Editor’s Note: This post is written by Kerry Hoffman, Senior Project Manager for Marketing at ClassPass as part of our guest author series.
ClassPass is your one-stop-shop for fitness. Why go to one gym when you can go to all the gyms (virtually)?! ClassPass is an app that unlocks studio fitness to the masses. From yoga, to boxing, to livestreaming HIIT classes in your living room, ClassPass brings you fitness around the globe.
As the Senior Project Manager of Marketing Operations at ClassPass, I’m responsible for operational effectiveness and day-to-day workflow management of the content, growth, and creative teams. I project manage all key marketing and brand campaigns in the U.S., including scoping, scheduling, and budgeting for these projects.
Managing creative requests at ClassPass
When it comes to managing creative requests at ClassPass, there is a high demand for assets and a limited supply of designers and copywriters to produce it all. We receive requests from all over the business, including growth marketing, organic social, B2B, operations, and PR. Their asks range from digital ads to physical promotional products like swag, and their due dates can be anywhere from one day to 6 months from now. In order to deliver on this wide range of creative needs, we utilize Asana to manage all of our projects from inception to delivery.
But we didn’t become Asana experts overnight. When I first started onboarding team members to Asana, I realized that our creative process could be more efficient by taking advantage of the full suite of Asana features. To fix this, I decided to take a giant leap back and reimagine our creative requests projects. Through this exercise, I picked up some best practices for how to manage creative requests across our entire organization.
Centralize work requests with Forms
Forms is a great tool for streamlining your request process. I was getting creative requests via Slack, Gmail, paper plane, shouting across open floor plans, and Asana too, of course. I needed one central place to drive people to when I saw them approaching me with those “I need visual resources” eyes.
Forms allow me to pull in my custom fields as questions, and drop template links to guide team members with their requests. I no longer need to explain to every single employee what’s needed to complete a request. I can send them the form, and the form does the work for me!
Implement custom fields to illustrate your project
Custom fields took our bland and wordy tasks and turned them into colorful knowledge bombs. Prior to custom fields, we used bold and underlined headings in the description to denote all key requirements for the creative task, but custom fields allow us to tell the story of the task. Where is this task in the pipeline? What is the asset needed? Are we on track? Will this be put on hold?
By using custom fields, any key stakeholder can open a task and know the status of that task without having to scroll through the description or the comments. Project management tools should offer teams a single source of truth, and Asana’s custom fields have done that for us.
Pro tip: If you are thinking about using custom fields more, start by looking at your task names. Are there words you are using in your tasks names often, like E-mail, Urgent, or Operations? If you are using the same words in your task names over and over, you can probably add them as custom fields. At ClassPass, we have custom fields for asset type, priority, and team name.
Create project playgrounds for team members to log ideas
Prior to getting down and dirty with functionality, creative requests were housed in one big project. But as more requests came in from different teams, it became unruly to see so many unassigned tasks. It also didn’t allow for forward-thinking, since any future tasks would clog the pipeline.
Now, each department—and even teams within departments—have their own projects to play in. For example, we are constantly brainstorming new ideas for ads, but we were only putting fully baked ad requests into Asana. I created a separate ads project for our Ads Manager so she can put all of her ad concepts in one spot. Once a concept is ready for creative, I add it to the appropriate creative projects. Until then, she can use that project as her ads playground!
Utilize due times for strict deadlines
Many teams have strict deadlines, including our own. When it comes to pushing new ads, lifecycle emails, or holiday campaigns, timing is everything. Sometimes, it is not enough to say something is due Friday. The stakeholder might need to start coding an email by 1 p.m. Friday, so they need assets in hand by that time.
Our team utilizes due times all of the time. For all creative asks, we have at least one review round, sometimes up to three. If we have to turn around assets in two days, it is not enough for us to say R1 due today and R2 due tomorrow. We insert due times to make sure we hit those tight deadlines.
Spend less time coordinating work and more time creating it
Asana has made our creative process run as efficiently as possible. By taking advantage of key features like forms, custom fields, and due times, I’ve been able to transform each task into the full story of its status and the work involved. In fact, Asana works so well for our team that when I was out on jury duty recently, I was able to check Asana at every break and catch up with every piece of work because the tasks are now my single source of truth.