How to Effectively Manage Resources for Your Creative Team

Are you struggling to effectively assign tasks to your creative team? Do your contributors provide work via different pathways, using different file management techniques? Well, you're not alone.

Creative teams within agencies or in an in-house environment may be comprised of a variety of digital contributors: graphic artists, copywriters, video production crews, etc. Today's creative resources can be located onsite, across the country or even around the world. Managing these resources effectively can have a critical impact on productivity.

What is Resource Management?

Resource management for creative teams is the practice of coordinating contributors within defined projects. This might be performed by a project manager, a creative director, or a resource coordinator/scheduler. Some of the responsibilities could include managing project schedules, communications, digital assets, ticket requests, workflow and more.

Challenges That Project Schedulers Face

If you've managed creative teams, you know the challenges of bringing creative developers together efficiently. Think of the multiple impact areas scheduling just one project entails, let alone numerous concurrent projects! Some of these impact areas include:

  • Maintaining a master schedule for project cycles
  • Providing appropriate access rights to multiple contributors
  • Serving an optimized workflow
  • Managing the storage and retrieval of various file formats
  • Coordinating and facilitating approvals from down line contributors such as editors and publishers

With everything that goes into effective project management, scheduling projects for a native team can be quite challenging. Often contributors are working on more than one project at a time and schedulers must take into account workflow considerations, approval ladders, asset searches, among other things. Team work schedules have to be synchronized to deliver a final creative by deadline.

Those who schedule creative team projects commonly face challenges from:

  • Time zone differences
  • Workflow pipelines
  • Resource availability
  • Project disruptions and change orders
  • Communication deficits between contributors
  • Disparate, siloed disciplines like copywriting, video production, etc.

How Technology Addresses These Challenges

Fortunately, technology provides some solutions to the countless challenges project schedulers face. Productivity software enables users to manage multiple project requirements through a dashboard that includes calendars, digital asset libraries, instant messaging or email channels, file storage and more.

Unfortunately, technology solutions often lack seamless integration. There are some solid tools that project managers can deploy, but many have limited capabilities and require a tough integration process with legacy systems. The good news is there are a handful of more complete platforms that address the entire creative process.

By leveraging the integrated nature of a productivity solution like Workgroups DaVinci, project schedulers can:

  • Assign multiple projects to a single contributor
  • Manage project files
  • Check resource availability
  • Automate the approval workflow
  • Monitor project-related budgets and expenses
  • View job workflow
  • Track components for assembled products
  • Invoice customers per project, per account, etc.

It's Not Just About the Technology

Although a project management system can help creative teams organize workflows and manage resources from anywhere, technology cannot solve all the issues that arise from project management. Factors like a contributor's time management, or even communication skills, can also play a role.

There are two other important considerations when you're trying to manage multiple teams or multiple projects: people and process. You've got to hire candidates who can work within the system you have and who participate effectively as a team member. You've also got to put processes in place that support and strengthen the technology you're deploying.