Some project management roles can be predictable, lacking challenge, and maybe even boring. Some project management roles differ per client and per project, providing that extra edge and excitement (or perhaps additional stress or frustration). So regardless of your project preferences, or your outlook on them, most project managers greatly welcome a new, exciting, and creative project.
So what should project managers do to manage the creative project?
- Analyze, Manage Risk, Document. Before launching a new, creative project, project managers should treat it like any other project. The specs, instructions, and requirements should all be analyzed and documented.For example, a creative project might be planning a company outing or holiday party or other event, a company-wide volunteer day, or even a project that involves improving the job. Even though creative projects can be more enjoyable, it doesn’t mean they don’t come without their own sets of risks. These risks should be identified at the forefront and responded to properly.
- Get a Small Team Together. Regardless of what the special project consists of, you can’t do it alone. Get a small team together to split up the tasks and responsibilities. It’s also helpful to gather input, feedback, and suggestions on the project from team members to help improve the outcome and quality of the final deliverables.Working within a team can be fun and productive, when managed well. Again, regardless of the specs or requirements of a particular creative project, it shouldn’t be done without a team.
- Use an Open-Minded Approach. Sometimes when we focus too much and too heavily and intently on a project, we fail to see the larger picture and what the final product will look like at the end. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the deadlines and the steps needed to get there. Professional writers often refer to this as a creative block.So how do project managers deal with or avoid this? Try to go at a project with an open-minded approach. Forget about the deadlines, tasks, and steps to complete the project for a little bit and focus on the project as a whole. What should the final deliverable accomplish? What are the overall goals? How will others benefit from its outcome?
Any creative project can be a project that differs from the normal, day-to-day projects and tasks. Again, creative projects can be a special project or prototype, a company community event, or even a small, team collaboration on a new company policy or other effort. Regardless of what the creative project may entail, it’s best to use the basic approaches to project management (analyzing, managing, gathering data and requirements, responding to risk, etc.).
However, it’s important not too get too wrapped up in the details where it hinders creative thinking. This is why it is important to instill and maintain an open-minded approach. Managing creative projects should be a balance between the two in order to reach the same level of success.