Managing creative projects can be a real challenge - there are so many different parts that need to come together to create the outcome your client wants. However, you can learn a few valuable tips about managing successful projects by looking at cat behaviour - after all, cats have been successfully managing their human slaves for thousands of years.
Here are 15 vital project management lessons learned from cats:
1. Eliminate Unnecessary Paperwork
Paperwork can stall projects and tie your team up with admin work, rather than the creative tasks they do best. Papers get lost and everything needs to be copied and collated several times. A cloud-based project management tool like WorkflowMax gets rid of that pesky paperwork and saves hours of admin time.
2. Break Down Silos in Your Workflow
Silo mentality is where different teams in a company - or different people in a team - don't communicate with each other. They keep on doing their own thing. This means tasks often get repeated unnecessarily, and ideas aren't shared.
Defeat silos by giving your team ownership in the project. Encourage them to collaborate with shared tools, and step back from the process to give them the space they need to jump those walls and work together.
3. Get a Different Perspective
Sometimes, when a project isn't working and things aren't flowing, it can help to get a different perspective. This might come by taking the team out of the office for a day, by holding another brainstorming session to get everyone thinking in a new way, or to bring in an outsider.
4. Sometimes, You Have to Think INSIDE the Box
When thinking creatively, it can be tempting to follow the zaniest, craziest idea and see where that leads, but sometimes the old, dependable campaigns bring the best results. They're tried and true because they work.
5. Have a Clear Structure, and Know Who is in Command
Every successful project begins with a clear chain-of-command. Everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and who they're reporting to. This enables your team to get on with their specific tasks, while you sit back and look smug.
6. Use the Internet to Bring Together the Whole Team in New Ways
With a cloud-based project management system, all the members of your team can work on the same file, no matter where they are in the world.
7. Give Quiet Collaborators the Opportunity to Shine
Some of your team will be shouting their ideas from the rooftops, but others might need a little encouragement to speak-up.
8. When Dealing With External Contractors, Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team
If you regularly rely on contractors to help you make projects a reality, treat them as if they are part of the team. Get them involved from the very beginning of the process, and you'll find they'll stay loyal and continue to strive to produce better work.
9. Don't Overcomplicate Things
Often, projects can feel like trying to fit a feather duster sideways through a cat door - impossible to achieve with the tools you have in front of you. Relax, refocus, and you'll discover the answer has been right in front of you all along.
10. It's Important to Set Aside Time for Creative Contemplation
Creative doesn't just happen - it needs the right melting pot of exciting brief, awesome people, and time and space to come up with the award-winning idea. Make sure your team has enough time set aside for creative brainstorming, or you could find your workflow severely compromised.
11. Find Ways to Streamline Processes and Save Time for More Important Things