Question: Why is My Creative Team Always Missing Deadlines?
Creatives are prone to messiness – it’s science. In fact, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychological Science, “being around messiness [can] lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.” Creative types across the globe will rejoice when reading the findings, “finally – an excuse to leave my desk just the way it is – a mess!”
In all seriousness, creatives have a unique approach to problem solving. And, as it turns out, their unkempt environment can actually trigger innovative solutions. Because it would be a disservice to require a rigid routine and reporting structure from your left-brained design team, it’s important to find common ground. Achieve cross-team efficiency by addressing the below reasons your creative team is always missing deadlines.
Answer: They’re trying to keep the process a secret
It’s no surprise that creative types like to hoard their work. Oftentimes, it’s easier for them to keep managers in the dark until the end of the project. In the grand scheme of things, this causes tension and conflict between departments. From the creative point of view: designers often feel like if they share their ideas, there will be an endless amount of critiques and miniscule, seemingly-pointless changes. From the account point of view: managers tend to become irritated by not knowing the status of their ongoing campaign. Knowing that creatives prefer to work in secrecy, how can you, as a manager, allow them the autonomy they desire, while also providing transparency to your account team? It’s a delicate dance. And the answer is simple: deadlines. At the beginning of a campaign set a minimal amount of hard and soft deadlines for everyone, and enter them into a tool with open visibility to the entire team. While it may be difficult for creative roles to stick to an entire, detailed process calendar, more often than not, they will respect a hard deadline and use it as motivation, a finish line.
Answer: They’re working in silos
It’s nearly impossible for creative directors at large agencies to keep tabs on what each member of their team is working on – there are simply too many moving parts. Usually, creative departments get segmented into role type. You’ll see small “creative departments” pop up inside of a larger agency – anything from social, digital, print, TV, outdoor and packaging could each end up with their own design team. This approach quickly puts team into silos, which are not effective when trying to keep everyone on the same page. The problem arises when your employees are unaware of the progress of a project because they are in their own little creative bubble. Switched the direction of your outdoor campaign and never told digital? Great, your designers now have to toss hours of work because they were never brought into the loop. A simple solution is to begin breaking down communication barriers by providing an overall, collaborative vision for the whole team to work towards. Once that vision Go to the full article.