At 3B, we consistently write “run of shows” for various project rollouts for our artists. At any given time, there could be a music release, merch line drop, and tour announce within days of each other.
In addition to organizing the actual rollout to the fans, managers are also tasked with ensuring creative assets are delivered, cleared, and approved in time, while holding internal and external team members accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities.
One easy way to ensure things get done is by delegating one person to be responsible for each task. However, the way in which all executables connect with each other to build an entire project is often only understood by management, despite the benefits of every stakeholder, including the artist, being aware of the timeline.
This process often has hundreds of intricate details, which can be very difficult to manage in emails or spreadsheets. Emails require constant reminding and neither are visual in terms of an actual timeline.
Projects were never meant to be managed in spreadsheets. -Asana
For example, take a missed deadline on a critical creative asset. In order to know it was missed, you would need to –
1) Review the original “run of show” schedule’s various task due dates
2) Recognize the deadline was missed
3) Decide the course of action
What if you could eliminate the first two steps through automation?
What if you could actually see when a deadline is approaching in the first place… and how one area of an artist’s project relates to all the other areas? (i.e. merch designs need to be completed on ‘x’ date in order to coincide with the single release)
The music industry has been slow to implement operational efficiency technology. After all, human lives are not on the line in our field the way they are in the airline, medical, or construction industries.
Music managers have become mental virtuosos balancing the intricacies of all the moving pieces. The best managers know what they need, by when, and from who and often operate out of their inbox to get shit done. They consistently follow-up in order to achieve their goals and move mountains for their artists… But what if they could show project timelines in a way the entire team could understand? Could they create real time accountability and maximize business and creative output for their projects?
This past March Asana rolled out timelines. We’ve been experimenting with it that past week, and it’s pretty cool. Full transparency, I have never been a fan of Asana’s front end design, but I think they got this one right. I have always been a big fan of Gantt charts, but hadn’t found a way to incorporate them into our operation until now.
With Asana timelines, you can view all projects in one space and click on a project to see the broken down operational actionables (which can be assigned to various team members) in progress to bring it to fruition. While the set-up time may be longer than you would normally spend planning via technology, many of the actual “run of shows” (song release or tour launch) are easy to duplicate across projects – in other words, the long-term benefits are substantial. You can even easily upload your spreadsheets straight into timelines. While timelines are a massive evolution for Asana, the founder’s vision for why the company believe in timelines and their plan for the future for project management is fascinating.
If you’re looking to dig deeper into project or people management and operations, I respectively recommend Making Ideas Happen (written by the founder of Behance) and High Output Management written by the late Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel.
In addition to keeping teams accountable, I look forward to using timelines to give artists a better view into their rollout strategy. Asana timelines are one step further to maximizing creative and business efficiencies.
Jeremy Kim at our company discovered the Asana timeline functionality. He has the final word –
“Trying to keep a running list of every single touch point related to an artist’s project becomes overwhelming and unproductive. The timeline feature in Asana creates a simple, macro view of all these touch points and the corresponding micro tasks required to bring the projects to fruition at the highest level.”