Designing is required in almost every step of business. Had it been a website development, corporate identity, logo, advertisement, marketing/ promotion, or launching of new products or rendering services, each of them revolves around designing process. This high demand of designing can be very challenging for designers and non- designers as well. Thus, it is crucial to manage the design projects carefully.
Every design project undergoes with two major stages:
Concept: This is the initial phase of designing, where a designer chooses the general message and layout of the design.
Execution: It commences where “Concept” ends. This stage brings life to the concept where designer decides which images, color, layout, fonts or copy will be carried with the design.
After undergoing the above stages, a designer may come out with a perfect design. But in between, there are many design project processes which can help you to manage the design projects efficiently. So, here are few steps which will assist you to handle the design process while working with creative people like the product designer, advertising agencies, branding and image consultants.
Process to manage Design Projects
1. Set your goals
It is very significant to your designer and creative writers throughout the project execution. It is required to meet the original requirements, deadlines and background of the design. You can well explain your mechanical, branding and content requirement here.
2. Think About your Client’s requirement
Designing and simply submitting it, should not be the only goal for project managers. S/he should consider the relationship which has been developed with the client so far. It may take a week or a month for initial planning, so it is the sincere duty of the project manager as how to submit the design and how they can send initial layouts. If this is kept in the mind of the project managers, then it becomes easy for designers to make the design as per client’s requirement.
2. Determine your budget
The next step is to determine your budget. Decide what will be your timescale and expected output.
3. Determine the level of creativity
This is significantly important for any creative people working on the project. Is your project design highly conceptual and ground-breaking? Or lies something in between? Sometimes thought processes differ from design processes. Therefore, project managers should know the level of innovation and creativity required. Some people are creative by nature, thus ensuring to strive optimum change. The standard of innovation must fit the purpose of design.
4. Brief out the specification & delivery team
It is essential to brief out the interested people who will be the part of the team. Before taking this decision have a clear idea of the qualities, scale, style of the agency and the team that will be participating in the project.
5. Hone the project management tools
Project management techniques and tools are useful in designing. It helps in planning, assessing, organizing activities and resources to deliver a successful result. Decide which information systems and project management tools you will use. Ultimately your goal is to narrow down one or two that best meet your criteria for the project. Small projects are manageable but in large projects, one needs proper tools and systems interface chosen by the respective creative agency.
6. Ensure proper documentation
Always ensure that proper legal documentation and processes both for large or small projects. A non-disclosure agreement clarifies any areas of doubt and potential misunderstanding. A project manager should select the internal team and agree on clear responsibilities as appropriate.
7. Manage and motivate the project team
Project Managers should praise loudly but criticize softly. One should think twice before giving too much freedom for each delegated activity. This is true that tough parameters & lots of checking is necessary for those people who are inexperienced, but this can be little annoying for experienced staff. Therefore, project managers should manage the team and activities in meetings, supporting, and helping with decisions. It is recommended to use empathy and conflict handling techniques and point out for signs of stress and manage it accordingly. Always remember, a happy team will perform much better than a miserable team.
8. Review Project performance and complete it
It is very important for project managers to check the progress of activities against the plan and review the performance of the team regularly. One can also plan team review meetings for it. This analysis helps to learn from mistakes. After submitting the design, managers should analyse the errors. S/he can even write a review report containing observations, recommendations about the issues.
9. Don’t forget to convey thanks
It is very important step where a special note of thanks is sent to the creative people and agency staff. These people are like other employees. Ensure to give them success credit. Be sure, to adapt the level of detail described here. The points mentioned above will solve the purposes of your particular design project.