Creative and Operations: Getting the Balance Right
by Jan Quant
Legacy tools are still being used for creative operations project management. Output and employee welfare are suffering as a result. How can we increase operational power without quenching creative spark?
At Henry Stewart’s Creative Operations London eventin 2018, Justin Bairamian, Director of BBC Creative,told his storyregarding the difficulties he faced with maximizing the performance of his newly formed in-house creative team. He felt that he had to hire an external perspective to optimize his team’s project management processes as his team “worked too hard and too long” for the level of work that they were producing. The three core objectives of their consultant's brief were to create a new process that “delivers on time, delivers on budget and delivers on brief”.
More creative demand, less time
The challenges that faced the BBC’s in-house creative team are common across the creative operations industry. Creative teams are often overwhelmed with the volume and diversity of content that they are requested to produce by clients and stakeholders. According to a recent survey by Adobe, over 70% of creative teams now produce 10 times more content than they did just five years ago. However, this change in expectations and deliverability has not necessarily been accompanied by an evolution in the creative process.
The critical role of technology is not being recognised
According to Screendragon’s ‘Creative Operations Report 2018’, there are still a large number of creative teams using legacy tools to manage projects. 27% of respondents still use Excel sheets to manage their work and 35% use email, Skype and other instant messengers to collaborate on a project.
Approvals can be one of the biggest time-wasters and headaches for a creative team. Tracking feedback through old email threads or instant chat records can slow the process down considerably. It is evident that many creative teams are still not leveraging technology to speed up delivery and ensure client satisfaction. As these teams grow, their speed-to-market will likely decline, in addition to their mental and physical well being!
Additionally, Screendragon’s report revealed that 40% of respondents considered the most challenging part of their job to be “Too much time spent on admin tasks and not enough time spent on creativity”. Relying on taxing tools such as Excel or email to manage creative briefing and budgets can consume large portions of the creative worker’s day. This is hindering the creative workflow as resources are being needlessly pulled into the project management process and are therefore spending less time doing what they love and excel at: being creative!
Creative operations are on the rise (and for good reason)
More and more organizations and agencies are realizing the benefits of creative operations management and measurement. Peter Drucker’s classic quote “What gets measured gets managed” is still pertinent and applies to the occasionally chaotic creative operations industry too.
The role of Creative Operations Manager or Director has been introduced into businesses to bring structure to the creative process and to focus on key areas like speed-to-market, resource capacity, compliance and more. The creative operations workforce is evolving and it’s time to further support that growth with an appreciation of the value of creative operations management.
If creative teams are to draw on their artistic spark, they need to withdraw from distracting daily operations as much as possible. The relationship between creative and operations blossoms when 'operations’ supports ‘creative – not the other way around! In terms of striking the perfect balance, that equilibrium can only be achieved with effective workflow management software.
How Creative Operations Management Software can help?
Creative Operations Management Software streamlines workflows and enables creative teams and their leaders to focus on the work at-hand. Screendragon is an end-to-end creative operations management solution designed for the needs of agency and in-house agency teams. It allows creative teams to effortlessly manage work requests, design better briefs, reduce the amount of revisions and increase your speed to market!
To find out more about how Screendragon can help boost your creative operations, visit our product pages: MarketingOS and AgencyOS.
Henry Stewart Events – Creative Operations, New York 2019
On May 2, Screendragon will be at the world's largest world's largest event dedicated to Creative Operations. Creative Operations, New York will equip you with the tools to ease and enhance your creative processes.
Register now to meet Screendragon and join the conversation!