Communication

Hey guys,

I know it has been a while and I am sorry but I am trying to post regularly now. I feel I have a few more interesting topics to speak about.

One being communication, which isn’t so much a creative talk but more about how we can help everyone’s creativity and your project. Some of you will be thinking, “but Max I am working in a small team I don’t need this”DP-Communication-Heads

My response is “Wrong!”

I have worked in teams of 2, 5, 13, and now 100+. They all suffer from the same issue lack of communication. It is vital that everyone knows what is happening and how things work. In this industry everything from UI to sound has an impact on another aspect of the game. So we need to make sure everyone is one the same page and shares the same vision. If not your work may not align with the others, which is a waste of time which could cause issues.

Another good thing about communicating is that people may help your work reach new heights. It may point out issues which you wouldn’t of otherwise noticed.

Those are just a few examples of why communication is important. Now a few suggestions on how to improve your teams communication ( these are pretty obvious and not some ancient wisdom I learnt on my travels through the mountains, this is just me re-itterating them).

1) Daily meetings/stand ups. This can be a great start to the day as it keeps everyone informed on others progress and can bring up future issues before they happen.

2) Seating arrangement. If you are sat close or next to someone you will be working closely then it forces you to talk things through. This will also give you their perspective and can allow you to keep this in mind when making changes.

3) Conference Calls. Having conference calls are good after meeting and saves people from reading their emails, it is  much quicker than typing something out. Be careful that the call does not become too crowded though.

4) One on Ones. Why these when I just mentioned meetings and conference calls? Because sometimes people don’t pay attention during big meetings but when you have them one on one they have no choice but to listen and it encourages a safe space for them to ask questions.

5) Pictures/presentations. We work in a visual medium so communicating so just works for us. If your PIC can summaries 1000 word do it. We don’t want a novel, pictures help us visualise it, as well it grabs everyones attention must faster.

6) Documentation. I know I just mentioned pics but sometimes we need documentation for RLD, tracking progress of events etc. These being here helps everyone understand what is happening and means they don’t need to ask others questions all the time. There are ways which make the documents more enjoyable such as colour coordination, so investigate these methods.

I’m sure there are more ways and some will disagree that these don’t always work as this does also depend on how you and your team learn and communicate.

One method I am not s huge fan of is emails. If you have worked in a huge studio the amount of emails you receive a day is crazy. Most are not even relevant, so most people will not fully read their emails. Sad fact is most people won’t see a sense of urgency with emails so waiting for a reply slow everything down. I advice emails as a last resort.

Well that is 500 words on communication so we will leave it there. I hope this helps and I seriously believe this is a subject in all industries we can improve upon. Do not neglected communication as it is important.

Next week we will be back on design. So take and let’s continue.

 

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