My pal Mike Sellers just posted a very nice summary of the findings of the Games Outcomes Project on his blog. The project details the results of a survey of “roughly 120 questions” sent to game developers in November 2014. There were 771 responses, of which 273 were complete and referred to projects that were completed (i.e., “neither cancelled nor abandoned”).
As a project manager, I’m struck by how well the best practices detailed here apply beyond the sphere of game development. It’s mom and apple pie, this time with metrics!
Here’s the very short summary-of-the-summary. Great, successful teams:
- Create and maintain a clear, compelling vision of what they’re doing
- Work effectively, staying focused and avoiding unnecessary distractions and changes — but without extensive crunching
- Build cohesive teams that trust and respect each other, hold each other to high standards, but allow for mistakes too
- Communicate clearly and openly, resolving differences and meeting regularly
- Treat each team member as an individual — professionally, personally, and financially
So what’s not on this list? Two big things leap out immediately:
- Having a production methodology is important [#26 on the list], but whether this is Agile, Waterfall, or something else has no effect.
- Having an experienced team is also important… it doesn’t appear directly on the list, but if it did it’d be down around #36 out of 40 on this list of significant factors.
How large do these factors loom in your leadership courses? In your training organization?