There’s a long-established idea that creativity is sort of rooted in chaos: this structure and organization is sort of the enemy of big ideas.
If it wasn’t already it is time to reassess this idea – then, surely, this time has come.
In 2020, after all, creative teams around the world have been pulled (often without warning) from their desks and scattered across home offices and kitchen tables.
Most of us have moved from a world of face-to-face communication at any time to a world of video calls, emails and chat apps.
And that only amplified an idea many already believed to be true: Great creative teams need not only great ideas, but also process, communication, and project management to be successful.
The survey aimed to assess what the teams are doing well and what they feel could be improved. He explored the tools and systems they use and the impact of their processes on their efficiency and productivity.
- People almost unanimously believe that there is room for improvement in the way they manage projects.
- Most people find it difficult to have visibility into what other members of their team are working on, and many have a poor view of communication within their company, although they recognize its critical importance.
- An alarming number of people openly admit regularly missed deadlines – and even forget the tasks incumbent on them.
- Email is overwhelmingly dominating as a communication tool, both between teams and with customers – although not to everyone’s liking.
About the survey
Project.co’s Status of project management is a comprehensive report designed to assess how creative teams are handling their projects and communication.
It asks a series of questions to assess what the project management landscape looks like. This is the first report, but it will be released annually and, over time, will track changes in the industry.
The results for this report were gathered by interviewing 437 unique respondents, from a range of industries, niches and countries, as of December 2020.
The main conclusions
The power of task clarity
It has emerged that having a clear list of tasks to be accomplished methodically is a key factor in well-being. and performance.
95% of people feel that having a daily to-do list is good for their mental health, and 96% of people believe this makes them more efficient and productive.
Of those who do not create a daily to-do list, 90% say they “occasionally” or “regularly” miss or forget tasks.
A visibility problem between teams
An old metaphor for coordination is that the left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing.
In business terms, this means it’s important for people to know what other members of their team are working on – avoiding rework, duplication, and making it easy to bring creative solutions and diverse perspectives from all teams. .
This is validated by the fact that 94% of people think that having a good view of what their teammates are working on improves a company’s productivity and efficiency.
However, this is where it gets interesting: less than half (42%) of people say they find it easy to understand what other members of their team are working on at any given time.
It goes without saying that this is a particularly important missed opportunity given the current situation, where better understanding and collaboration between teams can clearly help foster a great sense of employee engagement and alleviate problems. many resulting challenges. remote work.
Communication with clients
When it comes to communicating with customers, email is the key. 67% of people report communicating primarily with their customers by email, which overshadows phone calls (8%) project management software (9%), online meetings (8%) and face-to-face meetings (5%).
But it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Less than half of people say email is their preferred way of dealing with businesses as customers, with 25% saying they prefer to use project management software.
Email is far from ideal due to its siled and disconnected nature – this often leads to lost / misplaced assets, inconsistent information sharing and a frustrating customer experience.
Room for improvement
What is clear in the data is how much better people think things could and should be.
92% of people think that collaboration with their teammates could be improved.
And this filters the day-to-day deliverables: just 16% of people say they “always” meet their deadlines.
This lays bare the fact that while organization, communication, efficiency and reliability are paramount in the creative industry, late delivery, poor communication, and poor organizational levels are still a major factor. and undoubtedly prevent countless companies from reaching their full potential.
Time tracking and project profitability
For many creative teams, time is money – and it often literally is, with billing done by the hour for many agencies.
So the real intelligence and The data time spent on projects is clearly very important – or at least it should be.
Remarkably, in the survey, it appeared that 15% of companies that actually bill their customers based on the time spent on projects do not follow this time at all.
Where companies track time spent on projects, only 13% think it is tracked “extremely accurately” and 35% say it is not tracked very accurately at all.
And data, even collected, is underutilized: 60% of people who track time spent on projects say they do not retrospectively use this data to identify the effectiveness of their projects.
When evaluating this data, it seems that there is mostly good news and bad news.
The bad news is that data is a creative industry that faces basic challenges of organization, task and time management, communication, and operational efficiency. There is no doubt that these “ basics ” are undermining incredible creative work in a range of industries and niches, and selling companies short.
The good news, however, is that people seem to really “get” that these are problems. The issues are clearly on the radar, having been identified, and there appears to be a demonstrable commitment to addressing them.
In many ways, there’s no better time to take stock. If necessity is the mother of invention, it may well be that current world events are driving a new era of investment in the systems, processes and technology that make creative projects work better for them. teams involved and, of course, customers.
By invest in software which allows teams greater visibility into work, allows them to create their own to-do lists, centrally communicate in one place and track time / project profitability, companies can finally take control of the right one progress of their projects.
In turn, they will be able to deliver a healthier and more efficient experience for their employees, while effortlessly delivering a customer service experience that matches the quality of their creative work.
You can view the full report – with many more data points – and get a downloadable version by visiting Project.co’s Project Management Status Page.