How To Manage A Design Team

Turning out excellent creative work on a consistent basis is about more than just assembling a team of talented designers. Although every staff member has their own design process, the director, creative lead or manager still needs to ensure that everything is being done on time and up to standard.

Achieving this is a question of finding the balance between talent and efficiency by implementing tools and strategies that work seamlessly in conjunction with your staff’s design skills. It’s the responsibility of the senior management to make sure your team is being given everything it needs to succeed in their jobs. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your design team.

Give them independence

We’re going to assume that you’ve briefed and hired a great design team, selected not just on the strength of their portfolio but their work ethic and proactive attitude as well. If not, you’re going to have more trouble squeezing productivity out of them and may need to go back to the drawing board.

If you’ve been smart about who has been brought on board, you don’t need to worry about micromanaging each individual designer. In fact, doing this is only going to jeopardize your team’s success by compromising their concentration and eating into the time you could be spending getting on with your own task list.

Empowering your team with tools and systems that give them responsibility over their own work means that you can feel comfortable in the knowledge that things are ticking over nicely. Implement a strategy or software that promotes productivity and keeps you up to date with everyone’s progress without the need for overbearing supervision.

Collaborate with clients

Your clients are your biggest resource. They know the product or service better than anyone else and know what the final proof should look like, so you shouldn’t be shy about working with this knowledge to deliver an outstanding final result.

It’s important to strike the right balance between relying on your clients to more or less do the project for you, which will only aggravate them and lose you business, and making efficient use of their knowledge in conjunction with your team’s creativity and innovation.

Effective communication doesn’t just happen on its own. Once again, preparation is key and having robust systems in place will allow file sharing and feedback to be fast and productive, as opposed to going back and forth for hours over email and still not getting anywhere.

Have the right tools in place

It’s no secret that the design industry in the modern era is an inherently digital place. While this evidently opens up new realms of possibility for designers, it also means that your non-digital team management strategies risk being compromised by your online project management, team collaboration and proofing systems not being up to scratch.

Having digital tools that promote effective communication, streamline your team’s workflows and minimize dead time in their day is going to help propel greater efficiency, faster approval times and even a more inspired design process as your staff are relieved of distractions and frustrations.

Look out for software that uses cloud based servers, which does away with limitations of file sharing that is known to cause roadblocks during the review and approval stage and opens up real time communication, as well as systems that are compatible with your existing design software.

How Aproove can help

Aproove is powerful software that enables effective online proofing for professional design teams. Built with the needs of creative professionals in mind, Aproove’s cloud based platform allows all project participants to communicate in real time, while controlled workflows keep the review and approval process on track for faster completion times.

Our solution is fully compatible with the world’s leading design software and is one of the only proofing software on the market that uses the original libraries from Adobe and Microsoft.

Aproove features a number of other tools to accelerate your design team’s workflow during the proofing process, such as on screen annotation of over 180 file types and push notifications to communicate with clients.

Click here to sign up to take a free 14 day trial of Aproove

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