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Team Management Team Management Selecting the Team for Multimedia Projects
Selecting the Team • Staffing on multimedia field is more complex than other sectors: • For example, An architectural design firm will hire architect, draftsman, salesman & administrative staff . A local moving company need drivers, movers, and properly a small team of clerical staff.
Selecting the Team • In multimedia company, you need to have skills to appreciate and manage team members from several disciplines whom they can match your project needs, while keeping a balance of resources available or budget limitations.
Selecting the Team Identifying the skills needed: The combination of skills needed varies from projects to projects. After having an idea of: • Project nature: use of media, platform, scope, administration, estimated length of the production. • Expectations of the clients. You should be able to identify the staff needed.
Selecting the Team Common structure of multimedia team: • A Core Team, who work together for majority of the project. Core Team can be hired on full-time base. Some may be by contract, depends on the job nature and company policy. • An Extended Team, usually on contract, temporary, or freelance base, to fulfill particular tasks.
Selecting the Team Core Team • Producer / Project Manager (oversee the project from start to finish) • Chief Designer / Art Director • Graphic Artist (number depends on size of project) • Programmer (Example, for online project, programmer who write html, java, asp, cgi, php, flash, shockwave, etc.)
Selecting the Team Remark: • Because nowadays multimedia specialists may have education and/or experience on variety of digital skills, they may be able to take up more than one role from the team list. This would help to keep the size of core team compact, thus easier to maintain effective communication flow. • But we need to allocate the right amount of workload and responsibilities. It is not a good idea to exhaust any core team members.
Selecting the Team Extended Team • Video • Director, producer, videographer, editor, special effects editor, title/sub-title designer, actors/performer, production assistant • Sound • Voice-over artist, recording artist, sound editor/sound designer • Animation • 2D / 3D animator, animation producer, editor • General support • Administrator, coordinator, clerical staff • Specialists • Script writer, technical support (hardware & software), interactive designer, any other experts when needed
Selecting the Team How to find independent contractor / freelancer? • Someone you know, or recommendations from friends and colleagues. Pro: already have personal references, the candidate may already worked with you, or the people you know before, higher reliability, less time and effort involved. A very usual practice. Cons: May be too subjective, easy to form “small circle”; a narrow way of talent search; easy to ignore talents that you never met before, disadvantage to young talents.
Selecting the Team How to find independent contractor / freelancer? • Agency. There are recruitment agencies specialized on multimedia, IT, graphic animation & video experts. For example, In LA, “Artisan” refer artists to major studios like Warner Brothers, Disney, Sony Pictures, etc.; Internationally (include US & Hong Kong), “Aqent” http:www.aquent.com (Database provided online for both job seekers and employers) Pro: • Through profession service, more objective in recruitment process; • agency lessen the amount of work on administration.
Selecting the Team How to find independent contractor / freelancer? • Agency. Cons: • You need to pay agency fee. The fee came out from your budget. • One more layer on staffing. In some situation, the person work for you is hired by the agency, not directly from you. You pay to the agency and the agency pay the worker, of course after subtracting the commission. This may cause issue in sense of belonging and commitment among the team. • Some agencies would set rules to prevent employer to hire the same person directly even after completion of the commissioned assignment. If you find the person really good and you want to hire him/ her again, you need to keep using the agency.
Selecting the Team How to find independent contractor / freelancer? • Open Search - Advertisement. Announcement on newspaper, related magazines, Newsletters, website, online newsgroup, chat rooms, etc. Pro: large exposure, may get lots of responses, you totally control the selection process. Con: High cost – placing an ad can be expensive, you may get lots of irrelevant applications, unnecessary time and effort to sort out the right candidates.
Selecting the Team Interview the candidates • Interviews are a 2-way process: • Employer assess the candidates • Candidates also assess the company and the interviewer(s) • In project base interview, candidates also assess the nature of project and time involved.
Selecting the Team Tips 1. Keep a list of independent contractors • The list should contain contractors’ name, contact info, area of expert, amount and method of payment, and may be short comments of past performance. • The list can offer immediate contacts on a project that need last minute manpower. • Use the list to sort out “regulars”, people who work well for you. • You can use data on payment to estimate budget expense for future projects. • The list should be updated on regular basis. Independent contractors and freelancers may change to full-time positions, or already committed to other projects. Also, make sure their contact information is updated, too.
Selecting the Team Tips 2. It’s important to clearly assign responsibilities • List all tasks, then compare the list of staff and their assigned role & responsibilities, to make sure all aspect of tasks are covered. • The list can be useful during interview. • Avoid duplication of roles, may cause confusion on both work flow and team management. • If find out certain tasks still not fulfilled, need to either hire new member to take the role (if budget allow) or allocate the task to existing staff. This should be done as early as possible. Unsuccessful team manager tends to “give” new responsibilities to team members anytime during the production process.
Team Management Team Management Team Management Principles
Team Mgt – Team Culture Most multimedia projects take place in a team culture. This means: • All members involved are working towards to the same set of tasks. • Under the same team, each member has a defined role, yet has certain level of understanding other team members’ responsibilities. • Mutual support developed, in order to achieve the common goal. • Shared success & failures.
Team Mgt – Team Culture During the whole production process, it is important to maintain the team culture. • Good team leadership: • A leader represents the team’s need & views. • Keep balance between individual viewpoint and team task, between personal interest and common interest. • Make sure a coherent teamwork that utilize each team member’s skills and efforts. • Especially in multimedia project setting, keep an open & positive working atmosphere.
Team Mgt – Team Culture During the whole production process, it is important to maintain the team culture. • Each member has their own expertise and this may come along with certain level of ego. People with more art background have different sets of ego and working disciplines than people from more the technology background. People may not get along for thousands of reason. • A leader’s role is to make sure a common ground has clearly established, all team members are contributing their best for the project, as the first priority.
Team Mgt – Management Style 1. Directive • It works well if you have the knowledge and experience to make necessary decision. • Pro: decision can be made quickly • Con: You are taking the whole responsibilities for the decision; cannot over-do, as it affect team spirit. Team members may challenge your perspective. • Directive style works better on smaller sector of a project, which may only involve simple issues
Team Mgt – Management Style 2. Collaborative • When you need a multiple types knowledge, skills and experience to make decision, you seek the team’s views to make decision. This is based on collective opinions. In usual cases, this mgt style applies to lots of multimedia team . • Pro: can gather opinions from people with specialized skills to solve problems; shared responsibilities; enhance team culture. • Con: may take long time to reach decision. Need to be careful of production timeline. • Collaborative decision may not involve the whole team. The effective way is only seek views from members have the relevant skills.
Team Mgt – Management Style Delegation