12 Steps to Simple Task Management for Creative TeamsThe Flow TeamLast Updated: August 5, 2020
When you’re managing a creative team, you have to get creative yourself. Creatives often need time, space, and a sense of freedom to do their best work. Cracking the whip could eventually send them running—usually in the direction of a competitor. You know how the saying goes: People don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.
So, when you’re strategizing ways to optimize team members’ performance, don’t give the micromanagement method a second thought. Employ simple task management tools and techniques that support your team instead of cramping their style. This method will make your job easier, too.
Supporting Creatives Without Micromanaging Performance
The following steps assume that your team already works with one or more tools designed for managing creative projects. Some, or even all, of your team members may still prefer using whiteboards or drafting tables for crafting ideas—and we don’t recommend that they stop. But, for managing administrative tasks, using apps and software that streamline these functions will make the process more efficient. Your goal is to draw your team away from the busywork that wastes time so you can help them get back to being creative.
Here’s how you do it:
- 1. Form specific teams within your organization. Within your software platform, just as you do in real life, create and name your organization. Then, set up individual teams according to departments, roles, or objectives. Some examples of common teams include marketing, production, and web development.
- 2. Invite members to the team whose input you’ll need. There are always individuals who possess multiple talents, and there are those with distinct and unique expertise. The structure of your teams will reflect this depending on the roles and responsibilities of your team members. For each team, invite the people who will be active contributors. Some degree of crossover is to be expected, but you can add or remove members any time things change.
- 3. Have team members create their own profiles and set notifications. It’s essential that team members feel autonomous and have the authority to set up their “desk” in a way that fits how they work. In addition to creating unique profiles, encourage your team to customize notifications to reflect only the updates they want or need and to mute those notifications when the interruptions are too much.
- 4. Create a project, and give it a distinct name. Each project will be the home where individual tasks live. From here, you can keep an eye on how everything is moving and see whether certain teams need support.
- 5. Create the tasks that will move a project toward completion. This is where it’s easy to take a wrong turn. To make task management simple for you and all team members involved, create tasks under each project—but only tasks that actually move the project forward. Extra admin is only busywork that will distract from the bigger picture. So, be discerning with your choices to make sure your creative teams are creating.
- 6. Set start and due dates that are achievable. When tasks have start and due dates, it’s easier for team members to prioritize their work. If your productivity platform has the functionality, set due times as well. And when a task is (or becomes) urgent, add or update priority labels to ensure the team is notified in their newsfeeds.
- 7. Assign each task to the right team member. The assignee for a task will always be the team member in line to accomplish it. As the task moves down the project pipeline, the assignee may need to change—and it’s easy to do. Marketing copy, for example, usually passes through the writer, editor, and graphic designer, and it’s easy to reassign tasks along the way.
- 8. Add followers who might need to keep an eye on a task’s progress. A follower might be you or another manager, but it could also be someone who won’t be an active contributor but still needs to be in the loop. For instance, the team member who handles tech issues might want to have eyes on how a complicated website’s design is going. By following a task, you’ll receive notifications of updates in real-time.
- 9. Attach helpful files, notes, and links to individual tasks. By attaching product specs, client notes, and web links directly to tasks, team members won’t have to hunt for the resources they need. You can also keep conversations about a task and its resources all in the same place for optimal focus. The more organized your team is, the freer they will feel to be creative.
- 10. Make tasks recurring if they’re repeatedly performed. All common daily, weekly, or monthly tasks should be scheduled to recur. Tasks for generating quarterly reports and hosting annual check-ins should be put on repeat as well. This feature saves teams from time-wasting task creation when their artistic focus is needed elsewhere.
- 11. Set up team chat channels. Outside of individual tasks, your team will still need to communicate about upcoming projects, new clients, or even vacations. You’ll also want to celebrate team successes. Team chat channels facilitate these conversations, keep team communication organized, and help individuals feel connected.
- 12. Be available when team members need you through a private chat channel. Streamlining the administrative tasks gives team members greater freedom to create. But you want to keep the original channels of communication wide open. Your team needs to still know that they can lean on you when they need to. So, be available for private chats—an all-in-one platform makes even spontaneous conversations convenient.
One Simple Task Management Tool for Creative Teams
If you’re not already using software that streamlines your project workflow, we’re tasking you with making that step a priority. When workflows, resources, and communications are organized, team members can spend time where their efforts are most valuable. And they’ll feel more fulfilled and empowered in the process.
When you engage a robust all-in-one tool, your job will evolve from simply managing your team’s tasks to being a source of constant creative support. You can expect greater dedication and inspiration all around.
With Flow, it’s possible to support your creative team without micromanaging their work. With simple task management, you create more space for focus and productivity. Your team will feel more empowered to do their best work. Get creative with how you manage your team and let Flow help!
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