Are deadlines a moving target in your company? Due dates more of a pipe dream? If your team struggles with delivering work on time, it’s easy to blame individuals on your team for mistakes. The reality is that there might be a system issue preventing your team from doing their best work. When your team is repeatedly missing deadlines and the idea of taking on even one more project seems impossible, it’s critical to take the time to learn what causes those delays and what you can do to prevent them.. Here are 10 ways to improve your creative team’s on-time delivery.
Set realistic deadlines from the beginning
If your team regularly takes on work from outside departments, it is critical to get your project intake under control first. Whether you’re using a project request form, or taking notes in meetings, it’s important to ask the right questions early and understand the full scope of work before setting a deadline.
TIP: Project Management Software makes project intake easy and straightforward with completely customizable project request forms so you don’t waste a second getting your work done. With automated rules, you can even ensure requests aren’t submitted with impossible deadlines!
Don’t assign more than your team can handle
The first step in helping your team members meet deadlines is ensuring your team members have the bandwidth to complete their work. Having visibility into the actual capacity of your team members—including what’s already on their plate, when they have time off, and what they will have to take on in the future—will ensure that you don’t accidentally overload your team.
TIP: RoboHead makes it easy to visualize who has time with custom reports and visualization tools that offer real-time information on availability—you’ll have a birds-eye view of who has extra time, who needs extra support, and where you can assign your next project.
Advocate to grow your team where stretched
Sometimes your team is running behind because you have been asked to take on more work without additional resources to help out. Tracking how many projects your team is tackling—and showing growth—will prove your case to those in leadership.
TIP: RoboHead reports allow you to show exactly how much work is on your team members’ plates and what isn’t getting done because you don’t have the manpower. Many RoboHead customers report getting approval to add new members to their team based on the data they could show from RoboHead.
Build a buffer for personal growth and time off
An often overlooked aspect of resource planning is time off. Your team’s projected “full capacity” should include accounting for this, as it is part of a healthy workflow! When you don’t build this time off, your projections for deadlines will be off due to employee burnout. Whether your team is simply working slowly or leaving for other jobs that more adequately plan.
TIP: With RoboHead, you can include planned time off in your project planning so you never over-assign tasks and you can seamlessly ensure on-time delivery for work.
Save time with streamlined communication
Do you find yourself searching through archived emails for individual notes on projects, sorting through your desktop for notes on a project, or cycling through old instant messages to find the deadline your team agreed on? A single source of truth on project information will eliminate a lot of wasted time and confusion.
TIP: RoboHead allows you to store all your notes and reviews in one place alongside your projects! You’ll never waste time searching for an old email again!
Forecast future work
When setting deadlines, it’s easy to only take into account the work that’s already in front of your team, but this often leads to being blindsided by “high priority” work that overtakes you and forces you to shuffle deadlines. When you include a realistic picture of work on the horizon, you will be able to set better deadlines, assign appropriate workloads, and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
TIP: It’s easy to duplicate projects and keep a running list of projects that you work on, quarterly, and even annual tasks so they have a better idea of what’s actually on the horizon!
Learn from failures
The best way to improve your processes is to learn from your mistakes! Implementing a new workflow isn’t a “one and done” situation. When things go wrong, find out what happened, then introduce new solutions to make things run more smoothly in the future.
TIP: With RoboHead, it’s easy to see which projects were done early, on time, and late—plus you can see a trail of inputs like comments, project updates, and changes in scope, making it easy to ensure you understand where things go wrong.
Building your team’s reputation as a highly effective team is critical in building trust with outside departments as well as the overall growth of your company. While a history of slow turnaround times and poor workflow habits can feel like an impossible burden to overcome, it can be done with consistent work and attention to detail. Our most significant piece of advice is to centralize everything into a work management tool and build new habits with a strong foundation.
Put RoboHead to work for you.
RoboHead is a project management tool loved by the creative and marketing industry. If you’re interested in learning more about this software, we would be happy to create a customized demonstration based on your existing processes and workflows to show you how RoboHead can improve efficiencies, communications, and delivery of work.