In terms of business approach, a creative agency accomplishes their tasks different from a full-fledged ad agency. Hence, these two similar agencies each require a different type of agency project management software (PMS).
Creative professionals work best in an environment where they have the flexibility to move and experiment with a variety of ideas. They are also more visual than other individuals. It will be quite a challenge to manage a creative team if you are not creative yourself. Due to their very nature, it will be difficult to rein them in if you do not provide the right structure from the very start for them to meet client deadlines. But with the right creative agency PMS, you’ll be able to do so. Therefore, it is best that you know what features to look for when you are shopping for a creative PMS for your agency.
Simple user interface and capability to integrate with other tools
A complex PMS guarantees non-usage. It is important for a PMS to be very user-friendly. It should be one that can streamline tasks efficiently and a tool that creative people will take to at the first instance. It should be easy to use and implement; should be quick as well, and can be integrated with other tools. The PMS does not have to be flashy and contain other features that are hardly needed. But it should have a visual impact.
A creative PMS that integrates with other applications such as Adobe creative suites would be great. The user interface should be quite flexible, meaning that it must be easy to add new fields. It should be customisable so that it can meet project requirements. Creative agencies often get one-off clients whose needs might not conform to standard and fixed tools.
Tasks and milestones
It is important to share overall goals with the creative team as it gives them the liberty to do the tasks that they’re good at. It is also important for team members to set milestones to keep them on track. Creative teams work on deliverables, so there should be definite time boundaries. Creative tasks are co-dependent on the output of team members, and the project is not finished until the parts are assembled to make a whole, and get it ready for submission. Tasks may expand, therefore large tasks should be broken into smaller parts, which makes it easier to finish each milestone. Keeping this in mind, it is beneficial for a creative agency to find a creative project management software that allows the creation of sub-tasks and setting of milestones.
On-screen commenting and collaboration
Creative agencies normally use illustrations and mockups that need to be shared with other team members. The creative PMS should have a file sharing feature that will also allow team members to add their input into a design, as it is often very difficult to explain design problems without a very lengthy explanation. Being able to point problems directly on screen makes a big difference. It makes on-screen commenting option a very desirable feature in a creative project management software.
Creative people are very visual, so they will respond well to a creative PMS that shows the deadlines for deliverable visually. They can respond well to pressure and seeing their deadlines will allow them to manage their time while keeping the team’s morale high and letting them keep their focus and creativity.
Industry research and data are essential, especially if the creative project is ad-based. When selecting a PMS, look for one that is capable of quickly generating data you immediately need. The advertising industry is fast moving and innovative therefore the creative design should correspond well to the product’s requirements as well as marketing trends, consumer preferences and market conditions. These types of data enable the creative team to come up with design proposals. Thus, it is essential that the PMS tool should have a reporting feature.
It is always important to have an inventory of the features you need in a creative agency project management software. Use that as a guide when selecting the best productivity tool, taking into consideration the specific requirements of your creative agency and your clients’ needs.