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Creative operations – Key concepts to boost success

by Casey Schmidt  |  May 5, 2020

4 min. read
Animated group of workers discussing ideas.

Ironically, a creative attitude toward creative operations is the best approach. These essential processes drive a project forward and bolster efficiency standards. However, sometimes the methods of pushing creative procedures forward become stale. Break free from this stagnation with a dynamic, creative outlook toward creative operations. Here’s a guide to get you onto the right path.

What is creative operations?

Creative operations is the system that increases workflow and oversees deadlines within a creative process. It gives creative team members insight into what’s happening throughout a campaign. It is a clear solution to maximize workflow and ensure assets are completed on time.

Here are some ways to maximize your success when mapping out your team processes:

Measure structural limits

Creative operations encourages the streamlining of sophisticated projects. As a result, the need for a system to measure them was born. Walk the tightrope between restriction and efficiency by checking limitations placed onto team members. Chances are that a few key tweaks here and there will improve the overall outlook and efficiency of teams.

A man holding a giant ruler.
Periodically check to make sure your creative teams aren’t restricted.

Let creative output flourish by maintaining a reasonable structure. Imposing too much structure onto a concept squashes creativity. In setting up creative operations, organizations maximize their creative output and provide structure and timeliness. However, too often the approach focuses on building the process rather than the operation itself. By taking a step back and analyzing, organizations allow for maximum creativity while upholding important project structure.

A common example of this concept is when administrators and managers review the success of their implemented structures. So often the manager benefits greatly by adjusting schedules and deadlines to allow for further creative production. Keep this in mind as you review your own processes.

Pursue unique approaches

Creative operations involve work with newly developed departments. The same approach taken toward an engineering department isn’t going to work for a design department. It’s clear that creative team members need different structures and deadlines within each campaign project. Otherwise, teams just won’t function at a high level.

A man watering a lightbulb in a flower.
Change your approach for each department.

Take advantage of the fact that a creative team has different ideas in order to succeed. As you establish creative operations, ensure they include enough space for different types of members to interact and produce the way that best suits them. This is a key component of workflow management and creative teams can have structure without inhibiting creativity.

Focus on technological potential

A lesser-utilized part of the creative process is setting standards for technology usage. To accelerate creative campaigns, dedicate a set portion of time and effort on technology. This includes concepts such as tech disparities. Discover where your creative teams are lacking in technology, then work to close the gap in their processes.

An office team growing light bulbs.
Regularly assess potential technological upgrades.

As technology advances, change the amount of focus placed on your marketing stack gaps. Furthermore, schedule assessments throughout each year to optimize creative operations. Marketing technology is a blossoming concept, bound to continue in the foreseeable future. Therefore, make sure to examine your overall process from time to time.

A system designed specifically with creative teams in mind is digital asset management (DAM). Remove part of the creative operation procedure by using the storage provided by DAM. It will keep you technologically current and provide sufficient access to creative content.

Use advanced statistics

Hard stats and analytics verify that creative operations are efficient. Data and statistics present facts and numbers to prove that teams are delivering effective campaigns. Make certain to analyze numbers and change expectations based on the data.

An animated representation of research.
Use analytics and research to verify things are working efficiently.

The prudent way to optimize creative operations through data is trial and error. Tweak allowance percentages and change timelines from time to time. This includes things like percentage of revisions requested per project or how many days are given to each. By putting this important process under a microscope and measuring its success with data, organizations get an accurate understanding of what is working and what isn’t.

The best example of this concept is when creative operations managers apply advanced metrics to cut through flaws in their systems. This improves the entire functionality of each campaign.

Remember to be structured yet flexible when it comes to creative operations. The success of your teams and entire project depend on it.