Why should a small studio use Project Management Software

I thought it would be a good idea to talk about why it’s important for small studios to use some kind of project management software. Most small to mid-sized studios operating with under 20 people might find it easier to just pull out a spread sheet and walk around all day with a clip board. This method has been tested over the years to be a good way of keeping track of things.

If anyone is a friend of plain old paper and pencil, it’s me. As much as I love computers and technology I hate it at the same time. I think a lot of smaller sized studios are doing well with spreadsheets and simple folder structures and good old fashion employee trust, but when it comes down to it.. there is a better way.

The only options besides coding a custom application have really just been Alienbrain and Perforce. These applications are good at what they do, but to me all they are is a glorified source control application. There are many other web apps designed to track projects of all kinds, but none can tightly integrate with assets they way they should.

I’ve tested alienbrain and the first thing I noticed was its huge foot print. The application was big. Second thing I noticed (and it might just be me) was that in order to assign a task to someone I had to create a blank file and assign that file to them. What if I want Jim Concept Artist to just draw a picture? Why should I have to make a file and then assign him to it. Why can’t he just do that himself after he completes the task? This is a small example of the workflow that just drove me nuts when testing Alienbrain.

Another huge set back to these other applications is the cost. In order to hook your 20 artists up with a copy you are looking at HUGE HUGE bill.

Bottom line, a good project/asset management application will save a studio tons of time. It will bring all your artists closer together. It will promote more communication which can make things happen much more quickly. It will virtually eliminate the constant horror of data being overwritten.

Here enters – Project Overlord

In the days to come we will be talking about Project Overlord and why it’s better than its competition, especially for small to mid-sized cg studios.
But don’t take my word for it! — dah daah daaaah (tribute to reading rainbow)

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