What Are Creative Operations?

We use the term Creative Operations to refer to the collection of procedures, considerations, and processes that pertain to project management in the creative industry. From planning for a creative project, to executing it and delivering on your promises, Creative Operations permeates every aspect of a professional creative environment.

Curious to know more? Then read our full guide on Creative Operations:

The Complete Creative Operations Guide

And What Do We Mean by Creative Operations Management?

In continuation of the above, Creative Operations Management is a type of project management that takes all unique aspects of creative professionals into consideration. If you wish to be a successful Creative Operations Manager, then you need to learn all there is to know about your creative team members’ processes. When you factor that in and add a dash of extra flexibility to the project planning process, you have a recipe for success!

The Current State of Creative Operations

Creative Operations Platform

Do you want to find out all there is to know about the direction creative teams and creative operations are taking? Download and read the full Q3 2022 Creative Operations Report now!

A Creative Operations Platform Is Crucial to Your Team’s Success

Chances are when you were in design school, you may have only briefly heard about creative operations. Creativity is a process that stands on its own and defies analytics, metrics, and structure. So, what do you picture when you see the word operations? We think of Gantt charts, scrum boards, kanban cards, and spreadsheets.

All the above probably sounds vastly different from what most people expect when entering creative fields. And yet, if you wish for your creative team to succeed and be on top of their work, all you may have to do is offer them a solid creative operations structure for your creative team.

Are you interested in identifying whether your creative team should focus more on creative operations? Then, consider if the following issues apply to your workplace:

1. Lack of Leadership


Do your team members feel like they receive adequate support? And are they given clear directions on what to do next?

2. Missed Deadlines


Are projects completed on time or constantly delayed? How often do your team members encounter bottlenecks?

3. Missing Files


Do you know where your assets are stored so you can always access them with ease? Or do you often waste time looking right and left?

4. Blown Budgets


Do your (marketing) efforts end up costing what you initially forecast, or do you frequently have to go over the budget for most projects?

5. Double Work


Do you think your team members could be spending significantly less time on revisions? Is this a regular occurrence?

6. Unhappy Stakeholders


Is the feedback you receive on your team’s performance, accuracy of deliverables, and timely delivery positive or constructive?

7. Reduced Morale


Does your team feel motivated and keen to start new projects? How do they feel about their roles, career, and personal development?

8. Lack of Urgency


Are your team members responsibly handling requests with a sense of ownership and urgency, or do they leave everything to the last minute?

If the above sounds familiar, you may need to revisit how you and your team do business. Once that is done and dusted, you should partner with your team to improve and standardize processes. You will also need to agree on any structural changes you may wish to make.

Team Structure

The first thing to reexamine if you want to improve your creative team’s operations is its structure. Do you have one person in charge of opening jobs, assigning people to teams, and setting and managing timelines? How do you store and retrieve your data? Or do you have multiple people, mostly creative directors, managing these functions in silos? Is the person in charge of the process neutral, and able to play “Switzerland” when it comes to prioritizing work? Do you have enough people handling accounts, or do you have your creative team split between client management and performing creative functions? Key roles such as traffic managers, project managers, and account managers are crucial to keeping things running smoothly on the team by freeing up more time for creatives to do the work they love.


Next, take some time to look for gaps in your team’s infrastructure. Do you have written processes and project-specific procedures that everyone knows and follows? Do you have a standard file naming convention, archiving protocols, and job documentation practices? Many of these items can be documented and standardized with a creative operations platform. By leveraging templates, well-defined proof routes, and customized project intake forms, your team can build a more robust and supportive infrastructure.


As your team begins new projects, sends proof for review, and wraps up work, they are constantly producing data. The question is, are you collecting that data? A creative operations platform can automatically collect that data for you. Of course, collecting all that information alone is not enough. By leveraging that data to track important KPIs, you can quantify your team’s valuable contribution to the business’

While operations are not the sexiest part of a creative career, they are a vital and necessary part of making sure your team functions at its most efficient pace. Take some time to review your team’s current operations, including team structure, processes, and information, to find areas to improve efficiency and demonstrate the creative team’s value to the business.

Read More on Creative Operations:

Benefits of Creative Operations Software Over Project Management Software

Creative Operations Solution ROI: A Customer Case

The Complete Creative Operations Guide

Do you want to improve your creative operations using easy and advanced automation tools? Lytho helps you streamline workflows and harmonize all brand collateral under a single, uniform platform. Feel free to reach out to us by scheduling a demo and learning how our Creative Operations Platform can boost the effectiveness of your creative projects. We look forward to speaking with you!

Do you want to give yourself and your creative team more room for creative stimulation by automating the boring stuff? Lytho helps you streamline your entire workflow and harmonize all brand collateral under a single, uniform platform. Feel free to reach out to us by scheduling a demo and learning how our creative solutions can boost the effectiveness of your creative projects. We look forward to speaking with you!

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Ready to simplify your creative operations and start having a little fun at work again? Schedule time to talk with us.

Let us show you how Lytho’s Creative Operations Platform helps in-house creative and marketing teams do better work, ease the stakeholder experience, and stay on brand.

Schedule a Demo