How to run a healthy, efficient and enjoyable project for creative success.

This article delves into our approach to Project Management and how it can make the world of difference in delivering impactful creative, stress free projects!

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Successful project management is the superhero cape that turns chaos into coordination, ensuring tasks hit the dream deadlines and goals. It's the GPS guiding teams through the maze of projects, making collaboration a dance and not a stumble. In a nutshell, it's the magic wand that transforms ideas into reality, turning a jumble of tasks into a symphony of success! Ok, enough metaphors, we promise if you read on there’s no more!

Have you ever led a project where the creative output was brilliant, targets were hit, but the stress to get there was unsustainable? Were you the one having to fish for updates after a period of silence? Were the expectations at each stage unclear, despite a mutual contract? Did you feel disconnected from the process and out of the loop? These are all the classic pains of poor project management. 

Project management can often be overlooked, but it's the commonly hidden magic that holds a successful and efficient project together. 

We often find that our clients are time poor, resulting in sometimes slow and inefficient workflows, which can affect the output and impact of the work. 

This is where we're here to help, to take the pressure off and set up systems to ensure we're able to take the management of the project off your hands and give you the confidence in letting us do so. It's a tried and tested approach we take with all our clients, with proven success:

'Thank you for your hard work, problem solving and clear, regular communication. You all make our lives a little bit easier – one of the reasons we love working with you!’ 

The Yoke way:

Talking top-level, our favourite thing is getting to know you (yes, you) and your organisation. It proves invaluable in gaining the softer insights, but also makes our jobs nicer - who doesn’t want to look forward to their weekly Friday meetings! What I'm trying to say is that we’re human centred, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. Choosing the project team

It’s all well and good talking about deadlines, but we all know that sometimes when a curveball hits last minute, deadlines are lost. More often than not it’s that one stakeholder that pipes up last minute, who probably got asked to be involved in the project process or approval but politely declined, now saying something doesn’t feel right. This is most likely from not clearly understanding the scope of work or the insights gathered along the way - and it’s fair, if something doesn’t feel right then we’re open to be challenged, it only betters our work. So, we try to outline all key stakeholders at the start, understand their skills and roles, in order to best plan their engagement throughout the process in a sustainable way (we all know the saying…’too many cooks’). This could be through inviting these individuals to key creative presentations, workshops, sending them surveys or just meeting them in person - the power of being involved and being a part of the journey makes advocates of us all! We take your lead on this, to make sure it’s right for you and your project, but we can also help to advise, based on our experience. 

2. Risk management

By proactively addressing potential challenges, we minimise the likelihood of project failure. The ability to navigate risks successfully contributes to a project's resilience and adaptability, essential qualities in today's rapidly changing markets. This process is built into our scoping as we create our Statements of Work (SoW’s) which we take all our clients through before the project starts.

3. The power of a kick-off meeting

Is constantly underrated. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-connect (we all know the RFP/proposal stage can take its toll and time), celebrate and get on the same page! We’re working together now and we want to get to know you - understanding your organisation, even the softer meeting culture stuff, we’re keen to experience and we make sure there’s time for this - it’s invaluable! This is also where we can discuss project logistics:

- Roles & responsibilities 

- Goals & expectations

- Organisational mapping 

- Key stakeholders 

- Shared insights, thoughts & inspiration 

Yes, it’s a relatively practical, but invaluable meeting, but it’s also the start of our collaboration, so we like to start as we mean to go on - super clear, detail driven and on the same page (whilst always encouraging the random conversations) ;) 

4. Communication & Collaboration

In the landscape of successful project management, clear communication is the foundation that supports the entire structure. Consider project managers as architects, meticulously planning and constructing a building of collaboration across teams and stakeholders. Transparent communication acts as the sturdy framework, ensuring that everyone is on the same floor, reducing the risk of structural issues. Effective project management transforms a group of individuals into a cohesive structure, fostering an environment where ideas flow freely like the circulation within a well-designed building. So, let clear communication be the cornerstone that upholds your project, constructing a path to success with stability and unity.

We also want to get to know you, the more we know and integrate ourselves into ‘your world’ the better the work will be, so we keep in contact based on how you work. Whether that’s weekly status meetings, presenting our work or just grabbing lunch - we’re here for it! 

5. Quality assurance

At the heart of our ethos is a commitment to quality assurance. We take pride in being more than just a small, close-knit team—we consider ourselves an extension of your team. Within our tight-knit community, mutual support and shared responsibility define our work culture. Our dedication to making a positive impact drives us, and we understand that the quality of our output plays a crucial role in achieving this impact. We're all hands-on deck when it comes to ensuring top-notch quality.

In our cosy office space, where every detail is within sight, collaboration is not just a word—it's a way of life. While we encourage you to explore our project management platform in the video below (we’ve even had clients adopt the platform after working with us - it’s that good!), we also cherish the moments of team huddles. These gatherings serve as vibrant forums where knowledge, thoughts, and ideas are freely exchanged, contributing to the collective effort of making informed and creative decisions. We're not just a team; we're a collaborative force working together to deliver excellence.

6. Time management  

Project managers, lead on efficient execution and excel in breaking down tasks into manageable components. Through the art of setting realistic timelines, they craft roadmaps that not only respects the limitations of time but also maximises productivity. The diligent monitoring of progress becomes their compass, ensuring that projects stay on a clear and purposeful trajectory.

In a world where the clock is ticking on climate-related goals, the time-conscious approach of project management becomes a valuable ally. It's not just about meeting deadlines; it's about leveraging time as a strategic asset to drive meaningful and impactful change in the fight against climate challenges.

If these challenges resonate with you and you want to explore working with us or just understanding more about successful project management, feel free to reach out - we’d love to chat!