No producer wants to be the bad guy (or gal) who is only focused on the bottom-line, but confronted with the challenges of project chaos, shifting schedules and scopes that get bigger along with team sizes, sometimes they have to make tough decisions -- especially with a team of creative folks hesitant to define game features concretely and fearful of losing major features.
But great games still need to roll out on time with minimal crunch -- what values and processes are most important to project management? Veteran producer Heather Maxwell Chandler shares her experience
"I’ve found that taking time during pre-production to briefly explain basic principles of project management gets the team excited about the possibilities of spending less time working and enthusiastic about trying something that will help them do this. This also allows the team to get a better idea of what a producer does on a daily basis, and may help the team to overcome the attitude that producers are “suits” in disguise."
She also advises a focus on those basic project management techniques that have the biggest impact and the simplest implementation:
"Because of the chaotic nature of game development, techniques focusing on project definition can also be easily implemented. For example, work breakdown structures (WBS) are useful in educating the team on how each individual’s tasks affects the work of others. An engineer might not realize that completing the lighting tool one week later than planned will negatively impact the art schedule, or a designer may not understand why taking an extra day to script a level impacts the QA work flow."
You can now read the full feature
, which contains more in-depth from Chandler's project management experience (no reg. required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).