My friend, suddenly the day will come when your director will come to you and say:
“Here are the contacts of the customer, contact him and start working on the project.”
And you will be confusedly standing and remembering frantically where you need to start. In fact, everything is quite simple. You just need to “Eat an elephant”. To do this, the elephant needs to be cut into small pieces.
Today, my friend, I will tell you how to cut off the first piece and swallow it.
In the last ten lessons, from “The Way of PM” cycle, I told that it is a course for those who want to get a quick start in the specialty of the Project Manager.
That the project differs from the process in that it has a specific measurable goal, it is localized in time and in resources, the Project Manager is the specialist responsible for the successful implementation of the project.
You described your goal for 1 year and realized that for the Customer the project is the embodiment of his dream. I advised you to make an alarm clock, sending you to sleep and shared the technique of auto-training for recreation.
We learned that time-management is the skill of effective time management, taking into account the priorities. And also planned their next week.
Then I told you how the main part of your work will pass. You learned about the history of Chris Gardner and the “Window of Opportunities” on getting the first experience in IT.
In the fifth lesson, we reviewed an example of a resume that you write separately for each company and each post.
So we realized that employment should be viewed as a project, with all the features of analysis, planning and monitoring of implementation. You formed your personal proposal, for employers and learned about the importance of communication with HR-managers.
In the sixth lesson, I told you about where to start with a new company. On the need to consider and write down your principles in a personal constitution, dividing them into different roles.
I told you about the need to identify and record the expectations of your superiors and your colleagues.
Then I advised you to go with colleagues for pizza or beer, and also told that teambuilding is obtained only when the team together overcomes difficulties, on the way to a common goal.
In the last lesson, I gave you an initial list of what you need to decide on the first working day and recommendations for studying and writing business processes.
Today, let’s talk about how to start a project and about the non-obvious rules that you need to implement.
The project card.
In fact, the first thing you need to do is create a text document on Google that I call the “Project Card”.
The rights to edit this document should only be with you.
I repeat once more: “Only you!”
Name this file this way: project name, underscore, document title, underscore, document version (if any), underscore, date.
So you can always understand what kind of file it is, from which project, which version and when it was created.
After all, in work there are often situations when employees or customers send you several files with names like:
- List of Art TX
- Levels and parameters
- The Archer
These are real file names, access to which I was discovered by different colleagues. Do you understand what these files are, what projects do they relate to and how relevant they are? I do not understand. To deal with this, I will have to open them in turn and read them, hoping that somewhere in the text there will be the name of the project to which the file belongs and the date of receipt of this information.
Therefore, take the habit of signing files as I advised you. You can shorten the names of projects to the abbreviation of consonant letters.
We explain quickly and clearly.
And I advise you to install a simple free program “Monosnap”, with which I made the last picture.
It allows you to quickly take a picture of what is displayed on your screen, add your comments and save the link, send it all to your subordinate. It’s much faster than explaining in words what kind of changes you want to see. A link to the program you can find at the end of the article, in the “Links” section. Here’s an example.
But back to the document itself Project Card.
You need it to write down any information about the project and everyone it touches, incoming directions and important decisions.
Record the date, the channel of information receipt, from whom the information came and information itself.
This information can be texts, screenshots of correspondence, audio files of conversations or video files.
Write it down!
Immediately warn people with whom you will communicate that you do not want to forget something and do your work poorly, so you record conversations and then you can listen to them and better understand the task.
Personally, we, in the game studio “Take Games” most often use for calls “Hangouts” from Google or “Skype”.
Choose a recording program that you like and record all the work conversations. You can use “Callnote”, “G-Recorder” or any other program from the list of “Skype” partners. I’ll attach the link at the end of the article.
I think you understand that this information is necessary to ensure that you have not forgotten anything, or could, together with the developers listen to the explanations of the customer and better understand the amount of work coming.
And different people will ask you: “Who made this decision? Where did this come from in our game? !! ”
And at that moment you will go to your Project Project, press Ctrl + F, and in the search box that appears, write a query. Then clearly answer that such and such a number, such and such a person, in such or such a letter or a call gave the order to make this change. And provide a screenshot or entry. Touche.
The first conversation with the customer.
Call the customer as soon as possible using the webcam. Start to work and show it to him and his leadership, this will set everyone on a working mood and relieve anxiety from waiting for the start.
Smile, be careful and immediately say that this conversation has one task – to get acquainted personally.
Imagine yourself and the team, be sure to specify the time convenient for the customer rallies, communication channels (main and spare), the frequency and form of reporting, which will be convenient and understandable for him.
And in the end ask him to tell in his own words about how he sees his project and what benefit will he bring to people, what will he be interested in?
This is the first conversation you can end.
Warn that soon you will need to be contacted to agree technical details and discuss the assessment of the timing and resources needed to implement the project.
But we will talk about this stage in the next lesson.
- Create a “ProjectCard” document
- Learn to clearly sign all the files.
- Record all the conversations.
- Conduct the first conversation with the customer. Specify time and communication channels.
- Agree on the frequency and form of reporting.
Congratulations, the first stage is ready!
Thank you for reading this article! I hope, my friends, that it will be useful to you and will save you many problems.
With you was Einar and the online school of the company “Take Games”!
Develop the game dev industry and order outsource development of games from us. Let all of us be accompanied by luck and the ideas of exciting shooters, strategies and MMORPGs!
Put likes, share this article, read our blog and join friends – it’s very important for me and helps to understand how interesting you are!
P.S. The list of articles in this series:
- The Way of PM
- How to walk this path – self motivation
- “Time Lords” time-management for PM
- Where to start your Way of Project Manager?
- The Way of PM: Employment in practice. Your resume.
- The Way of PM: In a new place!
- The Way of PM – Let’s become rich!
- The Way of PM – Let’s become rich! Part 2
- The Way of PM: Papers and teams. Be a leader
- The Way of PM: Different people working in the same studio.
- The Way of PM: Workplace and business processes
- The Way of PM: Special, mental magic! Mind map
- The Way of PM: Estimation of the project. How not to fail.
- 4 falling graphics. Only one is good Burndown Chart.
Literature and sources:
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/einar.khoroshok