When you’re manager, your main task is pretty obvious: you have to manage a group of people. When you’re the manager of a design team, the task becomes a bit more challenging. The best web designers are creative, opinionated individuals, and you will need to adjust your managing style to keep everyone working as a team.
I have no problems managing our designers, but I do make sure to follow these steps to keep things organized and running smoothly.
1. Plan and Organize
Time is your most important resource, and you need to know how to use it wisely. Without proper planning, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out what step to take next. Use timetables, Gantt charts, and other tools to keep everything organized and updated throughout the project. It’s also much easier to see the team’s overall progress this way, and you can easily identify where the project is moving faster than expected, or where the project is falling behind.
2. Delegate Tasks
Each of your designers has strengths and weaknesses. For example, one designer is better at minimalist, typography-centered designs, and another is great at detailed vector illustrations. Get to know your team members and figure out who can handle which task better. This allows you to distribute and delegate tasks to the people who can get things done quickly and beautifully.
Delegation is also important for managers. It’s sometimes tempting to micromanage and do things yourself, but you have to remember that as a manager, you should be concentrating on keeping everyone focused. They need you to organize the entire project and resolve the problems that often come with having several creative individuals work as a team.
3. Listen to Everyone
A manager needs to pay attention to the clients’ instructions and requests and listen to my own team’s input and feedback. Clients don’t always know what’s best for their brand in terms of design – that’s why they turn to us for help. By listening to both parties, you can come up with better design solutions that deliver (or exceed) the results the clients want.
4. Motivate the Team
Financial bonuses or rewards are never enough to keep your team motivated. Get to know your team as a group and as individuals, and see what keeps them motivated. Conducting one-on-one meetings and doing regular performance reviews to have honest discussions with each team member, and encourage them with positive feedback while providing enough constructive criticism to help them grow.
Going on company outings or just getting out of the office to spend quality time with your team is also a great way to keep morale up!
Bernard, me, and Paul (Webmaster) at the TrueLogic October Shebang in Morong, Bataan
5. Always be SMART
It always pays to be SMART when managing a team. The SMART system is a good way for managers to set realistic objectives and get everything done on time.
- Specific: Be specific and detailed as possible. Identify what needs to be done, and specify who needs to do it.
- Measurable: Always keep results measurable, and keep track of how the project is progressing in comparison to your initial projections.
- Attainable: Never set your standards or objectives too low, but make sure everything is actually doable and realistic.
- Relevant: Every step of the process should be relevant to your end goal. Sometimes people end up wasting time on tasks that aren’t crucial to the project. Eliminate these tasks to maximize your time.
- Time-bound: Many people dread deadlines, but they can be your team’s best friends. Letting people work at their own pace is great, but the project will end up dragging on and on if you don’t have deadlines.
It’s always thrilling to completing a project while having fun along the way. Talk to us about your website project to see our teamwork in action!
Gaia Lising started her career as a designer for an advertising agency, but has always been fascinated about the web. She delved into web development six years ago, and has not looked back since. She now works as one of TrueLogic’s Project Managers and manages a talented group of developers, designers, and webmasters who share the same passion. She enjoys spending her spare time baking and taking interesting everyday life photos.