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Managing creatives is like managing creativity.

You want to keep both flowing—in the right direction—and this takes time and energy.

Engaged resources are effective resources. You must challenge your team to do great work within the time and budget allowed. You can’t give resources too little to do, for they will grow bored, and their creativity may wane. But nor can you overschedule them, because they could burn out.

Constantly balancing workloads and fretting over your team’s utilization can compromise its effectiveness and drain your energy.

Here are five quick and easy ways to simplify creative resource management so that you can rest assured that your team is pleasing clients by producing quality work on time and within budget.

1. Break down projects

Knowing what must be done makes it easier to delegate responsibilities. Assess demand for your resources by separating your work into tasks.

If possible, view schedules and to-do items in real time with creative management software. This will help you to quickly and easily make decisions.

Shift tasks from overburdened resources to those who have the capacity to do them so that your projects stay on time and your team remains engaged.


2. Assemble your team

Gather your resources, figuratively. Create a resource pool composed of every team member at your disposal, including employees and freelancers.

Determine who is working on what and who can work on what. Evaluate your collective capabilities candidly. Keep creative resource management simple by using the resources you have before adding.

You could hurt your agency if you take on projects in which your team lacks the experience and/or expertise needed to complete the work profitably and in line with the client’s expectations. If the new work is worth pursuing, expand your resource pool by searching for and hiring employees or freelancers who would bring skills or experience needed for new projects.

3. Reserve resources

Avoid last-minute pleas for help by filing resource requests for the creatives you will need on your team. Formally request their assistance well before you will need them so that you will have time to properly prepare them for their work.

If your agency lacks a formal process for resource requests, share your plans with the team members and their managers in advance so that everyone can be ready. Whether formally or informally, remind affected resources often and early as the deadline for their involvement approaches.

4. Forecast resource usage

Track the utilization of your creatives by position. Calculate current capacity and project future availability as well.

Prepare for increases or decreases in workloads by using resource management software to forecast precisely. Re-forecast regularly to avoid having too much work or too many resources.

5. Automate timekeeping

Accurately accounting for how your creatives spend their time is essential for maximizing their efficiency and maintaining your projects’ profitability. If a resource spends too much time on any given assignment, it could throw that project over budget and possibly delay its completion. It could also prevent the creative from moving on to another project, thereby jeopardizing that one as well.

Automating timekeeping and discussing timesheets regularly can help you focus your resources where they are needed most by your agency and your clients.

Your creatives will be most productive and your agency most profitable when you manage your resources most effectively. Start by following these five quick and easy ways to simplify creative resource management.

How have you simplified creative resource management?