The way the world works has changed. We’re now operating in a highly fluid environment, where nothing is guaranteed, and any number of unknown variables can affect the way we need to work. For creative teams, in particular, this poses a major threat.
In the InMotionNow In-House Creative Management Report, creative teams reported their top challenges as:
- The speed at which they’re expected to complete projects, and
- The amount of work they’re being asked to complete.
This department, which is already being pushed to their limits, is operating in a way that can’t support this new, fluid environment. However, the fast-paced nature of their work can prevent them from taking meaningful steps to address the problem. Rather than tackling a complete overhaul, it’s easier to simply piece together solutions to individual challenges.
To ensure success long-term, creative operations need to be evaluated today to create a sustainable future for the creative team. By prioritizing your creative operations to enable digital dexterity, your team will be better able to cope with and respond to changes in their environment. This agility and resiliency will not only give your team a significant competitive advantage, it will also provide a sense of security that allows them to work at their best.
What is Digital Dexterity?
According to WalkMe, digital dexterity is “the desire and ability of employees to embrace existing and emerging technologies to achieve better business outcomes”. In today’s fluid work environment, a huge priority has become how to enable creative teams to be digitally dexterous, which includes two fundamental attributes:
- Digital Agility: The ability to quickly pivot and apply new technologies and processes.
- Digital Resiliency: The ability to react to change and recover from challenges.
Together, these two attributes allow creative teams to thrive during organizational shifts in strategy, structure, operations and crisis. It’s the muscle that allows teams to flex and adjust quickly. The more dexterous a team is, the less energy it needs to burn to address challenging, changing, and adverse situations.
Getting Started with Digital Dexterity
Becoming a digitally dexterous team doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution and expecting to find a single "perfect workflow" isn’t realistic. What is realistic, however, is optimizing your own workflows for each project moving through your department. Identifying pain points is the first step in moving towards achieving as much digital dexterity as possible, and starts with answering the following questions:
- Are projects delayed due to unexpected circumstances or bottlenecks?
- Do current solutions and workflows deteriorate efficiency?
- Are creatives prevented from producing truly creative work?
Finding solutions to these challenges will enable your team to work more optimally and be more digitally dexterous. To start, let's focus on two major improvements:
1. Enabling Agility
One of the most important skills to have as we evolve is agility. There are literally thousands of events that can potentially de-rail a project, and in high-volume creative production, this risk is exponential. Even as workplaces change, restrictions shift, and priorities evolve, creative teams must keep projects moving forward. When creative teams don’t have the agility to shift gears and keep projects in motion, they can’t meet their deadlines.
Over the next few years, more and more organizations are anticipating establishing a hybrid strategy for their office. In fact, 86% of organizations surveyed in a recent Colliers International survey stated they plan to have employees work from home at least one day per week. Creative operations will need the right technology to enable the creative team to work just as effectively, regardless of the situation or location.
2. Streamlining and Simplifying Workflows
The need to create more content - and quickly - has led to a growing need for strong, streamlined creative operations. As creative teams expand, additional approvals and touchpoints are added to workflows, and new technologies are put in place to help alleviate growing pains. While each iteration has its benefit, over time it can develop into a monster of a creative solution with unnecessary steps, as well as a suite of 10+ solutions your team needs to remember and master. “Less is more” is a phrase not often associated with creative operations, but it’s a needed strategy for teams that are growing quickly.
The more frequent and vigorous the creative team’s hand-off and approval processes are, the more likely there are to be missed steps and competing priorities that cause lengthy bottlenecks. To truly enable digital dexterity, leaders need to understand how work moves through the creative team - and identify opportunities to streamline and simplify.
It Starts with the Right Technology
So, how do you help your creative team become both agile and digitally dexterous? Look to a cloud-based technology, such as a digital asset management system and other project management solutions. A creative study by InMotionNow found that 82% of creative teams are already using cloud-based solutions. The same report found that those who are using such solutions experienced significantly less operational challenges when switching to remote work. If you’re yet to invest your team in the cloud, the reality is that you’re likely already behind.
Are You Ready to Enable Digital Dexterity?
Download our eBook, Modernizing Your Creative Operations, where we discuss:
- The challenge with current creative operations,
- How to address common challenges facing creative teams, and
- How to enable digital dexterity with technology.
MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.