How to streamline your creative operations with improved workflow
Managing the creative process is more complicated than ever before. Thanks to decentralized teams, undocumented project feedback, and tools like email that make it cumbersome to set up repeatable processes, each project seems ad hoc and time consuming.
Yet research shows that creative teams are growing and expected to be more self-sufficient — whether they work remotely, in an office, or off site. According to the 2017 In-House Creative Industry Report1:
- 98% of teams will grow or stay the same size.
- 30% of creative leaders have team members in more than one location.
- 72% of teams are able to work remotely on an ad hoc basis.
- 72% of creative leads do not have enough time to develop their team members.
[57% of creative teams are responsible for creative design production capabilities, 39% do creative development or conceptual work, and 4% are responsible for pure production like edits, revisions, and templated work.]
Not only are creative teams growing, but creative leads are responsible for more external resources1.
- 68% of in-house teams partner with external agencies.
- 39% have had to provide cost comparisons between those external agencies.
- 56% of teams utilize contingent workers to comprise their full-time team.
Creative teams wear many different hats.
Creative leads are responsible for:
- Coordinating tasks with several business units, departments, and internal/external groups
- Collaborating and scheduling with team members and external resources
- Creating and honing strategies for the entire team or department
- Tracking what efforts are working well
- Proofing work and providing feedback
- Ensuring strategy is executed effectively and on time
Team members are trying to:
- Understand what’s being requested
- Prioritize work effectively
- Meet deadlines set by creative leads or clients
- Stay organized while remaining agile
- Execute on their tasks efficiently
- Keep the review process on track to completion
- Collaborate successfully across teams
- Measure their work against business strategy
While creative teams are responsible for a heavy load of work, they don’t always have the support they need.
- 70% of teams do not have an aligned procurement partner who specializes in optimizing their company’s creative and marketing spend.
- 73% of companies have a training budget of less than $1,000 per individual, per year.
- 38% of teams do not have proofing software to collect feedback.
- Only 51% of teams have a dedicated account and/or project manager.
[37% of full-time teams increased in size from 2015 to 2016, and 36% plan to increase their full-time staff in 2017.2]
While 74% of creative teams are using a project management software and 75% have an assigned system administrator1, what we realized is common project management tools aren’t solving the creative problem; those tools weren’t designed with teamwork, sharing, and productivity at their core.
Creative teams experience a variety of problems, even with dedicated project management tools.
- Collaborating can be difficult because teams are communicating across different channels from a variety of locations with a limited amount of time.
- It’s hard to plan, request, schedule, route, proof, and measure work in a repeatable way.
- Processes aren’t documented, which leads to confusion, wasted time, and redoing work.
- Project review and approval isn’t automated; it’s a manual, time-sucking process with too many people giving feedback at the wrong times.
- Project requesters often feel like their submission goes into a black hole. They’re not sure if the request has been viewed, if the work has started, or if it will be completed on time.
- Feedback is often undocumented, leaving team members with no audit trail.
So how can you make sure everything gets done if you don’t have the tools you need to make it happen?
Streamline project collaboration, review, and approval with Widen Workflow
Workflow is a collaboration, proofing, and work management tool that streamlines creative chaos with a standardized review and approval process.2 Everyone gets a bird’s-eye view of project stats in real time.
So if you’re tired of managing the entire creative process without the tools or processes you need, now you can prioritize, collaborate, set reasonable deadlines, and track project progress all in the same place.
Watch a demo of Workflow today to learn how your marketing, product, and creative teams can be more efficient, more effective, and happier in their work.