7 Tips for Managing Creative Projects

Creative projects are different from other projects that involve skilled labor. They have aspects that cannot be treated in the same way projects like a building construction is treated. For one, these projects involve people who don’t share the same level of creative abilities or specialized creative skills. Plans may not always be followed as new and better ideas emerge. If you are in charge of a creative project, it would help considering the following tips.

  1. Create a plan with clear goals and expectations

Naturally, everything starts with a plan. Before starting any kind of project, you should have a plan. There must be clear goals or objectives and expectations. Of course the plan should be based on what a client wants or what the company wants to offer. Sometimes a preliminary plan may have to be formulated before finalizing it after discussing expectations and capabilities with a client. Plans should include clear details and has to set definite starting and completion points. Since this is about creative projects, it’s also advisable to make the plan slightly flexible by setting allowances for possible changes or revisions along the way.

  1. Know your people and other resources

People are the main resource of most creative projects. That’s why it’s very important for a manager to be properly acquainted with them. This is to make sure that the right people are assigned to the right tasks. It’s not enough to simply hire or assign someone based on their respective titles. It’s also important to look at the history of the work they’ve done so far. It’s also important not to push people beyond their limits or to have tight schedules that are bound to impair creativity.

  1. Ensure good communication

To emphasize, what should be ensured here is not just simple communication but good or productive communication. A good creative project manager should be able to stimulate discussion of ideas and should also be able to effectively prevent animosity from growing among those who have strongly opposing ideas. In proceeding with a creative project, it’s important that the work setting is harmonious to be able to develop and execute project ideas successfully. A good manager should also be able to properly handle possible rivalries especially when there are other teams involved.

  1. Encourage collaboration

In connection to the previous tip, collaboration should be encouraged and there should be an effective platform for it. Communication among team members or multiple teams working on the same project should lead to productive collaborations. In the modern work setting, it is recommended having a creative project management software with collaboration tools or features. There has to be a dependable and feature-rich platform through which different members or teams can pitch ideas, access resources, and follow through tasks or processes in an intuitive virtual work environment.

  1. Ensure transparency, lay down everything everyone needs to know

To ensure the success of a project wherein several personnel work together, it’s very important to provide the right information to everyone involved. In addition to informing everyone about the project’s goals, objectives, parameters or inherent limitations, and target audience, it is also advisable to inform everyone of the available resources and to properly lay down the details of the roles of each and everyone in the completion of the project. It also helps instilling in everyone the importance of what they do for the completion of the project while occasionally giving our commendations. This transparency is also aimed at making sure that there are no misunderstandings, especially when there are different tasks separately completed by different teams in different locations.

  1. Nurture a supportive work environment

Creative projects rarely succeed when decisions rest on just one person or authority. Those who work in the creative trade are unlikely to be submissive that they just do whatever they are told to do. A good creative project manager has to be able to create a supportive work environment. Sometimes, great results are even achieved by just letting the creative staff what they are told to given a set of parameters and expectations. This does not mean, though, that you should abandon your leadership role. You still have to guide the direction of the project but you need to be open to ideas from all sources without being made inefficient by giving excessive attention to each and every idea being pitched. Also, letting the creative staff do their thing does not mean ignoring the client’s expectations. The project should always be based on what the client wants and the plans and goals set.

  1. Update clients

Avoid the possibility of your final work getting rejected by making sure that clients are updated with everything that is happening with the project. As much as possible clients should be given the chance to access real-time information. This is necessary to ensure client satisfaction and to be able to implement necessary changes or clarify details before the whole project reaches completion. This is good not only for the client but also for everyone working on the project as it minimizes or even completely eliminates any possibility of having the project revised or redone. Fortunately, most project management software nowadays already come with features that guarantee project transparency and quick updates for everyone concerned with the project.

Again, creative projects are unlike other business projects. Precision may not be expected and changes may be implemented at some points while the project is being completed. Inputs from the client and the creative team will have to be reconciled. That’s why a project manager has to be creative and adept in handling everything. Communication and collaboration should be nurtured. Moreover, there should be ample communication with the client to make sure that the project is completed according to what the client wants. Given all these, it helps using a project management software.