Professional Team Management Tips For Creative Folks
Management is a vast subject, with several sub-categories, such as product, team management and project management. While all are interesting topics, this article focuses mainly on team management and offers some useful tips and ideas to promote discussion and help improve the performance and happiness of your teams. There seems to be in creative sectors a fear of management and a great divide between creative and “business” people. This is often because the people doing the managing are not business-minded or business school graduates but are rather designers or developers. Managers in creative industries tend to be staff who have moved up within the company; for example, a junior designer who reaches mid-level, then senior, and eventually ends up running their own team; or a developer who works for himself but gets a series of major contracts, and before they know it they are the Managing Director of a small company. This type of team has many benefits but also some downsides. Some of these ideas are not new or indeed particularly innovative, but they are often overlooked or even ignored. Below is a selection of key items for discussion within your team. The snippets cover a variety of topics to help managers in creative industries who may not have a managerial background. You may agree with some suggestions and not others, but the aim is to gain a basic understanding of key issues so that you can look at how to improve your team. After all, if you spend all your time producing great work and no time creating a great team, the first will be harder to achieve. (Smashing’s Note: We are organizing a series of full-day workshops with some of the most well-respected Web design experts — taking place in our headquarters in Freiburg, Germany. Seats are very limited, so grab your workshop ticket today!) 1. Why It Is Important
Good management is vital if we expect our work to be effective. A job goes through several activities and cycles between when it comes through the door and leaves as a nice shiny finished package; and effective management needs to be in place at each stage for the product to be completed on time, to a high standard and within the budget. Time and project management are not the only things to consider, though. Just as important are bringing a team in line with the company’s objectives and motivating the team so that it truly wants the outcome of its creativity to be successful. As mentioned, managers in creative industries tend to have the background skills associated with their particular field, so they often are familiar with the kinds of problems their teams face day to day, as well as the solutions. Issues often arise, though, when they have to do something “managerial” about it. These designers and developers eventually find that management tasks occupy most of their time, and so making the shift gracefully is important. Looking over everyone’s shoulders and chipping in an opinion and trying to be involved in every decision can be counter-productive. Let your team shine, and offer guidance and support when needed.
Sometimes you have to try something new to create a better team. 2. Tips And Suggestions
What kind of manager are you?
Knowing yourself first is important before you start managing others. What kind of manager are you? Helping and managing others is hard without understanding what kind of person you are and what areas you can improve in. There are several approaches to managing:
Top-down, you tell them what to do, with no involvement from them. In this style of leadership, information is funneled up, and decisions are funneled down very authoritatively. This style leads to members disagreeing with what they have been told or simply doing what is asked and nothing more. Tell/Sell
You tell them what to do but try to “sell” them the idea as well. You attempt to sell to your team the benefits of a particular course...
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