Project Management

You will comply

Resistance has indeed proved futile!

When I first started developing tthe glitch machine B47 as a fully fledged project in April/May 2020, I was coming at it form the point of view of a bit of a hobbyist/hacker without much regard for protocols and the ‘trappings’ of management approaches.

For me, the project HAD to be organic and I wanted the dev itself to inform the content, structure and narrative. After all, one of the main themes of this whole idea is about liminality, about becoming and being in a state of flux; so any kind of formal structure struck me as fundamentally anti- glitch.

Of course it didn’t take long to get completely out of my depth and lose control of what I was doing and while I appreciated the chaos it wasn’t conducive to making progress.

The number of scripts, the bugs they inevitably create (especially in my code), the concept ideas, artwork, 3D models, textures, materials, AV content, scenes, iterations, theory and on and on…. that are involved in getting anywhere with any kind of project like this need to be addressed…they need to be managed.

So I started trying out some tools and thinking about how best to manage this seemingly overwhelming workload.

http://notion.so is a really nice note taking app with lots of other lovely functionality that lends itself to a dev environment.

Comes complete with a database manager that makes task tracking really straightforward plus lots of other features that allowed me to make a functional, centralised space for all project areas.

With notion you can easily publish your site to the web and add hosting if you want to:. Theres plenty of support and help available online and good community engagement.

Easy to use, free for personal use, and comes with a desktop app too!

So thats all good!

I used this for about a month and was learning as I went – both about the platform and how best to organise and mange the project. The eventual breaking point for me though was API integration.

At the time of writing theres no official public API and while this situation looks set to change in the near future I needed to move on and start connecting ideas and content to this site.

At its core https://trello.com/ is a visual to do list…but with power ups!

Using this app (again free for personal use and a desktop app) is super easy and setting up a scrum style project flow is extremely straightforward.

Boards can be expanded and shared with teams to track project progress and neat power up options allow some automation of tasks, like moving ‘complete’ tasks to the ‘completed’ list. You only get one power up with a free account so choose wisely….

Another great feature was adding priority fields to tasks and being able to filter accordingly. I also used this chrome plugin to add some extra functionality without having to cough up any money: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pro-for-trello-free-trell/hcjkfaengbcfeckhjgjdldmhjpoglecc. This was useful for tweaking some parameters and setting the overall look when using the app online – bu that’s online only and doesn’t apply to the desktop app and won’t work in a team situation unless everyone has the same setup.

Anyway, all round thumbs up from me and used this for a week or so – but again the breaking point for me was the lack of integration with other apps I wanted to use and exporting CSVs all the time is just a pain…..

Google Sheets I don’t think needs much explanation – its part of the Google suite of online office apps…and its free….and its HUGELY functional….overwhelmingly so!

So after a month or so of playing with other apps like notion, and trello, it turns out I had learned a fair amount about how project management works and more importantly what I wanted my project management to do!

That last statement should have been the first task in my project management saga I know, but this is an organic process……

So once I had the over arching process clear in my head I made my own system in sheets. The resource here: https://www.goskills.com/Project-Management/Articles/Project-management-template-Google-Sheets was useful in getting started and then its just a matter of how complex/deep you want to go .

There’s a massive amount of resources, help and community support for pretty much any kind of functionality you need inside your sheets, so after about a week of development I now have a system that:

  • tracks dev area iterations based on tasks
  • includes a sprint page tracking focussed function dev
  • includes an overview that provides an ‘at a glance’ status breakdown
  • is a PM system that is centralised and always available
  • is flexible and extensible to suit project needs

With this tool I’m now able to prioritise tasks, plan functionality and implement iterative sprints while retaining the flexibility I need in order to expand and develop the project. In fact this post is a part of a web design sprint due today.

As far as deviating from the glitch aesthetic I’d say…..

…you can’t break it ’til you make it, right?