Picture this, you’ve been working on launching the new F/W collection of a fashion brand, and while you and your team have steadily worked on developing the brand's key deliverables and hero campaign, the final deadline is in sight, and with it comes a climate of panic and stress. How often have approaching deadlines pushed you and your team to work longer, more intense hours? We can all agree that a stressful environment doesn’t make for a healthy and productive workflow, so how can we manage our workflow more efficiently and make sure we meet deadlines every single time?
A best practice of project management to help meet deadlines involves using the retro planning method, also known as backward planning or reverse planning. This method involves building charts, similar to a standard timeline, representing the project’s various tasks, steps, and milestones needed to meet the deadline, except that they are represented in reverse chronological order. A Gantt chart is ideal to track and monitor the progress of each milestone while getting full visibility of the timeline and approaching deadlines. For example, if you are an account manager in a creative agency, your retro timing plan could start with the final delivery of the material and end with the initial brief and brainstorming sessions.
Meeting deadlines are also about making sure that the different dependent variables are aligned and can realistically be completed to meet the final deadline. Break down your retro planning into smaller clusters of tasks to manage on a smaller scale, which will help make sure they are ready in time to meet the final deadline. Set up a weekly checklist of sub-tasks to oversee and keep monitor, including the status update of different team tasks, the progress of deliverables in the making, rounds of feedback etc. Set up a list of manageable tasks to accomplish to help become more productive and time-efficient and eventually meet your final deadline.
Investing in great project management tools such as Asana or Trello is an essential part of keeping up with deadlines, as they can help you get full visibility and an overview of the project’s progress. Use the calendar on a project management tool to visualize your project’s status update, create tasks and sub-tasks to streamline the team’s workflow, and use the communication features to follow up with each team member.
Much like project management, streamlining communication and optimizing teamwork is an essential part of successfully meeting deadlines. After all, team collaboration is about being “in this together”, and so it is important to keep communication clear and transparent throughout the entire project lifecycle. Of course, the tools mentioned above can help keep the entire team on the same page and ensure the delivery of tasks as per their due date. When it comes to creative projects or visual assets, BOOM Worksite and its workrooms can do wonders to help streamline teamwork to meet deadlines. Like other DAM, BOOM Worksite allows all team members to access the same images and videos, update versions, and share visual assets from one single source of truth. Moreover, when you create a workroom for a specific project, you can insert specific images that need work, assign tasks to different team members, let everyone visualize and give feedback, and comment, and let stakeholders either give final approval or request revisions on specific visual assets. Not only does a workroom help streamline teamwork, but it can also help you keep track of the tasks’ overall progress. For example, if a visual asset still hasn’t been updated even though a revision was requested, you can mention your team member and remind them to (kindly) update the work. And guess what? Workrooms also include a “due date” feature for each project, with notifications that can remind team members that their deadline is approaching.
Streamlining teamwork and making collaboration easier will guarantee greater respect for project deadlines every single time.