Mastering creative project management - Essential tips for project success

Account Managers are the glue in a creative agency. They ever so carefully manage key creative projects and connect the agency’s creative teams with key clients and make sure all projects hit key dates, objectives, and result in work everyone is proud of.

March 28, 2024

Sounds easy, but managing a creative project can be a massive challenge and can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.

Here are our top tips for making sure your projects are set up for success.


1. Briefing is everything.

It’s so important for everyone to be aligned on the creative brief, so the project has the best possible chance to deliver.

We need to understand why we are doing this, what problem are we trying to solve, what we want people to do and how will we know we are successful.  

A clear and single-focused brief is so important. Often creative briefs are trying to solve several problems at once or don’t have a clear objective or measurement. make sure you have one clear focus and outcome so the team can work towards solving that through creativity.

2. Communicate early and often.

Communication is key to successful creative collaboration both within the creative team and with clients.

Internally, we plan regular feedback sessions with the creative team to make sure a project is running to plan/scope and to enable everyone to raise any questions or concerns along the way.

Clients and Agency teams will catch up regularly during a campaign to ensure all milestones are being hit, so everyone knows where we are in the process and how we are tracking the deliverables.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

The creative team should be shielded from any unnecessary details, dramas, or trivial issues so they can concentrate on what they do best.

Remember it’s the Account Manager’s job to sweat the small stuff and be across the details, anticipate any issues and solve them if any of them come up.

4. Go with the flow.

While it’s important to have a detailed project plan, it’s also important to remain fluid enough to adapt quickly to change without causing chaos or confusion.

If you have the right resources and tools in place, you can easily deal with last-minute deadline changes or additional outputs.

5. Give the gift of space and time.

Creative brains work differently from logic and process-driven brains. We always set clear deadlines and hours on a job, however, there needs to be enough time and space for a creative to deliver on the job effectively.

We make sure the creative team have all the information they need upfront, clear their workloads of any distractions, and book their time in blocks for runs at clear thinking.

6. Understanding your creative team

Creatives all work differently and have different ways of working.  

Do they work better in the morning, or late at night? Do they work better with their favourite music blasting, or need a quiet space?

If you understand when and where your creative team think best, you can adapt a project plan to suit.

7. Are three brains better than one?

Can the wider agency team offer more support to your lead creative? Maybe someone to help gather research or a team brainstorm to kick off the thinking process. Sometimes going wide with thinking early on with a larger group can be massively beneficial in the creative process.

8. Trust in the process.

Our best results always happen when clients and businesses trust in the creative process and are brave enough to let our creative brains do their thing.

9. Uncover the real problem.

We always try to unlock the brief and discover the true problem to solve. What are we trying to achieve?

We love to push the envelope with creativity, some of the best ideas in advertising and brands are the ones that don’t make sense. We love that and love the creative freedom to explore new ideas and ways to deliver on our client briefs.

10. Be presentation ready.

Make sure presentations are finalised a few days beforehand.

Do a dummy run-through with the presentation team to make sure everyone is familiar and comfortable with the flow, pick up any errors and check timing.

Make sure you know the space you are presenting in, make sure you have the right cables, there is a screen to present and there is enough room for everyone that needs to be there.

Get to presentations early to set up and troubleshoot any tech problems ahead of time to remove any last-minute panic.

No project is ever the same, but from experience keeping these top 10 things in mind can lead to a more fun and prosperous project. If you want to chat to us about working with you on a new creative project and putting some of these things into practice, contact the team today.

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