Administration

Communication

VFX Nexus is constantly scanning for news about and insights into project and team management. It’s especially nice to see an article that elegantly illustrates the problem we are solving. Inc. magazine has published an article titledA Little Less Conversation. In this article, Joel Spolsky discusses how trying to keep one-to-one communication going as a team expands eventually paralyzes that team as there are simply too many connections to keep up.
The solution is to centralize communication. Where this article specifies a person as the gatekeeper of the information, we like to recommend a system for holding all this information: VFX Nexus. We designed VFX Nexus to be the go-to place to find out information about a VFX project, down to the individual tasks that make up a shot. Furthermore, all those involved in one aspect of a shot still have the abilitly to communicate back and forth, but they can do so without having to distract others from their tasks. This takes the number of connections that need to be made down to their most effiecient minimum.
Please take a look at the
article from Inc. and see how it relates to your team.

Making the Switch

Today's entry is going to diverge a bit from the usual VFX Nexus product updates and news announcements and instead focus on some other issues surrounding VFX collaboration and tracking. A common comment we receive is that the adoption rate isn't always what the management would like it to be. In other words: it doesn't matter how much a supervisor likes the program. It doesn't matter that it makes coordination easier than ever, and that all the critical progress is tracked and accessible at an instant. Some artists are not playing ball and using their VFX Nexus.
I'm sure this is a common issue among any type of company. This isn't unique to the VFX industry, and it's not unique to "the artist type" of worker. It's often very hard to establish new routines.
Common complaints range from people already feeling overworked or overwhelmed to just plain laziness. Why check online if you can shout across the room to get an answer to a question?

There are a few ways VFX Nexus fights this resistance.
  • The home page for an artist is designed to get information quickly to the artist
    • at a glance an artist can see their workload, and choose where to begin their assignments
  • The home page is motivating
    • as work is completed, it disappears from the list. It's a to-do list with the goal of getting it finished
  • Artists can add their own notes to shots
    • by giving artists an area to keep all their information organized, it creates less places for information to hide
There are things managers, supervisors, and coordinator can do to make a new routine stick.
  • Lead the routine! You have to use the new system yourself.
    • Master all aspects of the software so you can demonstrate it to others.
  • Put all feedback and new information in the right place--with the shots, in VFX Nexus
    • Even if you have to visit artists for face-to-face discussion, have the notes entered for mutual reference
  • Don't let yourself become a crutch
    • If an artist has a simple question that is already answered in the VFX Nexus notes, refer them to back to the database first.
  • If all else fails, there is always the 'P-word'
    • Often considered poison in a creative environment, policies are there for a reason.
    • You're investing time and money in the product, and the results are worth paying for. Your job is getting easier!
    • Remember your crew is a group of professionals, and professionals are expected to perform at the level required for their job

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