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Get a Move On

March 7, 2014

As you may be aware, Mission's home base is going through a major renovation. During the process, we've been temporarily relocated to a “slightly” smaller space. This makes communication a bit different, as we are all basically within arm’s reach of one another now. Prior to the move, I think a good percentage of our internal communication was through meetings, over AIM and via email. It's not that we're antisocial (well, sometimes maybe we are depending on our moods) or lazy…we're just busy.

Recently, a few of us at Mission have been tasked with looking into new ways of streamlining our internal processes for print design, interactive design and development. As a result, we've been looking at various project management systems, collaboration software and so on.

As a result of both the streamlining project and our recent relocation, I’ve just realized (yes, sadly, it took this long to hit home) something everyone already knows. There is an insane amount of feature-rich, over-engineered, gimmicky systems that have Facebook-like interaction. These systems allow you to store files, create projects/tasks, and – wait for it – talk to each other in a social media-like manner. This is all well and good (especially the first two), but when I think of the projects I'm most proud of, there's usually one main common factor – we came together as a physical team. We got up out of our chairs, spit-balled ideas, drew off-the-top-of-our-head little sketches, pulled in some random helpless soul to get his or her two cents, and had a fun time doing it.

I'm incredibly lucky to do what I do on a daily basis, but I feel even more fortunate for the team I get to create with each day. While the renovation of the office has made us all “bulls in a china shop" for a bit, and the search for software has been more than frustrating at times, both situations have given me a chance to pause and think about what many may take for granted in this industry...there is no substitute for one-on-one interaction.

So I propose to you now: get up, stretch your legs and talk through ideas. You'll be pleasantly surprised how well a project comes together and how much you'll learn from those around you.