Identifying the best creative project management software for your creative team can be challenging with so many options to choose from. Here are 5 criteria you should look for when you make your choice.
As creative teams grow and take on more, increasingly complex projects, they often find that they need a software to help them manage their creative workflow. Sorting through all the options on the market for creative project management can be daunting. To help make your choice easier, identify software options that provide these 5 benefits:
- Collaboration. The key to building a strategic and collaborative relationship between creative and marketing teams is to choose tools that help them collaborate at every stage of the process. Look for features like comments at the task and project level, @ mentioning, and a collaborative proofing environment.
- Request Intake. According to the 2018 In-House Creative Management Report from InSource and inMotionNow, request intake is one of the most challenging parts of creative workflow. Many project management software treat project intake more like an order submission and less like a strategic conversation. As Lacey Ford, VP of Marketing and Sales at LexisNexis put it: “This is a very transactional view of creative and the highly skilled team of people behind it. It leads to inefficiencies across marketing and a lower overall quality of work”.
A better approach to project request intake is to view this as an opportunity for marketing to sit down with the creative team and have a holistic conversation about the project and the goals of the creative assets. The right creative workflow software will enable these conversations by providing a progress dashboard with space for comments on the request by both the requester, the project/traffic manager, and the creatives themselves. This gives the creative team control over the projects they accept, rather than simply receiving a static order with no way to collaborate or ask for additional information.
- Intuitive, easy to use software. A huge part of any new software purchase at an organization is the change management that comes with it. Team members often already have a process they are comfortable with, and switching to a new way of doing things, even if it is better, can be a source of friction. The easiest way to minimize that friction is to choose a platform with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. When users can easily figure out how to accomplish their work in the new software, they are more likely to stick with it and not revert to old patterns.
- Flexible to fit your process. While any new software implementation will require some change management, the software should still be flexible enough to fit the processes your team already has in place. The purpose of workflow software is to enhance your existing process with efficiency and increased collaboration, not up-end your team’s entire process.
- Connected. Modern marketing and creative teams have larger tech stacks than ever before. Creative workflow management platforms that connect with other key software in the martech and creative tech stacks will save your team time. The most important integration that a creative workflow management platform can have is with the Adobe Creative Cloud. This allows creatives to stay in Adobe and keep creating great work, while staying connected with the rest of their teams via the integration with the creative workflow management platform.
In order for creative teams to keep up with an increased volume of work and build their strategic relationship with the marketing team, they need a creative workflow solution that supports them by enabling collaboration, smoothing the request intake process, and that is flexible enough to fit their process. Additionally, creative teams should look for software that is intuitive and easy to use, a well as connected to other key applications, like the Adobe Creative Cloud.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual In-House Creative Management Report for 3 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 1,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.