Working on a busy creative team means constantly choosing which tasks to prioritize and then acting quickly to execute them. With shifting goals and priorities, it can be tough to tackle everything, or even to know what is most important. Whatever the case may be, a successful creative department acts thoughtfully, and quickly, and identifies priorities with conviction. Staying on top of these goals truly isn’t possible without project management skills. Here’s how investing in project management tools and following best practices could benefit your creative team.
Giving Clarity to Priorities
While often reserved for developers and tech teams, one way to improve both the productivity and agility of your team is to organize your calendar into sprints. A sprint can be one to four weeks, but two weeks is the most common. By thinking about projects in this way, you are forced to prioritize a sprint’s worth of work at a time. Your team doesn’t change the work in your sprint once it has started. Everyone agrees on the priority and what’s involved and gets it done in the allotted time.
In this way, using sprints can help stop your team from being distracted by “hot issues.” Anything that comes up during a given two-week period can be evaluated at the start of the next sprint to determine its priority. This simple way of thinking about your projects and deadlines can prevent your team from context switching while helping you be more efficient and responsive to new projects and challenges.
Better time and resource management
If you’re lucky, you have a fully staffed team and use smart project management tools and methods to get the most out of them. If you’re like most, your creative team leverages other resources at your company or outside vendors. Using a tool to house your communication with those outsiders makes this a much easier relationship., Gantt charts and Kanban boards are simple tools that can help keep track of when work is assigned, especially to people outside your department, so you don’t get lost in the coordination.
Data to advocate for your team
A constant challenge for creative teams is to prove your value to the organization. You have to not only be effective but also find a quantifiable way to demonstrate that effectiveness. Project management tools can make this a lot easier. For example, you can use project management tools to keep track of all time spent on projects to determine their cost. You can then measure that against the value of the opportunities created.
The same data that can be used to prove the value of your team can also be used to increase efficiency for your team. Tracking work will show patterns in your team’s behavior. Evaluating this data allows you to strengthen the patterns that are good and offer help and training if you notice patterns that are wasteful, or change up how you use your resources. Creative teams often are forced to work autonomously and without clarified priorities.
The nature of the work can make it seem ill-suited to defined workflows and project management principles. But there can still be significant benefits to taking a project management approach to your marketing activities. Whether you’re consolidating communications with team members and outside stakeholders, tracking project metrics, or using that data to demonstrate the value of your team, project management tools and best practices can increase efficiency and productivity for your marketing team.