A big part of working on a project in a team whether it be 3 people or 13 is communication. You can have the best designers and devs working on something but if communication breaks down or is none existent from the start, that project is set to struggle often failing.
As a front-ender, I’m keen to be involved as much as I can in the planning stage of projects. I think a team should thrash out ideas, get to know the project even before their role becomes active in that chain. I believe it helps build a relationship and a sense of ownership which is crucial if a job is going to go well.
At the agency, we have been using the Kanban board system. This allows us to track work but more importantly, it gives us a platform to talk about the projects and hopefully clear any issues that may have arisen. It’s these 5 minute chats that keep the project ticking on. Everyone knows where everyone is at so surprises should be less frequent.
We also recently introduced project teams. This for me is an exciting prospect. We have a core team now working on a project and owning it whilst sitting very close to one another. Having that sense of ownership has generated discussion to the point where myself and the designer are bouncing ideas off one another before the work has really got going. This means that as we go, things will be clearer, we’ll all understand what we are trying to achieve and at the end of it, have something we are proud of.
Now I’m not saying we must use project teams. I’m not saying you must use Kanban. What I am saying is, talk to one another. Make people feel part of something, get their opinions, ask for their ideas and most importantly, keep that discussion going. It will pay dividends at the end.