I’ve been experimenting with what I call a “No Management” project development process for about four years. What is it? I’m trying to reduce the need for managers or more specifically me. My motivations are simple, I hate project management, I’m far more useful and interested in actually pushing some aspect of the project forward creativly. Sure, I could hire a project manager so I don’t have to do the work myself, but that cost could be better spent on more creative resources to make our current or next project even better. The questiion is, does it work?

I should clarify that our projects typicaly have between four to six people involved, so our process is optimized for smaller teams. But I think my experiences with a no management process could be applicable to larger teams as well.

No More Managers

At the heart of our process is the idea that we self manage rather that rely on a project manager to do it for us. I’ve broken up this article with a list of the tasks usually associated with a project manager.

  1. Organization: Put assets in a logical place within the projects shared folder. Established naming conventions for files.
  2. Regular morning check-ins to communicate the process.
  3. Communication: Regular updates via a communicaiton tool like Slack. Do not use email. Creative collect feedback in a thread or create a shared doc to collect it.
  4. Collaborative schedule that the entire team contributes to.
  5. Everyone contributes to the feedback of work eploying best practices of feedback.
  6. All source files are organized locally and backed up on a regular basis.

For a no maangement process to work the creative team need to be disciplined, and need very clear guidelines regarding how they organize their work.