How to Successfully Lead a Creative Digital Team

From devastating deadlines to smothering budgets, you cannot argue with the fact that project management can be brutal at times. However, the fact that less than 5% of companies finish all of their projects is still surprising, not to mention worrying.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which studied and reviewed more than 10,000 projects from 200 companies around the world, only 2.5% of the examined companies managed to successfully finish 100% of their projects. But even if the completion rate was much higher, the real issue here is that most companies don’t finish some of their projects. You can definitely learn some things from this report.

First and foremost, your company will be one of the top 3% of best-performing ones if you simply finish all your projects. Companies like DataRoots manage to stay on top simply by delivering high-quality products in a timely fashion. If you look at it like that, it doesn’t take a lot to be an over-achieving project manager. If you really want these projects done, you have to learn how to be a successful leader.

Pay Attention to Anyone Involved in the Project

In most cases, a project manager is trained to listen only to the client’s requests and make sure that their every need is fulfilled, but this doesn’t actually cut it in the world of web design. You see, some clients don’t really know what they want, and their desires aren’t in their best interest. Maybe you’ve heard about a website called Clients from Hell? Well, it only exists because people regularly come across those clients.

In short, this means that you have to listen to every member of your team and make sure that you’re communicating with them on a regular basis. Do you know just how many projects fail because of poor communication?  According to the research company, Spikes Cavell, almost 60% of projects fall through due to, as they put it, “breakdown in communications.”

The Importance of Time Management

Your time is quite possibly your most valuable asset, so you have to do everything in your power not to squander it. This basically means that you’ll have to spend a couple of additional hours every week planning everything in advance. Don’t wait until the last second to work out what you should do next. Furthermore, have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle?

The rule clearly states that for most actions, roughly 20% of factors are responsible for 80% of results. The Pareto is relevant to project management, because in the end, 80% of your results will come from only 20% of the efforts made to achieve them. This happens because your team probably spends a vast majority of their time on unfocused effort. So, make an effort to avoid this by adjusting your schedules and keeping them.

Management and Leadership Are Two Separate Things

A successful manager has the technical “know-how” and understands what needs to be done in order to finish the project. They are also effective at motivating, and using the resources at hand. For instance, if you’re an effective project manager, you surely know how to do a project management software comparison and find the right tools for your team. On the other hand, being a great team leader requires something more.

Strong leaders easily articulate their vision to their staff, involve every person in the decision-making process and even act as a role-model. In short, you have to use your management skills to maintain order, and make sure that your team consistently delivers quality work, and your leadership is there to motivate others to work toward a specific goal.


As we mentioned before, essentially it doesn’t take much to become a successful project manager. And if you manage to keep everything in check, your organization will definitely gain a competitive edge. According to a 2014 IPMA survey, around 90% of senior executives believe that good project management is vital to delivering successful results – and this means that good management is the key to success.

Managing a digital team can be even more challenging than traditional team management. And while there’s no single guide that will prepare you for all the possible situations and issues you’ll encounter, you have to be willing to do your homework and try to prepare for as many problems as possible. The proper implementation of your skills and knowledge will ensure that your whole creative team will prosper and that every project you do will be a success.

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Nate M. Vickery

Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is the editor-in-chief at

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