Creatives are rarely understood, especially when they are forced to collaborative with the decidedly non-creative. By their own admission, non-creatives often fail to understand the time and energy required to produce new material. The artist and the analyst seem to always be at odds with one another, and the creative process suffers from it. A non-creative approaches problem solving linearly, and the creative person playfully tinkers with problems. They speak different languages, and frustrate each other to no end.
What can save the marriage of artists and analysts? How can the creative speak the language of the non-creative? I suggest to you that project tracking software is the first — and major — step in improving the collaboration process. This single tool can bridge the communication gap, and allow the best work to be completed.
A good project tracking software does more than track projects. At minimum, however, it is intended to automatically capture and log the status of project items while keeping all interested parties painfully aware of changes in status. Version history is saved, shared and numbered. Feedback is given in its proper context. In this blog, we will be discussing the unique capabilities of project management software.
Time is the cause of most frustrations between creative and non-creatives. The non-creative desires for the creative to work faster; the creative desires for the non-creative to communicate clearer. It’s an issue that boils down to efficiency. And, as long as collaboration remains muddy, neither will be happy.
With project tracking software, collaboration is documented. This works in favor of creatives, who are routinely asked to produce multiple projects simultaneously. It also favors the non-creative, because it leverages the effort required to manage the creative’s time. Neither can lose track of a project, because neither have an opportunity.
To the creative, a non-creative’s feedback might as well be in hieroglyphics. Non-creatives, lacking knowledge of artistic terms, often fail to articulate their creative feedback clearly. A project management software, which allows for contextual feedback, is like a rosetta stone to the creative person. It pairs comments with a visual counterpart, so feedback can be understood in context. So long as the software is used properly, guesswork is removed almost entirely.
Accountability is difficult to track, but a digital solution creates an impartial referee who can demonstrate when deadlines were missed, and who missed them. Clear and direct accountability is introduced into the creative process when it is clear 1) who is responsible for a task, 2) response times are documented, and 3) requirements are tracked.
Ask any creative, and they will share horror stories of non-creatives who requested small changes that required large amounts of work. Because creative applications are a mystery to them, non-creatives often do not know the extent of changes required to meet their demands. It is no surprise they become frustrated when these “small changes” result in shifting deadlines and push-back from creatives. Project tracking software creates transparency in this relationship, because it reveals how bottlenecks are created and who is creating them. It also demonstrates the culprit who undervalues the project, as response times are also documented.
Project tracking software allows feedback to become instantaneous. It allows for collaboration to be in realtime, even if collaborating parties are working a world apart. Meetings of remote collaborators can begin to feel in-person again, and character can be re-introduced into impersonal communication.
At its core, project tracking software is an attempt to stimulate the creative process by appealing to the non-creative’s need for speed, and the creative’s desire for better feedback. While it cannot solve every problem in the creative relationship, it introduces the boundaries by which creatives and non-creatives can communicate.
Consider Ashore if you’re tired of your projects getting lost.