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Friday, October 18, 2019

The Importance of Project Management in the Gaming Industry

Creating video games should be seen as a type of project management. Unfortunately, many independent projects try to argue that they don’t need it at all. They want to just work until they’re done, though this creates many of the problems associated with their projects. However, larger projects and respectable ones bring in project managers if the producer isn’t a project manager themselves. Let’s learn about the importance of project management in the gaming industry.
The Different Roles for Producers and Project Managers
Larger game development firms want separate project managers and producers. The producer’s role is to focus on customers and trends. The project manager focuses on time, scope, cost and employees working on a particular project. The producer manages the feature set of the game, while the project manager develops the project plan and delivers on deliverables that matter, like the deadlines.
A producer will be evaluated based on the success of the game through user reviews and sales. The project manager ensures that the game is delivered on time, within budget, and meets quality metrics. A beautiful authentic game doesn’t matter if it is endlessly delayed, or fails because it blew its budget before delivering working code. This is why game producers need a project manager to ensure that they succeed.
The Value of Project Management
Producers may outline the project workflows, game roadmap and use cases. They’ll establish the priorities for the game developers and the must-haves for the game based on market research. The product manager will create an organization to deliver all of this within project constraints. 
For example, they’ll give the development team the necessary tools and resources. This ensures that key contributors aren’t overloaded, and they’ll verify that milestones aren’t missed and update your calendar. 
Project managers should use a robust PMS that everyone will be able to use and understand to manage every project. The project management application should have chart tools and agile project management tools perfect for video game development. Then everyone works with time trackers that let you generate reports and hold people accountable. The project manager will mitigate risks during execution and identify problems as they occur to minimize potential problems. Teams won’t be able to manage tasks on schedule otherwise.
The Necessity of Formal Managers to Scale
Producers may be the project managers when you’re just starting up. Solo developers creating their first game fall into this category. However, project management becomes a necessity as you grow your team. Project management is essential when you have multiple projects. You can’t afford to have ad hoc workflows for complex projects and dividing up assets. 
Some may be afraid to give up control due to fear of losing their intellectual property. That can be mitigated by choosing project management software with good security features. Then you can assign who you want to a task and limit access to IP to only those who have the need to see it. You can give everyone on the team access to the necessary data while ensuring no one who doesn’t know what they’re doing can’t alter the code. This lets you have formal managers work in the dynamic environment of game development.
For example, you have a manager following up on dependencies and guaranteeing things get done, while last minute changes that may break things aren’t allowed. Formal project management allows you to delay a feature to the next update while ensuring it isn’t forgotten.

While large projects need someone to represent the consumer and the gamer, your projects are at risk of failing if you don’t implement formal project management. This is why producers need project managers if they aren’t acting as project managers themselves.


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