There are many project management strategies to help you reach your creative project goal and delivery. Here are a few of my tips to keep your creative project moving in the most successful and efficient manner.
Define the project
Before you even start working the creative side of the project, define what you are delivering. This can be done as part of the quoting process, scope out the deliverables with the client so you both have the have the same understanding on what you are delivering and what you are not. This can include milestones and invoices as well as the creative product.
Work out your requirements
Work out what you need to do and complete and what you need your client to supply or confirm. Do this early, give yourself and your client time to collate what is needed and ensure that it is ready for when you need it.
Break your project down into manageable bite sized pieces and tackle it in a logical manner. Have client feedback and approvals at regular intervals and ensure they are having input at each step where it is important.
Make a plan
Map out the entire project, from beginning to end, bite sized piece by bite sized piece and include your clients / stakeholders review and approval times in it. Once you have these written down you know the next steps at any point of the project. There are many project management tools out there that can help with the mapping it out, creating gantt charts etc. Find one that suits you if you want to use one.
Review your plan regularly
Review your project plan each day as you track through the project, before you get your head stuck into the creative side, take five minutes to review the plan and create the day’s tasks. Your creative project may move and sometimes you need to shift with it and adjust to keep it moving, this can be easier if done daily.
Continually keep your lines of communications open with your client and stakeholders. Schedule in regular catch ups and send them updates at least once a week. Keeping them in the loop and up to date with progress can help them to feel confident in the delivery and ensure that any unknowns or assumptions are found early.
Avoid scope creep
You don’t ever want to under deliver and it is just as important that you don’t over deliver either. Make sure when you have defined what your project is you keep reviewing your scope and you stick to what you said you’d deliver. If more is required, you have somewhere to refer back to, making sure you have additional budget and time is allocated for the additional deliverable.
Quality, budget and time
It is often said that you can have two out of the three when managing any project. Keep an eye on these three main elements when completing your creative, they are all equally important and can easily slip.
Each project is different, each outcome is different. At the end of each project take some time to review what worked and what didn’t. Then apply these learnings to the next project. Then you can spend your time focusing on the best part of each project: the creative work!
Jes is a ‘practical creative’, doing the business in a digital agency, being an artist and an university lecturer. Follow Jes on Instagram.