In my earlier blog entry I talked about how the large project can be handled and how different difficulties in relationships between friends and collegues can occur. This post will continue with the good stuff when you're handling a large project and how it'll impact your brain and self esteem. I will also list my top ten points I've found you should think about even if you wouldn't be working on management level on current project.
The pain and frustration, it'll past
In the end life's a allways changing thing, at first everything goes into a deep hole and almost a moment after you're away from that hole and staring at bright sun. But even larger holes, or chasms if you prefer to call them that way, must be handled with sufficent tools or you will allways fall to the bottom of the hole again. So in the end, don't waste your time thinking on every little thing, concentrate on more important things and if the hole grows large enough start using your tools to get from there: use your vocal chords. When you've worked with people long enough, even resolving a conflict without hurting anyone and leaving everyone happy in the end. I've found that even the small things where you can impact your staff and make a difference to them and to the project.
It's a long way. But it's not a problem
In my past experience with military service I've learned to be patient. You might not see the changes around you at first as they change little by little and one day you look back and see all the things that have changed. The retrospective to the past can give you a great feeling when you realize all the stuff that has happened and you've not even noticed it and you think yourself: "Wow... We did all that and I didn't even see it? Damn."The day you'll look back to your project will most likely be the day you'll release the product. But I encourage you to do these glances back in time when ever you have time. When you've looked back enough you'll start to notice you find the days when you make a fast progress even greater successful than before. This has happened for me several times, by the time I wrote the first notes which things I wish to write to this post, and this day I'm finally writing the last version.
It is large
Ever wondered what makes a great sportsmanship great in his/her field of expertise? The people who are professional boxers, the hobby I've been breathing for four years by the way, they aren't afraid of challenges because they've been pushed and pushed. They've been pushed far enough for them to realize that the farther you push yourself the more you learn about yourself and your profession.
The same pushing to the limits (and now that song started to play in my head, you know which song I mean) can happen when you're managing a large project. Imagine you'd be managing three small projects, how much would you learn about yourself or about your team? In worst case the teams you'd be working with could change for each project and you'd be spending first month learning to get known to the persons you'll be working with. In my opinion you wouldn't learn about youself alot, however you'd learn to behave with other people.
Let's compare the three project case to Kinahmi Games current project,Galactic Conquerors, where I'm CEO of the company and will take over project lead status as the company is founded. The team has worked together for a year and known each other far longer. We've done several not-game-projects together and spent time together away from school. The large project has thought me alot of different people, however less than three separate projects and team would have, and how important it is to find correct person chemistries. When you get the chemistries right you have achieved the best thing you could possibly achieve, a well working team. Along the chemistries you have to have social skills to sell the idea that the game will finish someday and people will see progress. You have to learn how to sell the image of finished product even when everyone's frustrated. Even yourself.
And when it comes to end
We're far away from finished at Kinahmi Games. But I've had a experience with long term job that consumed my time alot for six months. And I know from that job that when the final day comes you will not only feel amazed about the trip but also alot of other feelings like anger, happines and so on. That day will make your day, it's the pay-day for all your work you've done for the project. When you've done with the project you'll get a higher esteem and you'll feel more happiness in your life. In the end you survived the frustration, didn't you?
Ten things to think about
- Does the whole world seem to be agains you when you wake up? Why wouldn't you discuss it with someone else if it continues for a long time? Does the team benefit anything from you if you feel like everythings against you?
- Why would you leave something for tomorrow if it can be done today?...
- ...Or should you leave it for tomorrow? What can be that important it can't wait untill the next morning? Learn to balance these two.
- Don't seem to have time for everything? Are you having too much to do? Could you give someone else that task to create the component for epic stuff?
- Can you be friends? Do yourself and your friends clear the rules of life in the project perhaps? See part 10
- Why does the project seem to be lost? Is it the project or do you or your team need a time off from the project? Could the time off make the project progress?
- Are changes a bad thing?
- Do you have your pyramid of success in good foundations? Maybe work on those and improve changes for success in your project also?
- Do you have persons who you can turn into when you're troubled? List at least five persons and five things you could need help with. My list consists 13 persons and seven things.
- Learn to talk. Why you'd keep it to yourself when there's allways someone who you can discuss with about professional or personal things? But remember don't make your collegues and friends your therapists because they most likely have their own problems they'd want to talk about.
My girfiend looked to my writing half an hour ago and joked how long poem I'm going to write to her. When I showed the last paragraph she laughed alot how long text this became to be in the end. Still there's a lot of things I could've and would've wanted to put here, but I have to leave them to next time. What's your opinion about what's the most rewarding thing in large project management? How would you build your support list? Why do you do manage game projects?