Postmortem – Will Reardon

Well our road to completion of this project has been a long one. However, I think that we have created a final product that we can be satisfied with, if not ecstatic about it.

First, the things that were successful within the project or what we did ‘right’:

  1. We had a great sense of team inclusion and commitment to meeting from the very beginning. This is something that many projects suffer from and I think it was very important to us that we were instantly meeting in person both frequently and consistently.
  2. We had a clear and (mostly) cohesive vision of what we wanted our project to be from the beginning. This includes the tone, goals, and general aesthetics of the animation.
  3. We planned out the entirety of our pipeline in the early stages of our project, giving our team general direction and scope throughout production.

Now, three things that were not so great during the production of our animation:

  1. We met often to discuss all facets of the project. However this could sometimes be a detriment for several reasons. Sometimes the idea or piece of production being discussed was not wholly relevant to all members of the team. This is not great as it can waste time but the larger issue here is that too many voices may chime in with very different ideas about how something should be accomplished. This would create lengthy discussions about something that was honestly not quite worth the time put into its conception. It simply could have been done quicker and more smoothly had fewer members been directly involved in its creation.
  2. The team dealt with work and stress differently. Some misunderstandings of different work paces would lead to anger and frustration. Some people felt shoved along while others felt that they had to hold up the team.
  3. As we continued down the production pipeline, defined tasks and general management became less clear. The general consensus being for everyone to do the work most immediately due.

These hurdles were not the fault of any one person on the team nor element of the project. They are simply things that come out of a large project like this that can be hard to foresee. However, there are always takeaways from these past difficulties.

Some of the takeaways of this project are:

  1. Allow people to wholly own a part of the project. Let it be their baby. I’m not saying to never check in on their status/progress but let them be the master of their own work. Allow their passion and creativity to enter through their creative hold on it. For a time anyways.
  2. Divide up tasks among team members. Allow people to fill roles among the team and become the resident “expert” at a certain position.
  3. Find out what you want to get out of the project in the beginning and allow the project to come out of your gains. Instead of trying to gain something from the project.
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