The incredible challenge of managing creative projects

Project Management represents an essential role in delivering excellent products with unique value to customers.

For projects in many other industries, management operations can be straightforward by ensuring the control of the magic triangle: scope, schedule, and cost. There are always deviations and problems that oblige project managers to adjust and adapt their plans. Yet if a project is easily measurable in terms of schedule and costs (materials, services, and human resources), the overall planning is pretty simple.

When we are talking about creative projects, project management is not so simple. Being able to provide an accurate prediction of time and cost to projects can be tricky. A creative project relies significantly on design and multimedia content, which is an X-Plora priority when approaching a project debriefing. Our Creative and Technical Team is concerned about the development of a unique and creative solution that can shift your project to a whole different level.

Meeting the client’s requirements and expectations can be challenging. Here are some things that, as X-Plora’s Project Manager, I see as essential to successful project management:

Briefing down to the smallest detail
The first step of any project is meeting client requests and expectations. You should ask about all project requirements and collect all the info with as much detail as possible. It is crucial to deeply understand the client’s main goals and expectations. Be straightforward and focused on all questions to collect all the necessary info to help you build and create a work breakdown structure.

Carefully manage client expectations
Clients can have amazing ideas, but it is up to you to make it happen. It is crucial to carefully analyze all requests and make sure that they are feasible, and your team has the skills and conditions to accomplish them. Never promise something you are not capable of doing because the consequences to your credibility can be disastrous. Be creative and unique in the solutions you offer, but always be realistic.

Adapt your offer to client budget
It seems a pretty logical statement in project management, but in creative projects can be a great challenge. The budget will significantly dictate the project complexity. You should always look for smart solutions that can be perceived as highly creative, but with the lowest cost for your company. This will require you and your team to manage all the production phases with high efficiency. Of course, the higher the budget higher the possibilities, but do not allow yourself to cut down your creativity just because the budget is low. Efficiency is the key.

Schedule, Organize, and Control Change
In any project it is crucial to define a clear roadmap and schedule all the tasks. Divide your project into phases (sprints) and guarantee that at the end of each phase you have some deliverable. Deliverables are an excellent way to keep your client up to date and get progressive confirmations that the project is going as it should. Organize all the tasks and manage your team performance closely, to ensure they are producing and delivering at the expected pace. Be close to help them solve all the issues and problems during this process.

Make sure the scope of the project is well defined and be careful about allowing significant changes because they will have a major impact on project performance.

Use Data, Analyze, and Refine
All projects will help you build a history and database that will be extremely useful and powerful to analyze and refine future projects. Use this data and analysis in planning your next project. Over time, your estimates will become more and more accurate, and your projects will run smoother.

Managing creative projects can be difficult but is a great challenge. In X-Plora we try to push our experiences to the highest level to offer you the best tours for your visitors. Looking forward to your project!

– Pedro Meireles

X-Plora’s Senior Project Manager.

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