Why We’re All Project Managers Now

Why We're All Project Managers

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 Project managers, eh? Can’t live without ‘em but sometimes wish they’d take their Gantt charts and Kanban boards to a less creative project.

That’s not to say that creative projects don’t need structure. Far from it–it’s called a creative process for a reason. Creativity needs organization and oversight as much as any discipline but it should be part of the creative world and not some external project management tool.

Creatives have a reputation for being good at the blue sky stuff, less so at the practical reality of task-setting and deadlines. But that misconception may have to do with the fact that creatives traditionally aren’t given, or fail to utilize, tools to help them effectively manage their own creative projects.

Not to say that you should ditch your project manager–they will always have an important role to play especially as resource allocators. But having specific creative tasks be set and resolved in the same place where the work is evolving–instead of channeled through a separate PM tool–will ease the burden on project managers and speed up the process for the creative team. Here are some tasks that creatives can use:

1. To-dos Set a due date and a reminder and notify that person when the deadline is approaching.

2. Approvals Request approval for one or more files then nominate who needs to approve. Then notify them of your request and tell you when they’ve approved your work.

3. Overviews Want to know what everyone on your team is working on without wasting time in endless status meetings? Create an at-a-glance overview of everyone’s latest activity, including files uploaded, comments added and tasks resolved. This snapshot of who’s doing what is a great way to identify roadblocks and keep everyone moving forward together.

Those are just three ways that creatives can take project management into their own hands in a more convenient and contextual way.

Asya Watkins is a Smart PMP® Coach at The Smart PMP® (www.TheSmartPMP.com) & a Practicing Corporate Project Manager with a love for teaching people the tips & tricks on how to Pass the PMP Exam!

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