In my experience, the hardest part about working as a team is making sure that everybody has the information they need to do their jobs well. It’s a balancing act on the part of the the designers, production artists, programmers, and project managers of any team, to ensure that everybody has the information they need — but not so much (or so little) information that it’s overwhelming.
Whether you’re creating projects, apps or products for your own company, or you’re doing client work, it’s a tough balance to achieve.
To give you an example of how I’ve dealt with this, in March of this year, my magazine, Proxart, was trying to accomplish three massive initiatives at once: We were completely overhauling our website, getting ready to publishthe eighth issue of our magazine, and producing a SXSW Music event. All three projects were in development at the same time, and we had set them all to release on the same weekend.
Everybody had to do their job. Nobody had any extra time to worry about whether or not the other people on the team were doing their job. But, at the same time, if one person didn’t do what they were assigned to do, the whole thing would have fallen flat.
So to safe-guard the possibility of someone forgetting what their job was, and to make sure that everybody was aware of what they needed to do, I started posting two messages on Basecamp a week. On Monday, I published what I came to call a “Huddle,” and on Friday we reviewed.
It works something like this:
“Design Your ‘How’: Huddle, then Review,” for The Industry*
*The Industry is a new publishing company that’s focused on design-focused startups. I’ve been writing for them for a while now and, for some reason, today is the first day it dawned on me to say anything about it here. They’re great guys. You should follow along.