I decided to take a page from agile project management and implement daily morning meetings with my team members. In fact, we just finished launching a website using several new methods: agile kanban, a swimlane diagram, and attempting to capture every consideration of the website-making process in checklists. It only made sense that we should use one morning’s meeting to perform a retrospective of our last website build before diving headfirst into the next website’s design and development.
It actually felt good to start with the things that went well, and it seemed to justify some of the processes we had put in place. We had successfully mitigated a pain point from previous projects by putting off css customization until the end. Requiring certain file types from vendors had cut down on monkey work. We started with wireframing and made great use of corresponding pre-made blocks to cut down on design time.
Once we got to the things that went wrong, it became harder to pinpoint why. Although our process began methodically, we started devolving into a work frenzy as we got closer to the deadline. There was a delay in assets delivered, and expectations around prototypes weren’t clearly communicated. Many of the pain points lead to the suggestion of actions for next time.
For example, we changed the order of tasks on our swimlanes diagram. The biggest pain point was disorganization of file submission, version control and loose submission requirements. We could track several hours wasted due to these issues. This led us to implement an asset submission portal for our next project.
The portal actually simplified the flow of the swimlanes as well, which may lead to a smoother process overall (fingers crossed). Moving on to what feels like “Simulation B” of a project management game, I wonder what new problems will suggest themselves this time around, and whether our new process changes will help.