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10 Tips for Creative Project Management

Many creative professionals still lack entrepreneurial thinking. We need beyond imagination, a mindset and a strategic organizational protocol to manage our projects, be it a music album, a commercial or a movie.

What is it?

Usually "project management" is associated with software development or construction, but it is also something that should be applied between designers and filmmakers, whether with a material made for a client or an initiative of their own. In common there will always be measured planning and controlled execution, along with methodologies in budget strategy, communication, collaboration, schedules, etc... Most of us don't understand the technical terms of project management, but it's something we do every day and implicitly we all think it's very important. So it's just taboo and a barrier to be faced in the first place. It is worth researching the fundamentals of this field in general, which has been extensively developed for decades, and making good use of online courses and tutorials. Then it will be a quick transition in implementing and adapting to our creative business.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND DIFFERENCES FROM TRADITIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT? There is a clear tension between creative versus analytical thinking. The artistic medium can be subjective, and dependent on inspiration. There has to be a balance between goals and productivity, and cultivating talent and creativity. It is important to understand and know how to deal with less factual and logical people. However, escape the false romantic notion that art and chaos live side by side. An artistic project will certainly breathe better with a little order and practicality. There is also the issue of results and success criteria, which are more difficult to predict and quantify in the creative field. We ended up relying heavily on learning from past mistakes, references to other successful materials, and consumer/audience insights.

10 TIPS ON HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS AS A CREATIVE MANAGER: 1-Important skills should be flexibility, innovation and intuitive/reactive use of project management techniques, even if in unconventional orders. 2-Empathize with the levels of emotion and feeling imposed by certain artistic projects. It is important to charge but also to give recognition to people. Not everyone works at the same pace and it is important to have feedback on how much time each person needs to reach their goals. 3-Exemplary and clear communication, especially when transmitting ideas that may seem more abstract and difficult to visualize in other contexts. 4-Think outside the box and break traditional "project management" rules when necessary. Beware that sometimes a static deadline or budget can result in demoralization and poor results. 5-As a manager, be "multi-task" and try to understand all the steps and specific functions of the project. It can be difficult to manage a "cameraman" if you don't know anything about image and video. 6-If you work for a client, it's a great idea to check the need to educate them about the specifics of a creative project, so that there are no doubts or wrong pressures. It will help in understanding deadlines and he will be more open to suggestions for changes. 7-Clarify the "scope" of the project and don't let vague ideas hang in the air too much. Bring something concrete to the table when there are unregulated brainstorms and solidify goals. 8-Incisive monitoring is essential, as it is more common than in other areas for projects to go off track. Motivating team collaboration can help with this process. 9-Optimize your lifestyle to be always willing and available, even if it means seeking help to handle many projects. However, in the short term, be aware of your ability to not have "overload". 10-The planning and conceptual phase are more important than in other areas, so value it. After all, there is no execution, management or marketing strategy that can save a bad idea.

In English: the PMI (Project Management Institute) is the largest global body on the subject. Here is a link to a very interesting article entitled "Applying project management to the cultural and creative industries: a tool for developing countries":

FINAL CONCLUSIONS There is still a lot to learn and develop, as studies and implementation of project management processes in creative environments are still maturing. What would a film made with "agile" or "scrum" methodologies look like? As it is an extremely dynamic and constantly changing industry, it is difficult to keep up, but it is clear that good management can always optimize the end result. That said, it is noteworthy that all the great principles of traditional "project management" are still valid, and a valuable resource! What projects have you been developing and how is your approach? Do you have an execution tool or workflow template? If you have questions or ideas to discuss, leave it here. Thanks and good luck in our creative projects!


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