New Features Helps Creative Services ‘Tame the Chaos’ – Boosting Productivity and Avoiding Burnout as Brands Bring More Work In-House
Lytho announced today the launch of resource management – a collection of features added to its creative workflow software platform. Resource management provides brand and creative teams with tools to improve productivity and manage stakeholder expectations while avoiding burnout. This helps solve an important challenge since many of these teams have grown because businesses have brought more work traditionally performed by external agencies in-house.
“Small teams focused on basic internal creative needs have evolved into full-fledged in-house agencies,” says Lytho Chief Product Officer David Williams. “This brings a higher level of complexity too: these teams have more stakeholders, projects, and assets to manage. They also have a greater need to prove their value and justify resources.”
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The features have been a year in the making and are uniquely suited to serve brand and creative teams. Research and development involved more than 60 in-depth interviews with 50 enterprise customers along with multiple beta tests and iterative releases. Lytho customers were involved in shaping resource management at every stage of development. The feedback on the final release has been overwhelmingly positive.
The software supports both brand leaders – and individual creatives – with tools for aligning resources with work across a framework Lytho calls PAWS. The acronym stands for priorities, availability, workload, and specializations – each of which are also components of the software:
- Priorities enable customers to designate a priority level to tasks, proofs, and projects. It’s completely customizable so brand and creative teams can match the taxonomy with their creative processes. For example, some organizations prefer to use a simple “low, medium, or high” naming convention, while others use a number-based system such as “tier 1, tier 2, tier 3.” Alternatively, words can also be used to label priorities: a proof that is entered into the review-and-approval process could be tagged with a requirement for “legal review” or “CMO review” or another designation.
- Availability provides a team leader with an understanding of how hard their team is working and maximizes efforts to avoid creative team burnout. This view takes an individual’s existing workload into account – by work volume or level of effort (measured in hours). Customers can log calendar events, such as company meetings and paid time off (PTO), in the system which will then be factored into availability. This helps prevent administrative mistakes such as assigning a designer on vacation to a newly requested project. Similarly, availability can be configured to accommodate policy decisions. For example, an organization might determine designers only realistically have six hours available each day for creative or design work in a standard eight-hour day.
- Workload is a visual way to see looming deadlines and work currently assigned to a team or individual contributors. The data can also be visualized by an established team, such as the social media team, or by a specialization, such as all graphic designers in the organization. It’s an easy way for managers to ensure the workload is distributed evenly and helps to keep projects on time. Lytho customers have noted this view is useful for those Monday morning “standup” meetings and one-to-one meetings with team members.
- Specializations ensure the right people with the right skills are assigned to any given job. Customers can create and assign specialties, such as “project manager” or “graphic designer” to members of their team. In many ways, this drives the capability to match priorities with availability.
Last year, the company formerly known as inMotionNow merged with Lytho in a strategic transaction unifying creative workflow with digital asset management (DAM). The company has since rebranded as Lytho and resource management marks the first major software release post-merger. However, it’s just the first step in delivering on a much bigger vision the company has articulated to customers in an ambitious product roadmap.
“Customers consistently tell us their teams are wrestling with growing work volume and juggling priorities,” added Williams. “A phrase we hear often is ‘help us tame the chaos.’ Resource management is the result of working with those customers to create a tool that does exactly that – and there’s more goodness to follow.”
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