Creative teams are usually better off in environments where managers aren’t peering over their shoulders while they work. High levels of autonomy are especially important during the brainstorming and early execution phases of any new project or campaign.
But that’s not to say that creatives should be left entirely to their own devices. Effective project management for creatives includes consistent feedback by team leaders, as they bid to keep things moving forward. Managing a creative team’s workflow properly creates room for innovation and increases the likelihood of campaign success at the end of the day.
How to Properly Monitor Your Creative Team’s Workflow
Monitoring a create team’s workflow without micromanaging is possible through a variety of methods and techniques. Some, like the three mentioned here, are better than others at not limiting the creative liberties of hardworking employees.
1) Use a project management tool
One of the best ways to monitor a team’s workflow is by investing in a project management tool. Companies like Scoro refer to these as work management tools, especially if they offer broader operational assistance over and above just helping with specific campaigns.
A good project management software can help with everything from workforce planning to integrating campaign data for consistent analysis. By using this kind of software, team leaders can get an overview of progress at any time (and pull detailed reports in the blink of an eye) without having to tap on someone’s shoulder to get the update they need.
2) Adopt the critical path method
The critical path method, otherwise known as CPM, is a management technique that initiates campaigns by carving out the longest sequence of tasks that have to be completed in order for a project to reach completion. It’s literally critical in the sense that it points every step of operations towards the successful execution of the campaign.
Knowing this path upfront means that managers can take a step back and invest more energy in solving problems that may slow down or jeopardize the completion of the project.
3) Bank on a thorough work breakdown structure
WBS, or work breakdown structure, is a popular technique used in many types of operations. It allows leaders to visualize the total workflow in the foundation building phase of any project, giving leaders the opportunity to see exactly who has to complete what in order to see the campaign through.
This technique dedicates a lot of time to planning, definition, and development. It also has team check-ins built in, meaning that everybody knows exactly when they will have to give updates without worrying about being pulled into an ad hoc session unexpectedly.
Monitoring a creative team’s workflow is easy when leaders incorporate one of the methods or techniques mentioned here.
Avoiding micromanagement at all costs and encouraging autonomy — and all the while knowing your team has a firm handle on things — offers project leaders total peace of mind that campaigns have the best opportunity to succeed.
Everyone involved will be less stressed in the process, and managers can focus on creating new opportunities for the business to keep growing.