Multiple Project Management: How to Track Artwork Workflows & Meet Deadlines

Sumedha Gurav

Explaining difficult concepts through simple words.
June 24, 2021

Parallelly managing multiple artwork projects is a balancing act. Every project manager requires the necessary tools to manage, track, meet task deadlines, and launch products faster.

When it comes to launching a new product, it is unlikely that brands are managing just one design project. Artwork and label design projects have complex workflows. And when there are multiple projects running in parallel, keeping tabs on each project can be difficult.

If you are designing labels for multiple SKUs or multiple products, you will likely have several projects in the pipeline. A fixed project workflow for different projects does not work in this case. Every project has different collaborators, different risk factors, and different timelines.

A major challenge in this context is communicating with different collaborators. While we use platforms such as Slack and Teams, they are not exactly useful for artwork development. Some brands still use emails and spreadsheets to manage projects, making workflows even more cumbersome.

Types of Artwork Management Projects 

Brands can expand a product range in many ways, such as: 

For example, let us look at Dunkin’s recent rebranding. This change required the brand to change all existing packaging designs. 

Similarly, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk also decided to change its logo. Therefore, every single product and its corresponding SKUs will require a redesign. There may also be regulatory changes that would require brands to rework the information panels.

Therefore, it is common for brands to have multiple parallel projects during new product launches, refreshes, or addressing regulatory compliance.

Challenges in Multiple Artwork Project Management 

Managing a single artwork project can itself be a gargantuan task. The associated challenges scale up as the number of projects increases, leading to miscommunications, errors, and missed deadlines. 

1. Building up a workflow with multiple external and internal collaborators

The outcome of one project may be used for subsequent projects. For example, the output of a product logo design project will be used for developing the packaging design for the products. Each project has multiple steps and iterations. Developing a project workflow in such circumstances can become unmanageable.

2. Addressing bottlenecks and unforeseen circumstances

Unexpected delays are part of all projects. However, it is difficult to manually manage such delays in multiple parallel projects.

3. Not having clarity over project status 

With a chaotic and ever-changing workflow, team members will no longer have a clear view of their deadlines and deliverables.

4. Getting feedback on designs or artworks

Another great challenge for the management is gathering feedback for the artwork. In a brand, multiple people must sign off the artwork before it is approved for production. Getting everyone’s feedback and providing it to the corresponding design team can be difficult.

5. Inefficient communication and information overload

Email threads for large projects can become utterly confusing. Group messaging platforms like Teams, Slack, or WhatsApp are also not designed for project management. Artwork management requires dedicated tools that are absent in these platforms.

6. Incoherent asset management

Files on local storage can get lost. Files on cloud storage may not have proper access control or versioning. It is easy for a file to get deleted or replaced with untraceable changes.

How to Efficiently Manage Multiple Artwork Projects

You can solve all your artwork management problems simply by getting a dedicated software service. Artwork management platforms automatically handle sophisticated project workflows, provide role-based access, task assignment, have cloud-hosted storage with version, and more.

artwork management tool demo

1. Create well-defined workflows

An artwork management platform comes with all the features of a traditional project management platform with extra bells and whistles that make handling design projects a breeze. You can create sophisticated workflows, create deadlines for each step and assign tasks to team members.

2. Onboard agencies, assign tasks and roles to teams

Creating projects with internal and external collaborators is a straightforward process with an artwork management platform. Be it an external design agency, an employee, or a department, all you need to do is simply send them an invite via email. You can do this right from the artwork management software and all the invitee needs to do is just sign up.

3. Get precise and comprehensive feedback

Artwork management tools have comprehensive proofing tools. Artwork management platforms provide tools to digitally measure graphic elements, check colors, fonts and compare versions. Collaborators can annotate and comment on these artwork files, allowing the design team to see what changes to make.

4. Audit activities across the development process

The project manager has complete visibility of every activity in the project. One can see what every project member has done and when they have done it. This feature adds transparency and accountability and allows managers to track unsolicited actions in the project.

5. Store and manage assets in cloud-hosted storage

Artwork management platforms have cloud-hostage storage with version control. You can give access to people who need the assets while restricting access to outsiders. Version control also enables collaborators to compare versions or revert changes if needed.

6. Get a holistic view of multiple projects and address bottlenecks

The artwork management platform gives managers a holistic view of all the running projects. They can see where a project is stuck, or which projects are falling behind. This can address managers to address any bottlenecks and meet deadlines quickly.

Wrapping Up

For managing multiple projects, an artwork management platform is indispensable. Let us know your troubles with artwork project management in the comments below. 

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