According to Wellingtone’s 2020 Annual Report on the State of Project Management, less than 33% of organizations reported delivering projects on time. Moreover, 57% of businesses stated they exceed the allocated budget upon project completion.

Staggering yet not entirely unexpected numbers, considering the fact that the same research revealed that only 23% of the organizations interviewed use project management software to organize and track their work processes.

In the case of creative agencies looking to scale, using just any project management tool won’t cut it, however.

In this article, we’ll explore five essential elements to look for when selecting a project software that will help you tackle working processes head-on, streamline communication workflow, and improve business methods and organization.

What does it mean to scale business processes?

Though oftentimes used interchangeably, ‘growth’ and ‘scaling’ are two different, yet integral business processes.

Whereas growth implies an equal increase in both revenue and costs, scaling indicates generating revenue more swiftly than increasing the costs required to enable the growth.

How can project management software support creative agencies scaling?

To successfully scale your creative agency’s business, your company will need a helping hand in planning, organizing, and coordinating your tasks, team members, finances, deadlines, and everything else your business embraces.

PM software today is a powerful and comprehensive tool boasting a number of outstanding features – not solely for project management purposes. From strategically distributing heavy workloads, meeting tight deadlines and client demands, to tailoring information flow to your teammates’ or clients’ preferences, any creative web design agency can substantially benefit from employing these tools.

Of course, not all project management tools are suited to achieve the balance between creative and business requirements. Therefore, we’re diving into the most essential features a creative agency should consider when choosing a project management software.

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5 elements of PM software creative agencies need

Cross software integration

Creative agencies are commonly multifaceted, employing a comprehensive approach towards the world of digital. So, if you are an agency that offers the services of web design, custom web development, digital marketing, graphic design, or branding – or a full-service creative digital agency providing all of the above – you’ve got your work cut out on the path towards scaling your business processes.

Project management software that integrates your team’s existing disparate apps and tools in one project workflow alone is an absolute must.

A designer sends a link to their work in Figma, while a developer forwards the address of the staging server, and the marketing team submits their audit via a .pdf file. All of this is going on while the project manager documents project updates and deadlines in a separate project management application.

So, how can you streamline the workflow while facilitating communication and data sharing across different platforms?

The answer is employing a project management tool like that offers integrations with different apps and software, such as MailChimp, Facebook Ads Manager, HubSpot, and Adobe in addition to expediting the progress of assigning project tasks.

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Diverse visualization tools

As a leader of a creative team, you’re already aware of the diverse personalities and needs of your employees. While designers are visual types, your web development team might prosper the most with a checklist task representation.

To accommodate the needs of all your teammates, opt for a project management tool that allows you different types of data visualization. From Gannt charts, Scrum, and Kanban boards, to the good ol’ calendars and lists, the perfect management software should have the capability to diversify the way your information is presented.

Remote work features

By mid-2020, 42 percent of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time. The post-COVID-19 era is bound to witness the rise of flexible workspaces, not only for health and safety purposes but as a standard work arrangement.

Although working from home has become pretty much commonplace, failure to take this into account when it comes to allocation of your creative agency’s time and resources will affect your business scaling process.

By seeking features that enable real-time communication, monitoring, and updates on project tasks, you and your teams can stay on top of everything, regardless of location:

  • Mobile app
  • One-on-one messaging
  • File sharing
  • Time tracking
  • Real-time status updates
  • Progress dashboards and reports

Core project management functionality

With plenty of project management software on the market to choose from, your first instinct might be to hone in only on those offering creative agency-specific functions. The danger here is that you might put on blinders to core project management features you actually need.

Some indispensable elements of project management that you should consider are calendars, individual and team tasks records, the ability to upload project files, real-time updates features, automation of repetitive tasks, among others.

If the project management software does not cover the basic points, there are no special features that could make the app beneficial and valuable for scaling your creative business.

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Intuitive and smooth workflow

A project management app may be feature-packed but without a straightforward, user-friendly layout and an intuitive dashboard, you’ll have little luck onboarding your team and making the habit stick. The faster you can get your team in the groove, the faster you can get work done to reach your scaling goals.

Drag-and-drop task boards, a wide selection of colors to donate status, and the ability to actually see pictures of task owners are excellent examples of this. As creatives tend to have an eye for the visual, a PM tool with efficient space utilization and one that is intuitive, accessible, and flexible, and ensures users’ ease of use.

Creative solutions for agencies

Any business looking for means to scale its processes and optimize time, resources, and tasks, ought to find the right project management tool. Of course, there isn’t an ideal tool suited to everyone – that’s why a creative agency has to prioritize the software that is in tune with the requirements and natures of its team members.

The perfect project management software for a creative agency combines all the basic management features and has an intuitive, streamlined design, enables your teams to effortlessly integrate data from different software, collaborate actively whether in office or at home, and last but not least – allows them to personalize information in a manner most renderable to them.

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