Coordinating the efforts of a well working creative and web design team is mainly about having everybody to do their part while being fully informed about the details of a project. Here are 5 tips for effect team collaboration and management when working on a client project.
1. Get the right people involved from the start. There is nothing worse than a bunch of managers sitting in a meeting looking important to impress, just to have them turn around relay a customers directions on a project back to the people doing the actual work later. I promise that a customer would rather have the creative people and the developers in a meeting to get the project right from the begging, verse feeling like they were sitting in a bank board room meeting with a bunch of suits. You should know your employees project loads and who is best suited to take a project and get them in the know and involved up front.
2. Clarify the rolls of all the people involved in the process, because every one likes the title “lead”, but that doesn’t always mean they know how to lead. Be specific as this will avoid and resolve conflict. If people know where the buck stops and who’s in charge, it tends to stop many internal conflicts on a projects creative direction and development. If your a creative director or sales manager in charge of your teams project management, assign the roles. Letting sales reps, creative people and developers pick their own people to work with can lead to bad decisions and certain people cherry picking jobs for the worse. You should know your teams schedules, and assign accordingly based on your decisions.
3. Over communicate. Because people tend to get nervous when they don’t know a projects status. This is usually when people start micromanaging, nagging the creative team or start driving the developers nuts being backseat managers. If everyone is in the loop, there is no question what stage the project is in or who in in charge of pushing the project to the next step. Be clear about who needs to provide final approvals and keep the ball rolling.
4. Collaborate effectively by collecting feedback and documents in a central place as to make tasks and approvals easy and keep everyone on the same page. Keeping creative assets, copy and revision documents in a centralized location will only help speed the production process along and make sure everyone is using the latest assets from a client. Invest time in learning and using collaborative software services like DropBox, Google Docs, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive or One Note to keep client files organized.
5. Don’t disappear in the middle of a project. If anyone on your team is going on vacation or working remote for a while, make sure the lines of communication are open or it has been clearly communicated to the team who the alternate backup is. Always make sure everyone knows where people are at and how to get ahold of them. Invest in an instant collaboration software like #slack or Skype and require your team to use it. Create groups by project and keep your communication organized and fully searchable for the entire team.