Project Management in Creative Contexts by Cecilia Morales Sousa

My name is Cecília, I am a project manager and advertising professional. During my career I had the opportunity to join the two areas and work as a project manager in advertising companies, which showed me the peculiarities of applying project management in spaces that are essentially creative.

“Research results on a sample of 139 software development projects show that individual creativity is linked to the quality of the team decision-making process and the team climate. Results also show that the managers should recognize the value of creative individuals as the basic source of competitive advantage and success” (Açıkgöz & Günsel, 2016).

Creativity can be defined as creating something new or creating a different way of doing something. In practice, creativity is largely responsible for bringing value to products and services, whether through innovation, branding, or storytelling. Innovation is an important point that involves creativity and it’s fundamental today. Internet and globalization made innovation essential for any brand or company.

But how do projects work in the creative industry? As the possibilities in the creative industry are diverse, so are projects. As well as the cultures in which each of these projects will be inserted will also be. So, how to manage such projects can seem like a big challenge in traditional project management perspectives.

In the creative environment, the plastering of the team and processes can be a way to “break” the creation. It is necessary to give freedom for the team to create, but in an organized way so that the objectives can be achieved. Traditional project management, therefore, is not usually applied in its entirety to projects in the creative industry, but the project manager needs to have solid knowledge bases in the area in order to understand the best way to guide his team.

Traditional project management is generally applied to projects well known to the company and the team, where similar projects have often been carried out previously. In other words, they are usually projects without surprises, with predictable objectives and results, which is not always possible in creative industries.“The creative industry is characterized by the absence of a tangible product.” (Dejan, 2017)

“Agile project management is applied to projects where goals are clearly defined, but the way they come to them is unclear.” (Dejan, 2017)

Most creative organizations today use Agile project management. This is because this kind of management was created exactly in the midst of innovation projects, in the midst of uncertain contexts. Therefore, its fundamentals are extremely applicable in the area. Still, not all projects fit the standards of agile management perfectly.

It is very common to see hybrid project management being applied in creative industries. This is because it is essential that project management is aligned with the company’s organizational culture and the type of project it is managing. The fundamentals of different methodologies need to be understood for better adaptation within the given context.

The dynamic and unpredictable nature of the industry imposes the need for different approaches. For a team to have autonomy it is necessary that the manager has confidence in the professionals and that they are prepared for the challenges.

For environments that require creativity and innovation, it is also necessary to have creativity to manage the projects, deeply understanding the company’s culture, the way the team works, the expected results, who are the stakeholders and the whole context involved: projects must be flexible and open to change.

REFERENCES

Açıkgöz, A., & Günsel, A. (2016). Individual Creativity and Team Climate in Software Development Projects: The Mediating Role of Team Decision Processes.

Creativity and Innovation Management, 25(4), 445-463

Dejan Petrović1, Vesna Milićević2, Adam Sofronijević3 (2017). APPLICATION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN CREATIVE INDUSTRY. European Project Management Journal, Volume 7.

BIO

Cecília Morales is an advertising professional, postgraduate in marketing and project manager. She currently works as an account manager at a Brazilian agency, PM4NGOs digital marketing analyst and provides project management consultancy. Passionate about both areas, she sees project management as a way to improve creative industries.

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Comments

@peepso_user_520(Hazem Zeitoun)
Thanks Cecilia, I agree with you that traditional project management is not always the solution , however i do feel that there is a collective push towards adopting agile though i still believe that a hybrid approach is the best
6 months ago
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