Image credit: Klára Vernarcová
Historically, my week 12 posts have been a final review of my SMART goals for the module and a farewell to the module, with eyes already on the next study block. In this post, I will be revisiting my SMART goals, but first I should reflect on our run-up to submission. Unfortunately, It didn’t go as planned.
Since crunching to deliver our practice pitch in week 6, it has been my objective to avoid crunching for the final submission of our group project. Around 72 hours before the deadline, I realised that we had overlooked a critical component to the assignment. We were required to submit documentation of all the planning that had gone into the final iteration of our pitch. Frustratingly, I had to crunch to produce the documentation. Reacting unhealthily to the ugency of the situation, I produced the majority of the documentation alone.
I submitted the document 8 minutes before the deadline but it wasn’t at the standard I hold myself to— and any technical difficulties at the point of submission would have been devastating.
I have two immediate takeaways from this experience. The first is that assignment briefs need critical and rigorous attention, and I should make no assumptions on what is required. The second is that, while I am a team leader, I should delegate more.
Finally, I’d like to note that extra piece of work came as a shock to the whole team, but missing it feels like my failing as project manager. Christopher Dring (2020) lists commonly occuring issues that result in crunching, starting with “poor planning by (often inexperienced) managers”. As much as this aligns with my own experience, dwelling on it any longer would only suit as an act of self-torment.
I’ll chalk it up as a blunder and move on.
And to close, a final review of my current SMART goals:
Avoid crunching in week 12
Unsurprisingly, I can’t mark this goal as achieved. I will however, take solace in the fact that everything other than the planning documentation was delivered to a standard that I am happy with, and with good time to breathe before the deadline. If I hadn’t missed that single passage in the assignment brief, this one would be ticked off.
Deliver project management that elicits a positive response in team retro
Thankfully, I achieved this goal. In our adjourning retro, I asked for critique on my project management, and the feedback I received was resoundingly positive. Rather than dilute any sentiment from the rest of the team with my own words, I’ll share a quote from Juan’s blog:
“Josh was a sterling team leader, and project manager. He’s got a maturity and insightfulness I’ve not seen in folks many years his senior. He’s onto a very good career as UX practitioner indeed!”
Thank you, Juan. You’re a good egg.
DRING, C. 2020. ‘Game crunch lessons: How to avoid game development crunch’. Gamer Network Limited [online]. Available at: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-03-01-how-to-avoid-game-development-crunch [accessed 23/08/2021].