Online Forms and Workflows for Creative Projects
Creative projects are like any other projects in several ways. There are goals, deadlines, and deliverables, and teams hope to learn something during the execution of the project that can make the next project better. An outstanding creative project manager has the same basic skills as any other project manager, plus a certain amount of creativity him or herself.
Effective creative project management encourages, rather than stifles, creativity.
The project manager who gets results and who people want to work with doesn’t make up deadlines from thin air and doesn’t pad schedules beyond the necessary “chaos margin” required with any project. A great project manager is also honest, a strong communicator, and a builder of relationships within project teams, as well as with clients, management, and other key people.
An outstanding project manager doesn’t proceed with the sole aim of checking off boxes, but adjusts as necessary, just as the great chef is prepared to do each time an ingredient is added to a recipe. The goal ultimately isn’t to use this amount of that ingredient, but to end up with a spectacular dish. Sometimes that requires adjustments along the way.
Creative Projects Require Creative Project Management
Trying to force a creative project into the same project management paradigm as, say, an engineering project is a sure way to end up with disillusioned creatives and a mediocre product. Some creative types balk at the mere concept of project management, but when project management itself is accomplished with creativity, it has the effect of better taking care of prerequisites, administrative tasks, and status updates so the creative team can focus more fully on accomplishing creative things.
Online Forms Don’t Replace Communication, but Enhance It
Successful completion of any project requires clear communication. Tools like online forms make communication better. Say you need brief status updates from your graphics lead and your chief copywriter at the end of each day. Don’t rely on sticky notes, voicemail messages, or a few words exchanged as you leave at night.
A simple online form (see Online Form Templates provided by PerfectForms) asking for a quick summary of what was accomplished today (“Finished recording the voice-over for the promotional video”) and what’s on tap for tomorrow (“Post-production will edit in the voice-over with the music”) keeps everyone moving forward while keeping all relevant parties informed and ready to take action when needed. These updates also create a record of exactly what has been done when, so any questions about it later can be answered easily.
Simple, custom forms can improve team communication tremendously.
Workflow Solutions Should Be Designed to Enable Collaboration
Project management that’s opaque and hidden from the people actually doing the work is at cross purposes with effective collaboration. But, when all key people have up-to-date visibility into the project at any given time, collaboration is much more natural. Suppose a photographer is waiting on a new logo to be printed. If he can peer into the project management workflow and discover that the printer is scheduled to deliver the print this afternoon, he can plan tomorrow’s work session better. In fact, he could ask to receive an automatically triggered notification as soon as the print is delivered. And remember: the bigger the project, the more important collaboration is. Make sure your online forms and workflow solutions encourage, rather than discourage, collaboration.
Insist on These Features in Your Online Forms Software
To successfully manage creative projects, your online forms software should be powerful, flexible, and intuitive to use. When this is so, Workflow Applications are more easily developed to meet the exact needs of the project. Online form software should allow creation of Electronic Survey Forms and workflows without the need for programming. Users should be able to drag and drop form or workflow elements into place so the steps of the project are clear. The addition of automatic submission of completed forms, triggered notifications of people whose action is needed, and creation of an audit trail saves time and builds documentation at every step. And, if a project report is required after completion, your software should have reporting tools that make report generation simple and powerful.
Creative project management is an active rather than passive endeavor, and it requires a degree of creativity. With workflow solutions wrought by powerful online form creation software like PerfectForms, managing creative projects is effective and efficient. An intuitive, drag-and-drop interface, easy implementation of automated submissions and notifications, the ability to create audit trails, and powerful reporting features, PerfectForms is the ideal solution for managing creative projects. Watch the PerfectForms demo and imagine the countless possibilities for your creative projects.
Tags: online forms