Keeping track of projects in a creative or digital agency can be a challenge. That’s because, unlike other domains, managing creative process for creative agencies needs imagination and at times, even contrarian thinking. But that doesn’t mean that it should necessarily lead to chaos or confusion.
97% of organizations believe that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. With the right creative process, agencies can better manage both their projects and personnel and create mutually beneficial workflows. With a standardized workflow, you can make sure that your creative or digital agency hits all its deadlines.
But that’s not all you can do.
When you manage your creative process in a structured manner, you can improve internal collaboration and the quality of your product. This will positively affect your bottom line. That’s why managing the creative process should be a top priority for managers in creative agencies.
What is a creative workflow or the creative process for creative agencies?
A creative workflow is a process through which creative agencies and teams generate new ideas and content, get them internally approved, create campaigns, and get those externally approved by the clients.
With a creative workflow, there will be greater transparency and accountability and improved productivity in the system. There will be clarity on all aspects of the creative and account management functions, from ideation to the final approval.
To be successful, a creative workflow needs to be documented. Unless all stakeholders know their key roles and functions, it will be difficult to standardize the process.
This document of the workflow will tell various domain leaders who are the key people in charge of the project, the status of the campaign, and a detailed note on changes, iterations, and approvals.
Why a creative process for creative agencies is needed
Without a workflow, there will be endless rounds of revisions and confusion about who’s responsible for the project. This is how creative and digital agencies miss their deadlines.
Plus, since there’s no documented process, both account management and creative team members won’t be able to easily incorporate client objectives or suggestions.
In short, projects will take longer to complete, there will be too many individuals involved, campaigns won’t reflect the needs of the client, and the quality of the product will suffer.
And, of course, everyone will be under stress.
A creative workflow will optimize the process by giving it organization and structure. When everyone’s on the same page and there’s clarity on the deliverables, your agency will save both time and money.
When you have a standardized process, your team will be in alignment with the client’s vision for the campaign. They would get timely and accurate feedback and more importantly, everyone would know how to incorporate them.
By streamlining processes within the agency, you will also reduce friction between various departments and teams. With greater collaboration, your agency will improve the overall quality of the output and make sure that it’s delivered before or by the deadline.
Best practices for managing the creative process for a creative agency
These key steps will help you design a functional workflow to manage the creative process, enhance collaboration, and improve the product in your agency.
1. Use a standardized brief template
Your brief template should mention the objective of the campaign, deliverables needed, timeline, budget, team members involved, and deadline. This information should be easily laid out and accessible to everyone involved in the project.
2. Assign roles and responsibilities
No matter how small your agency is, it’s important to assign roles to individuals, with a creative manager in charge of the project. It aligns milestones with team members and
makes it easy to track the status of the project. Once everyone knows what they have to do, there will be greater accountability.
3. Document the feedback and approval process
Who will review the project and at what stage? How many reviews will be there? These questions have to be addressed and documented. Do remember that too many reviews can only stifle the process and hold back the creative teams from pursuing imaginative work.
4. Hold regular meetings
Everyone should know at what stage they will have to share the work internally. All stakeholders should attend and give their feedback in these meetings. If anyone can’t make it, there should be an appropriate mechanism for them to see the work and give their input without everyone else waiting for them to be physically present.
5. Use the right software
Your workflow will be streamlined and made more transparent with the right software. Heycollab offers a team dashboard with a holistic view of your agency. This will show you a broad scope of tasks, timelines, and deadlines for all projects in your creative agency. Moreover, Heycollab also has custom labels. These show which tasks belong to which teams or projects.
Managing the creative process effectively in an agency can improve the output and lead to business growth. But for that, you need a process where all stakeholders are on the same page, there is systemic support, and the necessary software.
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/