Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Happy Birthday Kathleen aka the Why Producers Are Awesome Blog

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

It's Wiliamite Producer extraordinaire Kathleen Shrimpton’s 25th birthday today! Before we all go to the pub to celebrate her big day and not build any websites, I thought I would provide a Developer’s viewpoint on why Producers are awesome.

  1. Without a Producer, the project has no direction. Imagine an intersection without traffic lights. Cars zooming across, trying not to hit each other. Pedestrians running through a tangled mess of metal and other pedestrians. Finally something crashes and the clean-up crew arrive. Without a Producer, this is your project – disorganised chaos, frequently ending in disaster.

  2. The Producer co-ordinates the traffic of a website build. This means ensuring that designs are delivered to the client for approval in time enough for feedback to be given, before being handed to slicing. This entails taking on client feedback about the prototype, organising for it to be synchronised with the RDD and design, and having everything ready in order for the developer to begin. It doesn’t end there – constant communication during the build, keeping everything on target, prioritising QA tasks during the final push and sorting out access to hosting and third party resources.

  3. Producers talk to clients. If you’ve seen the movie Office Space (“I have people skills!!”), you can see why Developers especially need this. We can be touchy and often grumpy, and need approaching carefully - because we bite. If Developers dealt directly with clients on a permanent basis there would be no clients. Fact.

  4. Producers go to meetings so you don’t have to. There’s nothing more tedious than a long scoping meeting. Producers value their resources time and don’t want it wasted, so they frequently take the bullet and hand you a nicely typed document at the end of it. Sure, Devs should go to technical discussions, but we don’t need to hear about logo symmetries and keeping content ‘above the fold’. Gah.

  5. Producers fight for you and for the project. If a deadline seems unachievable, or you feel you could benefit from extra resourcing, a Producer will try their absolute best to work something out. In some cases this may result in more time (yes!) but the realities of business may dictate otherwise. An extra helper monkey is always appreciated, or a streamlining of scope to produce something more MVP. At the very least it will result in point 6.

  6. Producers listen to your grievances. Why is this image a different size on thirteen different pages?! How can I be expected to CMS-manage this 3D pie chart?! What do you mean it has to work on Internet Explorer 6!!? Rabble rabble rabble! Sometimes it’s just good to have a shoulder to cry on.

  7. Producers thank you for your hard work. And it’s noticed.

 So Happy Birthday Kathleen! Here's to another 25.