What is Creative Operations and How Can You Benefit From it

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
December 22, 2022

Creativity is often unstructured, but as brands grow, creative teams need greater organization to ensure consistent results. In this blog, we look at how creative operations could help your brand.

The words “creative” and “operation” don’t seem to go together, as the former is often associated with advertising and branding, and the latter is associated with systems and organization.

However, the creative process is often chaotic, and without a set structure. There’s also a higher chance for miscommunications, missed deadlines, and stretching of budgets and resources. 

That’s why creative operations are becoming increasingly popular for organizations to bring more order into the process. 

In this article, we’ll look at what creative operations are, why they’re important, and how organizations offering creative services can get started with it. 

What are creative operations?

Creative operations — also known as “creative ops” — is a framework that adds structure and management to the creative process. Its purpose is to manage the creative workflow and optimize it to produce higher-quality of work with the same or fewer resources. 

That means your creative designers will spend less time on repetitive administrative work and prioritize their tasks so they can even accommodate ad hoc requirements without triggering a delay. 

You can also think of creative operations as a supply chain that details the steps, people, and other resources needed to get creative from point A to point B. 

A successful supply chain ensures no delay in production or delivery to keep up with customer expectations and increase profitability. 

Similarly, creative operations simplify the workflow of your brand agency and give you complete visibility of the bottlenecks so you can resolve them and complete creatives on time. 

This concept may seem similar to project management due to its definition and scope, but in truth, both concepts have a few differences, which we’ll outline in the next section.

Creative operations vs. project management 

Both creative operations and project management have a lot in common. In fact, creative operations include some project management best practices like creating project briefs and closely monitoring the project scope. 

However, the most significant difference between project management and creative operations is that the latter exists to fit the specific needs of a creative team while the former oversees project completion. 

Creative operations manage the department as a whole and ensure that the creative team has sufficient people and tools to deliver the project and structure the creative workflow. 

That’s why, when it comes to creative ops, the teams own the project and play the role of key decision-makers and stakeholders. In the next section, let’s dig a little deeper into who the key players are in creative ops. 

Different roles within a creative operations team 

Creative directors, copywriters, designers, photographers, and videographers are part of the creative operations team within a creative agency. But a few roles are unique to this team as they specifically focus on process creation and organization. Let’s take a look at them below: 

So far, we’ve understood what creative operations do and their key players. Next, let’s look at why this initiative is important and the results it can bring to your organization.

Benefits of creative operations

The right creative operations framework can help you see upsides right away despite the size of your teams and the issues you’re facing. Let’s look at some of its best benefits in detail:

In short, you need to implement a creative operations process to ensure that your creative team can streamline its workflow and move faster. In the next section, let’s look at how you can implement one. 

3 steps to follow if you want to implement a creative operations process in your organization

The benefits of deploying a creative operations process are manifold, but getting started on it is daunting. That’s why we’ve outlined three key steps to help you create a successful creative operation. 

1. Map out your current creative workflow

It’s impossible to develop an effective creative operations process unless you know where your current process lacks. So, map out your current creative workflow from start to finish by following the steps below:

2. Identify problems 

Once you’ve clearly illustrated a workflow, determine what works and what must change by following the steps below:

3. Find solutions

Now that you’ve identified critical problems and their causes, you’ll have to find solutions and establish a creative operations process that works for your organization. Here’s how you go about it:

How Artwork Flow helps create a streamlined creative operations process 

Artwork Flow is an end-to-end software you can use to construct an efficient, creative operations process for your organization. Here are some of its key features:

LesserEvil, a snacks brand, used these features to improve team collaboration and reduce creative approval delays. Check out their case study to learn how Artwork Flow helped them do it. To learn more about how Artwork Flow can help your brand establish a streamlined creative operations process, sign up for a free demo right away. 

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