Grow & Learn was a promotional AR mobile game for Stop & Shop on the East coast. As Project Manager, I directed stylized 3D asset development, animation, sound design, UI design and programming. The project was still unannounced when I switched studios so I don't know what the future holds for this one.

Duties

- Led external meetings with clients to determine the needs and scope of the project.
- Planned initial production schedule and determined scope for launch.

- Identified risks and determined mitigations and back-up plans to fulfill client needs.

- Directed communication within the team.

- Directed storyboard development.

- Managed UI development between art and design.

- Troubleshooted AR and VFX technical issues.

- Led QA in identifying and documenting bugs.

- Adjusted scope dynamically during production according to production progress while still achieving the client's needs within their schedule.

 

Unique Challenges

- Crisis Management: A big mistake didn't get corrected in one of the milestone builds and one person on the client side saw it before it was corrected. As QA testing was my responsibility, I should have been more careful to expect the unexpected and pay closer attention. To manage this mistake, I held a small meeting with the client to restore trust. At the end of the day, the quality of the work saved the relationship and the only consequence was to myself. It's sometimes difficult to accept responsibility for mistakes, but it's important to acknowledge the mistakes and correct for the future to make sure the team knows they have a reliable leader. We all need to be committed to constant improvement. At the end of the day, a mistake with only minor consequences is a great opportunity to learn and improve.


- Technical Issues: We had to solve numerous technical bugs related to AR and VFX as well as variations between iOS and Android. Solving these problems required organized communication between tech and art as well as testing and re-testing to ensure the issue was 100% solved.

- Communication Hurdles: Meetings and feedback were difficult to acquire from the client side. Early on in the project, we weren't getting concept approvals fast enough to complete the work necessary. The solution to this was twofold: Clear, precise communication was necessary to convey to the client the need for timely approvals. I kept an updated Gantt chart to show the scope of work and cut-off dates for certain change requests to give a clear understanding of the time constraints. The second half of this solution was our own internal actions. We produced several options for the client to choose as a path ahead and used best judgment to pick which was most aligned with their goals and values and also offered the lowest risks. We managed to stay on track with minimal change requests from the client.
 

©2017 by Gwendolyn Stickney