So, uh. This is probably the point where I admit that despite that entire unit last tri being dedicated to project management, our group work with Hayden and Nick from the Games side of things…kind of didn’t use much in the way of group work methodologies whatsoever and instead just powered through using a combination of Facebook (the horror!) group posts, odd meetings in the campus hallways, and popping into each other’s classes to make sure that things were still actually going ahead.
I guess you could probably say that our group used a mixture of a more traditional group structure (Hayden and Nick were the ‘project owners’ while Ancel and I were grunt workers producing assets (an arrangement I was more than happy with) ) as well as a looser, more informal form of the Agile method when it came to actually working on the assets. It worked out pretty well for us, especially since with only the four of us, it wasn’t really worth going into a more detailed methodology like SCRUM or Waterfall.
We worked on the assets in an iterative manner – Hayden or Nick would put out a call for the next batch of assets – for example, I was asked first for the walk cycles, then the use cycles, followed by the rest of the elder brother animations, while I believe Ancel worked on the 3D assets in the same manner. While it worked for us, this method would have been impossible to manage had there been more people working on this project, and working on the same type of assets.
We did however utilise a number of different communication and file management systems that allowed us to keep on track. We started off by creating a Facebook group which was something that was not exactly recommended in that project management unit, but we found it worked really well for us – frankly, the best communications platform is the one that you use the most, and all four of us use Facebook frequently. I personally found it much better than my experience using Slack – not only was it much easier to find the relevant posts (Sadly Slack just confuses the hell out of me!) it provided the path of least resistance when it came to communicating – I can avoid Slack until the cows come home, but I’m in and out of Facebook probably far more than I should be, and it was easy just to fire off an update to the group while I was in there.
We did give Trello a try, but it didn’t really take off – I think I was the only person updating my tasks on our board, and the assets list hadn’t been updated since that first meeting where our ideas were much bigger than our time frame. It’s a shame though, because last time I used Trello for group work, I actually found it really handy to keep track of who was doing what, and how far along they were.
Having our respective classes run at the same time (or roughly around the same time anyway) was really useful too – we didn’t run any proper formal meetings, but it was way more efficient to just be able to pop into their classroom (or vice versa) to see where we were at and what had to happen next.
All in all, I think we got off very lucky, given our lack of proper organisation. We managed to make it work by being a very small group that communicated quite well while also having a manageable workload, but despite this, I’m not planning to push my luck next tri with a bigger group – next time I’m all about the group organisation!