There is this unique state that teams strive to enter: the way is clear, goals are attainable, the process is harmonious. Psychologists call it ‘the flow’ and it’s used to describe athletes, artists, and any other people doing something challenging and enjoyable at the same time.
Here is how psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who first started studying the state of flow describes it in his TED Talk:
There is this focus that, once it becomes intense, leads to a sense of ecstasy, a sense of clarity: you know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other – you get immediate feedback. You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears, you forget yourself, you feel part of something larger. <…> What you are doing becomes worth doing for its own sake”.
The state of flow is very important for creative teams as it makes the process joyful and gives birth to the most original ideas. When the flow is interrupted, the whole team becomes disappointed and this exciting drive disappears. Arguments between team members arise, deadlines get missed, creativity perishes. We came up with six barriers interrupting successful work processes and are ready to offer solutions to get you in the flow.
#1. Unclear requests and contradictory briefs
Briefs often lack information or are written unclearly. Bear in mind that your clients usually have a specific vision of what they want to get from you in the end but rarely does their vision get displayed in the brief. It can only be worse when you misunderstand the request and do something completely different. You end up with a sad or even angry client, wasted time and resources.
Solution: Develop a specific procedure for creating a brief. Describe different types of briefs and make a list of all the necessary information that has to be in the brief. Make sure everyone involved in the project understands it. In addition, to prevent time loss, ensure that no one does anything without a proper brief.
#2. Constant revisions and corrections.
While feedback and improvements are important, they can backfire if stated unclearly or in a misleading manner. Contradictory feedback slows down the project and creates problems.
Solution: Aim for clarity from the start. Make feedback structured and set a strict timeline. This way, designers get feedback timely, and make improvements before the project is turned in.
#3. Team disconnectedness
Interconnecting your team members is hard, especially if your company is growing. Disconnectedness harms mutual work as messages get lost, people don’t know who does what, there is no interaction and eventually inspiration is killed.
Solution: Managers should set an example for the whole team by working together. Use software for mutual work like Binary Management where the information gets updated instantly and employees share their achievements with other team members.
#4. Too many tools
Designers leave comments for their colleagues all the time, they exchange documents, discuss the outcome, and keep an eye on numerous versions of one layout. Using too many tools for all these processes slows the project down and takes up too much of the creative time.
Solution: Before starting to work on a project, agree on the tools, formats and set rules for naming the documents. Use a software for project management as a unified source of reliable information. For instance, Binary Management allows you to store and exchange information and leave comments while controlling for deadlines and budget.
#5. No automation
It’s a common myth that all creative work starts from scratch. We all know that designers actually work with multiple templates and have their personal user settings. If they have to do the same routine job over and over again, burnout is quite possible. You also lose time by making them do the same work instead of creating.
Solution: Automate your processes by creating templates. Organize your processes so that deadlines and assignments are set automatically. Use technology to solve administrative and other routine tasks and give employees more time for their creative flow. Binary Management is a good software if you want to automate your processes and spare time for actually designing.
#6. Lack of transparency
When a team expands and starts working with other departments, everything must remain visible. There is trust among the team members when every employee sees the results, knows what others are doing and feels their time and resources are spent not in vein. The more people work with you, the harder it becomes to keep everything transparent and clearly visible. Failing to do so inevitably leads to misunderstanding and loss of trust.
Solution: Get a project management system where you can create deliverables lists and give access to them to all project team members. Regularly report on work progress to spot setbacks right away. With Binary Management, you can do it all in one place.
Enter the Flow
Solving these 6 problems before they break out will allow your team to enter the flow and start moving to the common goal, trusting each other and creating more beautiful designs.
Try Binary Management to get all your obstacles out of the way and grant yourself some time for the flow.