Project management for marketing and creative services teams comes with its own unique challenges, including multiple deliverables to support a single campaign, shifting deadlines, and quick-turn projects. When things aren’t running the way they should, it leaves your creative team feeling burned out and uninspired. To combat this, you need streamlined processes designed to maximize efficiency and avoid wasted time on pitfalls that could be avoided. There are four core areas you should address to keep your creative team inspired and focused.
1. Request Process
When projects get a poor start, it can take a lot of extra time and energy to keep them on track. A project request from a customer or another department needs to be clear on objective and offer insight into the target audience and intended use of the asset being created. Without this information (and ideally more), team members will have to go back and ask for more direction, potentially requiring lengthy email chains or meetings to figure out what’s really being requested. As you can imagine or have experienced, this can cause delays, frustration, and put the project delivery at risk.
The best way to avoid these issues and streamline your operation is to optimize your project request process. We recommend project management software (like RoboHead) that allows you to create custom project request forms with unlimited fields to ensure you capture all the information you need to launch a project. This also makes your project request process more uniform, so you can eliminate requests being made via email or during short conversations in the hallway.
2. Capacity Management and Reporting
When a project request comes in, project managers need visibility. They need to know who has the available capacity — along with the team’s overall bandwidth — so they can delegate tasks and schedule milestones appropriately. Being able to gauge capacity and assign work accordingly helps keep team members from being overworked, and in turn, causing missed deadlines and creating an unhealthy work environment.
Project management software (like RoboHead) helps avoid these problems by giving you unparalleled visibility into your team’s activities. Our intuitive dashboard lets you quickly identify which team members have available capacity and which already have their hands full. You can then either create a custom workflow or use a pre-defined workflow to assign new projects, with the system automatically setting a schedule for deadlines and other project milestones. But improved visibility doesn’t stop with capacity and workload management. With custom project management software like RoboHead, you get reporting tools that provide real-time data on your most important marketing metrics. By keeping a close eye on the KPIs most important to your team, you can optimize your processes at each stage of project development and drive efficiency for your team.
3. Communication with Stakeholders
The revision process is where creative project management can really break down as stakeholders (who are generally not creative professionals) are brought back into the process to give their feedback. Vague, confusing, or contradictory revision requests make it difficult for team members to know what to fix. In some cases, your team will spend more time trying to figure out what to change and how to change it than they will actually be making the revision.
We recommend using a tool that will help you wrangle all the feedback and document the changes as they occur from version to version. For example, RoboHead’s built-in annotation capabilities allow stakeholders to provide feedback directly on a creative asset so there’s no confusion about what needs to be changed. Strong version control mechanisms and the ability to view versions side by side also make it easier to move through the process and avoid confusion. Plus, our software consolidates all of your communications in one place so that your entire team is aware of any updates or changes. With easier, streamlined collaboration around revisions, you can make changes quickly and be one step further to completing your project.
4. The Final Approval Process
After putting hours of work into a project, going through multiple revisions to get things just right, all you want to do is get that stamp of final approval so you can move on to the next project. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. The stakeholders you need approval from are busy people, and getting their attention on a single piece of content can be difficult. Plus, complications and regulatory requirements can muddy these waters even further.
If you have a tool for getting feedback on your projects, then ideally you also have a way to communicate and document final approval of the output. RoboHead’s built-in approval features let stakeholders easily sign off on projects, and notifications make it easy to nudge them in case they forget. All approvals and comments are time-stamped so there’s never any confusion about who signed off on what, or when. All of these features help streamline the project delivery process so you can get things off your team’s plate and move on to the next project.
When it comes to project management, efficiency is the name of the game. By incorporating new project management software into your company’s technology stack, you can improve efficiency, streamline operations, and empower your team to do their best work.