August 29, 2023

Lessons for staying organised during creative development journeys

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Lessons for staying organised during creative development journeys

Sophie Baillie profile picture

Sophie Baillie, Associate Director & Head of Client Services:
  • Plan, plan and plan some more
  • Effective solutions for creative project management 
  • Teamwork makes the dream work! 

While I was at sixth form, my step dad taught me about the military adage of the 7 Ps, and I can guarantee you that it was met with a significant number of eye rolls from my teenage self. However, fast forward 15 years and I now find myself falling back to the 7 Ps with a lot of the client work I oversee, and this especially rings true for website and video projects.  

Embarking on the development journey of website and video projects brings opportunities for boundless creativity through digital storytelling, and the pivotal role of organisation in shaping these projects shouldn’t be underestimated. From wireframes to the final cut, meticulous planning and structured workflows are the backbone to a successful project. 

Website and video development is a labyrinth of design, content, and production, and it can be difficult to know where to start. So, here are the lessons I have learnt along with way, for when you next approach a creative development project.  

Crystalise your project’s purpose 

Before starting the creative process, it’s crucial to define clear objectives (from a business, marketing and communications perspective) and establish milestones along the way. Who is your target audience? What are your desired outcomes – are you aiming to launch a captivating video or revamp your website’s user experience? 

Gantt charts will be your best friend

There are a multitude of project management tools that are ready at your fingertips, ready to streamline project management; think Trello, Monday, Asana. But, if you’re not familiar with these platforms, getting your head around how to use the software can be a learning curve in itself. I like to keep things simple by using Microsoft Excel to create a Gantt chart (hint: there are loads of free templates online and on Excel so you don’t have to spend lots of time setting these up). 

The beauty of Gantt charts means that your team has clear timelines for project delivery to keep them accountable, but deadlines can be stretched and moved if challenges arise (which they will, trust me!). 

There is no such thing as overcommunication

On-going conversations between all team members are key to the successful delivery of projects. There is no better method of communication than face to face conversation; written messages can lose meaning and easily be misinterpreted. Hold daily WIP (work in progress) meetings to get status updates on projects and set action targets for the day. Use instant messenger tools like Slack or the chat functionality on Microsoft Teams for end of day progress updates. Maintaining open lines of communication fosters a collaborative spirit within teams, helping people to stay motivated, aligned and focused. 

Final thoughts…

While these tips may seem obvious, when you are in the midst of a creative project, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees: by their very nature they are all consuming and intense (and that is why I love them!). I have had the pleasure of working on some amazing website development projects this year alongside our Head of Design (Bucksmore Education and Oxford International College Brighton), and truly relish the reward you get once a website is live and complete. 

And so, when you approach your next creative project, remember that innovation thrives in the realm of organisation. Most importantly, take pride and enjoy creating your masterpiece of creative order!