative Project Manager
Holding Team Members Accountable for Designated Tasks
A project’s timing can be lagged if every team member works one after the other, managing entire stages independently. You’ll also face problems if all creative minds work over each other on the project simultaneously. The project results will be late and likely muddled with too many outlooks that were implemented in a disorganized fashion.
That’s why it helps to designate roles and tasks to your team members. Assign these according to their talents to effectively develop pieces of the project during the creative process. Giving them focused duties is also a method to ensure all members are evenly contributing to the final product. This will establish balance and efficiency. If there are any issues, you’ll know who to go to and manage to find solutions together.
Keeping Your Team on Track
As you send your team members off to work on their creative mini-projects, they will need time and room to shape their approach and form solutions independently. While you don’t want to ineffectively micro-manage, you do need to keep a close eye on their progress once you’ve stepped away from the planning stage into the implementation process. You’ll want to know that they’re staying within the project’s established constraints, like the budget, planned use of resources and the original plan.
Why Time-Tracking Will Help
Without relying on useful tools, how can you determine if your team is completing their tasks on time?
You’ll also need to track your creative team’s timing. When working with artists, you may find that they need to invest a lot of focus on developing ideas and executing them. Their role is tough because they must rely on their imagination and make something that doesn’t already exist. This may range from writing original copy to creating unique visuals or web designs.
It’s fair that your team needs to invest time into their project roles, but as their leader, you need to keep in mind that this is all being conducted for a business. In the professional world, time is money. If you fail to meet the project’s deadlines, you may have to discount your client, or your company could lose out on profits.
What is Time-Tracking?
Time-tracking involves keeping data on your team member’s work hours. You can use time-sheets, automatic background software or manual tracking tools that report the timing that your team is committing to their project tasks and other items in their workdays. Time-tracking tools make their productivity, deadline completion or delays measurable.
While you can use certain strategies like weekly check-ins, time-tracking will help you follow all details of your team’s timing. You’ll know if they’re really investing as much time as they should into their work or if they could put in more effort. If you have members approaching you with concerns of being overworked or inability to meet the project’s stage deadlines, you can review how they’ve been conducting their creative process.
As a creative project manager, your mission is to keep everyone on time, but it is also to help them work at their most efficient to produce the best possible quality of work. Relying on time-tracking, you can find room for input to help them with general scheduling tips to achieve more in their creative process without risking burnout.
Time-tracking also allows you to be proactive about any issues that could arise during your project. In the creative brief development stage, you would have outlined possible roadblocks. As you approach these potential trouble areas, you can follow your team’s timing and determine if you need to intervene or take action to problem solve.
Determine Uneven Distribution of Tasks
Since your creative project’s task distribution usually happens before anything has been enacted, you may find that the completion expectations are different from what you originally perceived. When you first assigned tasks, you may have thought some would be completed with ease. However, as your team member approaches them, there could be more unforeseen factors causing it to be a time-consuming handful.
With time-tracking, you can observe these issues and take action accordingly. You can redistribute tasks among members with similar creative skills, so all tasks are still completed within their allotted time. Or, in some cases, you may need to reframe your deadlines.
actiTIME Time Tracking Software
Fortunately, platforms can help with your time tracking so your team can conveniently outline their hours for you to see. actiTIME will make time tracking data easily accessible for monitoring your team’s productivity as deadlines approach.
actiTIME is also helpful for other project management needs. You can share this software with your team for collaboration during the creative process. Using this software, you can make the project brief and designated deadlines available for their reference to stay on the same page and right path toward completing the project.
actiTIME will help you oversee your team’s timing as you work with them to achieve your stakeholder’s overall goal. By keeping track of your team, you can be proactive with solutions, intervene when members need to be more productive, and all together create a successful result that will give your team a positive, reliable reputation to attract future business. Start your free actiTIME trial now.