There has been chatter online that project management software may indeed be invaluable for task assignment and real-time communication with clients, but that it can impede the creative juices of designers from freely flowing. However, this is an ill-fitting, blanket generalization of an entire industry that in fact has a diverse array of options for myriad applications. If you read online some claim that project management software hinders the design department from being creative, it is written by somebody who is living in the past. It is true that project management software first came to be as a management tool specifically for construction/engineering/IT projects. However, it did not take long before it quickly became apparent that, as a utility, PM software can be successfully designed for and applied to any type of project that can benefit from efficient, detail oriented management.
Today we are going to dispel the unfounded doubts concerning the application of project management software and that in some way it could hinder their creativity. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
If your design department (along with your entire company, for that matter) is not yet taking advantage of project management software, let us go over the reasons why not doing so is holding you back from realizing your team’s creative potential.
1. The myth that organization stifles creative development
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
– Albert Einstein
We have all heard of how the most creative individuals are often the messiest, most disorganized people out there. However, there is a difference between disregard of what does not truly matter for one’s objectives, and ignorance of one’s surroundings.
Creative geniuses often simply do not care to waste time on fixing up things that neither help nor hinder their creative process; they do not wish to be distracted while in the midst of developing a novel approach or design. Also, according to studies, employees that work in a “organized chaos” environment of their own design are more creative overall, finding inspiration amidst the clutter.
What may look like disorganization to one may in fact be the planned, strategic arrangement of a mind that thinks outside the box. So, will the highly organized structure of project management software hold back your design team from letting loose?
In fact, no. Instead, your creative hive will thrive when they have more time to think because they are spending less time on organizing and submitting their work. With a project management software platform, there is no guesswork involved as to where and how the design department submits their content. They are afforded the opportunity to be as free as they want, and when satisfied that they have created valuable designs for a project they know exactly where to send it.
2. Collaborative communication fuels creativity
One of the most valuable features of project management software is how it enables collaborative communication between departments. Collaborative communication is when departments work together toward a common goal, in this case the timely and effective completion and delivery of a project.
As creative ideas can come from the midst of a cluttered cubicle, they can also come from the most unexpected of employees. PM software allows for all staff to observe what each other are working on, and different vantage points can result in unique contributions to creative development.
For example, if an accounting employee has access to what the design department is tasked with, what if they have knowledge from past experience about the current project? They are free to message the designers and contribute their insights. Had the departments been exclusive from one another, that would be an opportunity lost.
This advantage is not limited just to your staff, but includes your customers as well. Project management software allows your customers to be kept in the loop every step of the way. If your customers come up with new ideas for design direction, or suggestions to augment a design draft, there is nothing holding them back from communicating their thoughts to inspire your creative team.
3. Rapid-fire design submission and review, any time inspiration strikes
PM software allows for information to be shared in real-time, anytime. Every person has had those moments when we are performing some boring, routine action and out of the blue an amazing idea just pops in our head. Say, if that happens to one of your designers while they are showering in the morning, what if they forget what it was by the time they get to the office an hour later?
Even if inspiration strikes on the weekend, there is nothing holding back your team from logging into your software on their smartphone, and submitting a design idea or improvement while it is still fresh.
Further, when brainstorming and spitballing in the office, the real-time submission of design ideas allows for managers to review and return designs while the concept is still warm in the designers’ minds. If you have hired a talented creative design team, ideas are whizzing by at breakneck pace, and not every idea is going to be the one. That being said, without the ability to submit new ideas as soon as they hit, your project is going to miss out on some of the most valuable designs.
Finding a project management software with creative teams in mind
Of course, not all software vendors provide solutions that are catered to assist design departments in creative development; it depends on industry demands. For example, telecommunications software development may have different demands than banking and insurance software.
Take a look around and see which vendors have a track record of being successfully implemented for creative projects. Spend some time doing research and take a few free trial runs (most PM vendors provide such) to find which software matches your design department’s creative scope and demands.