When you’re a creative professional, life isn’t just always crayons and drawings. You have a set of particular skills to serve people who need them. From day’s start to the end, you might be dealing with non-stop clatter of the texts and emails from your team and clients with an overwhelming pressure that squeezes the breath out of you. Project management can be tough and challenging, where one needs athletic and competitive skills, a sense of direction, and the ability to work in a team.
However, as demanding as this creative process seems, there’s even a more strategic appeal to it. There’s constant planning, framework refining, deadline changes, resource allocation, and whatnot. Here, the project manager or lead has to create and execute an effective plan that not only satisfies the client but also improves the overall human-design experience.
In the midst of it all, how do you – as a creative lead – can turn a drowning project into success? While it can sometimes feel like stepping into the unknown, proper project management can be separated from the bad one. Here is how.
8 Steps to Concrete Your Project Management Strategies
- Develop A Creative Brief
Every design project is based on two main things: concept and execution. Whether you’re a freelance designer collaborating with an external team or are a full-time designer, you probably are aware of the concept development process. At this point, you need to develop the concept and surround it with understanding, analysis, and strategies.
Your creative brief is a general outline of your entire creative process. You can use it to list all the goals, deadlines, milestones, and requirements of the projects. Within this brief, you can also evaluate the possible challenges you can come across along with an immediate solution.
- Consider The Client’s Requirements
Your client doesn’t want you just to design and submit the project; that’s not the goal of being a creative manager. The client expects to build a relationship with the people on the other side of the project. The first few months might require you to understand the client’s needs and wants, where you are expected to use your expertise and present a layout of the client’s vision.
If you’re able to pin the needs of the clients, there’s a broader chance that you’ll be clear on the idea of what your clients expect and how you’ll be able to deliver it.
- Update The Team and Assign Roles
Dealing with the clients is one thing, and dealing with the team is another. Your team is your powerhouse, where you lead them towards creating the project in line with the brief you created. Since you’re devising the brief, make sure you also have your team on the same page. From developers to designers and salespeople, each can give you an insight into what their roles demand and how they can fulfill it.
If you’re a creative lead, you know your team better. To get a particular project done, you will assign different roles depending on the qualities, skills, and qualifications of each individual in your group. When everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities, there’s no reason any conflict should arise.
- Employ Project Management Tools
Project management tools are a necessary resource for any project manager – naïve or expert. These are not only helpful in designing but also aid in planning, assessing, analyzing and organizing the plans for a robust result.
While there are several, you must see what fits your requirements and use that. Choose the tools that help you narrow down the scope of your project, save you time, and bring effective results.
- Communicate with The Team and Clients
Communication is necessary. It’s a two-way process that should be able to deliver the messages from both sides with ease. The clients and the team depend on you to convey the messages accurately. If you’re communicating with the client, you should discuss the plan you’ve come up with. Only discuss the details you think the client should know about.
As for the team, collaborate with them. From giving ideas to solving problems together, you should be transparent as much as possible and help resolve any concerns the team might be coming across. In this way, you can speed up the process without compromising the quality of the result.
- Review The Process
As the final stage, you need to make sure you’ve followed the plan you provided. Sure, the project might need some refinement as well as critical feedback from the client. You must see that each process you followed has accentuated the strengths of the entire project. Keep looking out for any loopholes or fixes in your project, so you only have to refine the end of it.
- Ask for Client’s Feedback
Without the client’s feedback, your project is shadowed under their approval. Feedback in such cases helps the creative professionals recognize the problems in the project and allows them to fine-tune their strategies for it. They also get a chance to see where they lag and understand the clients’ requirements in a better sense.
If you’ve completed your project, always ask for feedback and suggestions as how you might improve your work and skills. This step will also help you build a better relationship with the client in the long run.
- Set Budget Plans and Goals
Most of the time, the whole process isn’t the problem. It’s the budget and overall goal-setting approach. If the goals aren’t set beforehand and resources aren’t allocated, the budget might go out of hand, which might become the barrier for several future complications. However, several resources can help you keep your money in check.
Take notes on how you can create the most effective project within the client’s budget. Make sure that you’re outlining the scope of the project clearly with all the costs mentioned clearly. Here, you can also use an expense tracking software to see if you’re meeting the budget goals or not and make the budget management more convenient for yourself and your client.
Emma Thomas is a content writer and a copywriter who specializes in writing marketing blogs and sales pages. A writer by day and a reader by night, she can be often found picking cherries in summer Afternoons