“Project management” is often thought of as an all-encompassing process for taking work from concept to completion. But for creative teams, “project management” is only one part of the full creative workflow.
The modern concept of project management emerged from industries like manufacturing, IT, and product development. Some concepts trace back to the early 20th century. Professionals across industries spend their careers learning and developing new methodologies and tools for project management. For creative teams operating without the luxury of a dedicated project manager, or on teams where individuals must wear multiple hats with project management being only one, this subject can be quite daunting. That’s why it’s important to remember that project management is only one pillar of creative workflow management, and its primary purpose is to keep the creative team’s work organized and centralized so that creatives can focus on their work, and not spend all their time managing it.
It can be useful to begin by understanding where project management fits into creative workflow. This phase of creative workflow begins after a request has been accepted. Project management is about organizing work, balancing team member workloads, and visualizing timelines for projects in campaigns. Project management will continue in an iterative cycle with pillar 3, Review and Approval, until the project is complete.
Project management is important to help creative teams manage heavy workloads with fast turnaround times. However, project management without the other 3 pillars of creative workflow, Requests, Review and Approval, and Reporting, will do very little to help creative teams meet their challenges.
When considering the project management pillar of creative workflow management, creative teams should start by asking themselves what problems they currently face in managing projects and look for solutions that can address those challenges. There are many PM tools on the market offering a staggering array of features. To avoid being overwhelmed, focus on your team’s needs and make a list of the top 5 project management challenges you need to solve. Some examples of common PM challenges that creative teams face include:
- Some team members get overloaded on work while others have few tasks assigned
- Team members need an easy way to see all their work for the day or week in one place
- Creative leadership needs to have quick insight into the progress of work
- Our team needs a better way to “see” the status or timeline of work – not just a list of tasks
As you evaluate creative workflow management solutions, be sure to look for one that has all four pillars, and PM features like these:
- Visualizations of the timing of projects, like calendaring and Gantt views
- Flexible options to view work like Kanban, list views, and custom views to see the most important work first
- Specialized work types, like campaigns, projects, and proofs
- Resource management features like time tracking, level of effort, and scheduling work assignments
- Collaboration at every step with threaded chat and @mentioning
- File attachment and storage integrations to share reference materials and final deliverables
- Activity tracking and audit trails, especially valuable in regulated industries
Download the eBook Creative Workflow Management 101: A Comprehensive Guide.
Learn more about how inMotion ignite provides all four pillars of the creative workflow and project management features tailored to creative teams. Schedule your demo of inMotion ignite today!
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.