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7 Necessary Skills for a Creative Project Manager

December 19, 2017

Project management in a creative industry is more than just establishing official rules and supervising delegated tasks. Creative industry doesn’t really get along with formal and rigid structures, and it constantly requires a stimulating environment that will provoke both creativity and productivity.

Usually, project managers have the key role when it comes to creating this pleasant yet challenging ambiance. In other words, good professional project managers should be able to do their jobs not only efficiently, but also with a lot of creativity, passion, and understanding, to provide the best outcome. In spite of this, they may also get stuck in technicalities and monotonous daily routines, and simply forget to nourish the creative, inspiring side.

To light up your inventive inner spark, we’re showing you what skills you should work on to become the creative project manager you wanted to be before you got overwhelmed by some not so creative tasks.


When we say communication, you probably think about the speaking part. However, the secret of good communication lies in all those things you’ve heard, too.

To build a strong connection with your team, you should have great verbal skills. It’s pretty irrelevant if you communicate by organizing meetings, scheduling phone conferences, sending emails, or using simple project management software, the most important parts of your communication still are

  • Delivering the specific idea in an easily understandable way,
  • Thinking about the feedback you’ve got.

If you communicate to your team only when you’re giving them new tasks or criticizing them for poorly performed activities, you should reconsider your attitude. Instead of being the bad cop, be their friend, in terms of listening to their doubts and suggestions. Be there for them as a real leader, and provide them with the positive approach required for the creation of the positive professional vibe that you need.


Closely connected to communication, motivation is another vitally important skill of a creative project manager. If your team doesn’t share the thrill about this new amazing project that you manage, the chances are that it will fail, and it doesn’t matter how great taskmaster you are.

As a creative team leader, you should be able to see beyond task delegations and make your employees passionate about providing the best possible results. You can only do so if you make them feel like valuable assets in that project. That’s exactly where your motivation skills play an incredibly important role, and according to Project Management Institute, the best way to motivate your team is to find the intrinsic motivation for each team member.


No, we don’t say you should go through metamorphosis. You’re a team leader, not a power ranger; however, a creative project manager should be extremely good at transforming the abstract ideas into the practical project made of plans and schedules.

In other words, you should transform yourself both into a learner and a teacher. In accordance with this, try to be:

  • A Brave Learner — maximize your creativity when trying to put an abstract project idea on a piece of paper, and
  • A Good Teacher — show your team how to understand this idea in the right way, providing that they share your vision once you’re done presenting it to them.


This is vitally an important skill for every creative project manager. When we talk about project management in creative industry, it involves plenty of brainstorming,and juggling through good and terrible ideas, as well as major discussions that may lead to serious disagreements.

As a creative project manager, you simply aren’t allowed to close your eyes and stay away from this type of situation. At least, not if you want a stable and reliable team working for you. Not only should you be the first one to deal with the conflict situations, but you should also be the first one to prevent them.

Once a conflict occurs, you should ensure that:

  • The conflicted parties have the chance of expressing themselves
  • There’s an unbiased approach in resolving the issues
  • Everybody walks out of your office comfortable with your way of solving the issue.


The worst thing you can do to yourself as a creative project manager is to stop learning and adapting to changes around you once you’ve got the position you wanted.

Times change, so does the working style of the project managers. The way the business owners think and want their ideas carried out also change. That’s why you should stay open to new trends, and chase every chance for upgrading your personal knowledge base. You’ll never know too much, that’s for sure.


Even though it may seem like a redundant advice, a large number of creative project managers definitely need to work on the efficiency of their organization, if we follow the statistical guidelines. As stated by #PMChat, 44% of managers don’t use any project management software at all.

Well, guess what? It’s actually pretty awesome to have your project tracked and organized using professional software instead of covering yourself with a bunch of papers in the 21st century.


At some point, your project may come across some major obstacles. Missed deadlines, budget overrun, inadequate implementation. These are only some of the reasons why projects manager would want to disappear off the face of the earth; however, that’s the last thing they should do. If the manager is the first person to panic and lose focus in a project management team, what are other people supposed to do?

Instead, you should master your poker face and confront your own insecurities. We know that it can be stressful, painstaking, and unpleasant, but think about all these obstacles as if they were challenges, not the end of the world. If you keep focusing on your goals and approach the issues with the right attitude, these obstacles will only make you learn more and, therefore, become a better leader.

Are You (Becoming) a Great Creative Project Manager?

It’s not easy to be a creative project manager — especially not if you are striving towards being a great one; however, if you’ve started to work on the listed skills, you’re probably on the right track, and you’ll soon be there. Wherever on this skill path you are, never underestimate the power of agility, adaptability, critical thinking, and empathy, because these are the most valuable qualities for every successful creative project manager.

Managing marketing projects shouldn’t be chaotic — Try Brightpod for free and start focusing on what matters.

David Miller

David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in Project management domain helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in work flows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be reached out on ProProfs Project.

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