As a member of a creative team, you might not think of yourself as a project manager. But don’t you have deadlines? Performance metrics? Budgets? Face it, you manage projects and probably spend more time doing it than you’d like. And that’s exactly what project management software can help you do better (and faster).
Whether you work for an agency, an in-house team, or a studio, you need to produce amazing creative work. And, as you probably already know, managing workflows, communications, and schedules on the way to delivering that work can be a nightmare. Internal red tape, miscommunication, and unclear instructions and other factors out of your control can often hamper your process. What is in your control is making sure you’re using the best project management solution to work within the parameters you’re given on any particular task or campaign.
Project management software allows you to coordinate and consolidate many things you’re probably already doing elsewhere, but in a way that cuts down on inefficiency, allows you to track your efforts and minimizes rework. If you, for example, rely on a mix of spreadsheets, emails, and assets spread across various libraries, you might benefit from a project management software that combines all of those into one system.
For creatives, project management software can take care of all the headaches around process, file management, and workflow and free up more time ideate and iterate. These solutions can provide dashboards to show you insightful information you need, without having to create pivot tables in Excel. They can provide an interface for you to show your clients your work, without having to fumble with permissions. They can measure and report your productivity and financials quickly. In essence, project management software makes you more efficient and lean and the right project management solution actually allows you to spend less time managing projects. Music to a creative’s ears!
Here are some signs you might need project management software:
● You feel overly stressed just sitting down at your desk
● You’re missing deadlines no matter how many hours you’re working
● You have a hard time finding your files and assets, especially ones from past projects you want to reuse
● You’re paying lots of little software-as-a-service fees for various systems that don’t integrate
● You have to copy and paste information between these systems
● Your communication with other teams or with clients feels like one big game of Telephone
● You feel too overwhelmed fighting daily fires to focus on big-picture strategies and objectives and your creativity feels like it has taken a nose-dive
Here’s what project management software often provides for creatives like you:
● Task management: deadline and progress tracking, as well as tools for collaboration
● Time tracking: tools to quote and track the time spent on each project
● Dashboards: views to see how your performance as it related to projects, finances, and return on investment
● Scheduling: calendar interfaces to help you understand who’s doing what and when
● Workflow: digital proofing and approval processes to cut through red tape
● Digital asset management: everything you need to handle files for print, online publication, interactive, and video
If you’ve never used a project management solution, it’s difficult to imagine the change that it can bring to the way you work. It can seem like an investment in time to research and select the right project management software, but once you implement it, you won’t believe you ever lived without it. You’ll soon realize the edge it gives you over less organized peers who will still be fumbling around with spreadsheets and email chains and wondering if they’ll make their deadlines this month. Unlike them, you’ll be freed up to devote the bulk of your time to conceptualizing and developing the inspirational, innovative work that feeds your creative soul.
Mfactor is a marketing project management platform built from the ground up for marketing and creative teams of all sizes. Mfactor is made by MetaCommunications, providers of productivity and workflow management SaaS solutions trusted by the world’s top brands.