Working in a small, creative organization, one could easily start to believe that process is a bad thing. Creatives think process is boring (why wouldn’t you do the same thing a different way each time?) And those that do come from a process background experience culture shock and frustration from their creative counterparts.
The result: a chaotic workplace that does not end up meeting goals. One interaction design principle lends itself to this discussion talks about user autonomy and rules. Autonomy is important, but “people do not feel free in the absence of all boundaries.” (Tognazzini)
Building an environment that is neither confining nor infinite will foster both creativity and productivity. Setting up strong processes can actually help to support the generation of new ideas and innovation within an organization. When employees aren’t coming up with a creative way to accomplish a task they perform every day, their creative energy can go towards the projects that truly deserve it.
Getting team buy-in is often the hardest part. Leadership will need to generate excitement, motivate and reward, and hold the team accountable for staying on course. Once the team notices a lower stress level and increased productivity, they will be on board with the processes put in place.
Below are a few tools that can help to make this transition.
Maker Schedule: Give your team the time they need to focus on their creative problems. (About 4 hours). Schedule meetings around these blocks of time, so that time inside and outside of meetings is still productive.
Key Performance Indicators: KPIs can help to motivate teams and hold them accountable to their goals. They also offer a very objective way of measuring success.
Enlist Project Managers: Let creatives be really good at creating things, and give them support in other team members to keep them on track. (Just make sure you’ve found a flexible project manager!)