Shawn Adrian, Gavin Vickery & Brandon Clarke from Input Logic

Input Logic

We sat down with Brandon Clarke, Shawn Adrian, and Gavin Vickery from Input Logic, a killer product design and development agency based in Nanaimo, BC., to talk about the importance of continuous learning and how project management training impacted their team and processes.

We worked closely with Input last year to help tighten up their processes and train their new project manager. Brandon had joined them right before we started—a music producer turned lean project manager—and we were thrilled with the way he applied a unique approach to the foundational PM skills he built throughout the training. He brought immediate value back to the team and still continues to evolve their processes and approach.

Input Logic logo

Input Logic

Website
inputlogic.ca

Twitter
@inputlogicinc

Program
Custom consulting

What prompted your company to look into dedicated project management training?

Shawn Adrian: We were getting busy and noticed we were starting to struggle with timelines and expectations. We had contracts, but new items would always come up during projects. We ended up doing a lot of extra, uncompensated work. We decided to hire a PM and also work on tightening up our project management process so that the client’s experience was as great as the final products we were providing.

How are your approaches to project management different from the way they were a year ago?

SA: By far the biggest improvement has been Brandon’s ability to handle conversations with clients about timeline and scope. He has gained confidence and know-how and can handle any client situation on his own. It’s freed up others who can focus more on sales and strategy knowing that daily client interactions are 100% covered. We also have much better processes and documentation in place—we know where to find answers to questions when we need them.

Has this training led to any other changes? New processes or procedures?

SA: Previously, one team member did most of the sales, scoping, and contract creation. That same person also used to do the timeline planning. Now, we have a multiple-step process that involves at least three team members. It allows everyone to be more aware of the scope of potential projects and how they’ll affect other timelines. Kicking off a new project rarely used to involve keeping an official timeline other than an intended launch date. Today, we create timelines using TeamGantt and modify them throughout the lifecycle of the project as things change and get delivered.

In spite of any titles or posi­tions, project man­age­ment is a team effort, not an indi­vid­ual effort. Every­one on the team needs to buy into the process. It can’t be top down.

Bran­don Clarke

What’s been the most difficult thing for your team to change or adjust?

Brandon Clarke: I’d say sticking to our weekly schedule. We’re meant to have planning meetings for the following week each Friday but we’ve missed a few. Also, setting aside specific times for design review and sales has been tricky—scheduling is always a little difficult.

What have you learned about your team through this process? What’s one thing the training taught you that you didn’t expect?

SA: There’s been a lot that we’ve taken away from this training. The thing that sticks out most is how much project management can be applied to everyday life. In one way or another, we’re all project managers. Whether we’re moving out of an apartment, getting married, or hosting a dinner party, we’re all just putting some sort of process in place to get us towards a goal.

What do other people need to understand about project management or process development? What do you wish you had known five years ago?

BC: In spite of any titles or positions, project management is a team effort, not an individual effort. Everyone on the team needs to buy into the process. It can’t be top-down.

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