Creative agencies may not think of the importance of operations visibility in your creative agency and quite understandably so. After all, creativity is a free-flowing process that breaks conventions and here we are trying to add operations management to it. But to be competitive and agile, operations visibility is important for any creative agency.
To ensure things run smoothly and to avoid missing deadlines, creative agencies should focus on operational efficiency. In order to optimize your agency’s productivity and manage deadlines within your team, it’s best to have operations visibility in your creative agency. But first, let’s define creative operations as a concept.
What is creative operations?
Creative operations helps the creative process become a more structured framework that improves productivity and optimizes output. It helps creative systems become more productive, efficient, and compliant. Those in charge of creative operations have to:
- Define the creative processes in the organization and figure out how they can be streamlined.
- Identify technology gaps that limit the creative process and locate solutions to help address the situation.
- Optimize the processes, people, and technology in the creative process to ensure the quality of the product.
- Utilize the right KPIs and metrics to evaluate the performance of creative projects.
The three elements of creative operations
To implement operations visibility, creative agencies should be concerned with the three elements that define creative operations.
Heycollab task timelines
Adherence to timelines:
Are the creative assets delivered according to pre-determined schedules? Is there an organizational-level awareness of the need to deliver assets on time? Are there any inefficiencies or bottlenecks in the creative process?
Capacity utilization: Is the creative team understaffed or overstaffed? Does it have adequate strength to accommodate projects or is it functioning close to maximal capacity? Within the creative team, are different units at optimal capacity?
Overall compliance: Is there a structured process and production pipeline for creative assets in the organizations? Are briefing, reviews, and approvals happening within an agreed-upon timeframe? Are there any demonstrable hindrances?
The answers to these questions will help improve operations visibility and highlight the need for relevant metrics, tools, and solutions to optimize the process. While creative work is subjective, creative operations adds a demonstrable level of objectivity to improve the efficiency of the system.
The difference between creative operations and project management
It’s important to understand that creative operations is different from project management. Creative operations requires not just organizational management skills but a strategic mindset. It requires an in-depth understanding of the different domains in a creative agency and how they interact with each other.
Whereas project management requires generic awareness of the skillsets of team members, creative operation calls for a more intuitive knowledge of different functions. Anyone in charge of creative operations should also know the gaps in the tech stack, bottlenecks, and any other hindrances different units might face. That will help them increase collaboration.
How to improve operations visibility in your creative agency
These steps can help bring operations visibility to the forefront in creative agencies.
- Appoint a creative operations manager
The first step is to assign the role of a creative operations manager. The individual should be at least at the level of a VP or Director. They should be tasked with streamlining creative processes, identifying technology gaps, and suggesting and implementing solutions to optimize workflows.
- Review existing workflows
Understanding how creative tasks are currently managed will reveal problems with the process. It’s good to have an outsider’s mentality, which will also increase objectivity. With operations visibility, you’ll know whether there is a standardized process for briefs, reviews, approvals, resource allocations, presentations, etc.
- Improvise current workflows
Once you understand your existing workflows, you have to think of ways to improve the process. It will be helpful to have discussions with all stakeholders, which will show you the bottlenecks and need gaps in technology. The next step is to develop a new flowchart and get everyone on board to standardize it across all units.
- Use software to optimize creative operations
The right software can improve creative operations and save time and effort in the process. Heycollab gives you everything you need in one place, which will significantly improve operations visibility. With Heycollab’s dashboard, you can:
- Get a holistic view of your creative agency and its projects
- See a broad scope of tasks for the projects
- Know the timelines and due dates for your entire agency
My Work allows you to see and understand your work against the overall context. When you see what you’re contributing to the agency, it will be easier to manage your workload.
Creative agency operations will tremendously improve with operations visibility. What will help is automated software to track and manage the workflow.
Heycollab is a project management tool built for teams like yours. With a free 14-day trial you can try out all the cool features. To get started visit https://heycollab.com/