Your "To Do" List?

Hi all,

I'm just doing some more research into project management for games companies and my current focus is to find out what process is the most efficient for managing task lists and updating the status of tasks on a bi-daily basis.

What method has worked for you?

rezn0r's picture

Hansoft's "Project Manager" has been highly recommended to me, though I've yet to trial it fully.

This sounds like the kind of thing you're looking for.



J I Styles's picture

As great as any structured and well executed project management system/methodology is, never underestimate or under-value temporary and volatile methods either since development is always in flux -- single most successful management policy I've seen is literally a "live" whiteboard, sticky notes, and actually listening to peoples estimates of how long an individual task will take for them. The amount of times I've seen a schedule made of the formula "amount of time divided by number of tasks" is plain scary.

Mdobele's picture

For our small team of <10 people on this project simple Excel spreadsheets split into milestones seems to work best for tracking tasks and hours. For me they are easy to look over each day and track any fluctuations without draining alot of my or my teams time.

They are simple for the team to use as well and they are able to update and change estimates as they go.

I tried a few times to use Microsoft Project but it was just overkill for me and the team found it too difficult to use.

In the end you just gotta go with what works best for you and your team.

J.I Styles "amount of time divided by number of tasks"

Jackydablunt's picture

Management in an Aus studio?? What are you, insane!!

Angel's picture

Maybe, but that was a year ago, so I can't remember

Jackydablunt's picture

"single most successful management policy I've seen is literally a "live" whiteboard, sticky notes, and actually listening to peoples estimates of how long an individual task will take for them"

Actually that's pretty much the "Agile" method we use, with user stories and task cards, and yeah so far that seems to be pretty kick ass. Very concise, very dynamic, allows for input from all involved, and provided an overall scope on the project is maintained so all the little parts slot in where and how they're supposed to, it's a Designer's heaven.

rezn0r's picture

Agile Software Development can be quite good. After working on bloated, ass backwards projects, it's great to get back to the fundamentals.

I've enjoyed working with ScrumSprint, and would recommend these for teams of around 8 or less. There's something to be said for letting the team decide what they can achieve in a given time, and then letting them knock the work over in any way they choose within that given time. A methodology built around the fact that your requirements are subject to constant change... that sounds like games to me.

If you're a self-important manager, it can seem a bit daunting at first however as the team takes personal accountability for their work, solve their own problems, and generally don't need you to bother them. Though you may feel a bit more hands off, when you realise that all of these are good things, life is peachy keen.

The only thing that bugs me is, at the beginning of a new sprint I need to sit down and write out a wall's worth of task cards. My hand gets sore. To forfeit the "wall of destiny" for electronic means though would be a big mistake.

Time for my first coffee of the day so I'm not bleary eyed in our upcoming scrum. I recommend these scrum meetings... "what did you do yesterday, what will you do today, what are your impediments?" Gets those cogs turning in everyone's heads, and you're a lot less likely to have an "I told you so" moment because issues are frequently reported, and can't be neglected.

Peace out.