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Wargaming: Restructuring a Warship at full steam

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Sometimes you think that if only you could have more people on your team you could deliver your project faster, but in reality the more people you bring on board the more problems you face. Most of the time it’s not about how many people you have but how they work together as a team, how the work is structured and how well they can communicate and talk to each other. In this session I would like to share my experience on how we grew from 50 to 250 people in 3 years, and what steps have we made to build a productive team.

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Wargaming: Restructuring a Warship at full steam

  1. 1. RESTRUCTURING A WARSHIP (WHILE AT FULL STEAM) WARGAMING ST. PETE, DANNY VOLKOV
  2. 2. WHO IS THIS GUY?  Warships Development Director  10 years in game development  Producer, Game designer
  3. 3. WHAT IS WOWS?  240 people – development team  400+ people – involved in the process  16 – offices around the world
  4. 4.  Team growth  Growth pain  How we didn’t die? WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT?
  5. 5. HOW IT ALL STARTED?
  6. 6.  Small team  Very simple structure THE BEGINNING
  7. 7. PM ENGINEERS ART DESIGN QA THE BEGINNING
  8. 8. PM ENGINEERS ART DESIGN QA Everything went well! THE BEGINNING
  9. 9.  Large scope  Excitement! THE GROWTH
  10. 10. DESIGNARTENGINEERS THE GROWTH DIRECTOR ENGINEERS TECH DESIGN QAENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC RENDER TOOLS CLINET CORE SERVER CORE 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART UX FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM QA ART
  11. 11. THE GROWTH DIRECTOR ENGINEERS TECH DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC RENDER TOOLS CLINET CORE SERVER CORE 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART UX FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART FEATURE QA TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA DEPLOY BI BUILDS RELEASE MNGMNT
  12. 12. THE COMLEXITY Complexity
  13. 13. Who manages complexity? THE COMLEXITY
  14. 14. MANAGERS TEAM LEADS THE COMLEXITY Managers & Team Leads
  15. 15. One thing before we move forward… THE COMLEXITY
  16. 16. manages those who have reports manages those who don’t have reports THE COMLEXITY MANAGER TEAM LEAD
  17. 17. INVESTIGATION Let’s take “Chat” feature as an example
  18. 18. Who do you need to make a Chat? SERVER ENGINEERS UI CLIENT ENGINNERS UI ARTIST UX DESIGNER QA ENGINEER INVESTIGATION
  19. 19. 22345678910111213141516171819INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR ENGINEERS TECH DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC RENDER TOOLS CLINET CORE SERVER CORE 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART UX FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART FEATURE QA TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA DEPLOY BI BUILDS RELEASE MNGMNT PEOPLE METER BE HERE
  20. 20. INVESTIGATION
  21. 21. INVESTIGATION People involved DEVS 6 MGRS and TL 13
  22. 22. INVESTIGATION Online title
  23. 23. INVESTIGATION Live Stabilization Development 1 2 3
  24. 24. INVESTIGATION E3 anyone?
  25. 25. DIRECTOR ENGINEERS TECH DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC RENDER TOOLS CLINET CORE SERVER CORE 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART UX FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART FEATURE QA TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA DEPLOY BI BUILDS RELEASE MNGMNT INVESTIGATION
  26. 26. INVESTIGATION Explosion
  27. 27. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM Specialization creates complexity
  28. 28. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM Department silos
  29. 29. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM Empty releases
  30. 30. The beatings will continue until the moral improves UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
  31. 31. It was scary UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
  32. 32. CHANGE Change
  33. 33. CHANGE So we started with a pilot
  34. 34. CHANGE DIRECTOR ENGINEERS TECH DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC RENDER TOOLS CLINET CORE SERVER CORE 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART UX FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART FEATURE QA TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA DEPLOY BI BUILDS RELEASE MNGMNT
  35. 35. CHANGE DIRECTOR DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART UX FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART FEATURE QA TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA
  36. 36. UI QA FEATURE QA CHANGE DIRECTOR DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI GAME LOGIC 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI CONCEPT ART FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA UI UX
  37. 37. UI QA FEATURE QA CHANGE DIRECTOR DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI CODE GAME LOGIC 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI ART CONCEPT ART FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA UI UX UI QA
  38. 38. Plan CHANGE One Lead RoomOne One
  39. 39. And fortunately we had to upgrade the Chat… CHANGE
  40. 40. UI QA FEATURE QA DIRECTOR DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI CODE GAME LOGIC 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI ART CONCEPT ART FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA UI UX UI QA ENGINEERS TECH RENDER TOOLS CLINET CORE SERVER CORE CHANGE SERVER ENGINEER SERVER ENGINEER
  41. 41. CHANGE
  42. 42. Devs 6 Managers 3 CHANGE People involved
  43. 43. CHANGE Structuring
  44. 44. Less fear CHANGE
  45. 45. FEATURE QA DIRECTOR DESIGN QA ENGINEERS GAME UI CODE GAME LOGIC 3D ART SHIPS PROPS PIPELINE LEVEL ART 2D ART UI ART CONCEPT ART FEATURES BALANCE LEVEL DESIGN PM ART TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA UI UX UI QA CHANGE
  46. 46. CHANGE
  47. 47. CHANGE
  48. 48. FEATURE QA DIRECTOR QAFEATURE TEAM #1 UI CODE 3D ART SHIPS PIPELINE 2D ART UI ART CONCEPT ART DESIGN CODE QA PM ART TECH QA PERF QA CONTENT QA AUTO QA UI UX UI QA FEATURE TEAM #2 FEATURE TEAM #3 FEATURE TEAM #4 DESIGN CODE QAQAQA DESIGN DESIGN CODECODE CHANGE
  49. 49. LESS COMPLEXITY WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  50. 50. OWNERSHIP WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  51. 51. LEADS NOW HAVE TIME TO WORK WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  52. 52. LEARNING WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  53. 53. MORAL IMPROVED WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  54. 54. A FEW WORDS ON MOTIVATION WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  55. 55. WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  56. 56. WHAT WE’VE GOT? Autonomy Mastery Purpose 1 2 3
  57. 57. And it was contagious WHAT WE’VE GOT?
  58. 58. Not a silver bullet PERFECT SOLUTION?
  59. 59. Difficult to keep the vision (both creative and technical) PERFECT SOLUTION?
  60. 60. Some disciplines are hard to implement into feature teams concept PERFECT SOLUTION?
  61. 61. There are still some silos… PERFECT SOLUTION?
  62. 62. Difficult to scale PERFECT SOLUTION?
  63. 63. Could be hard to implement PERFECT SOLUTION?
  64. 64. Summing up... TAKE AWAYS
  65. 65. Before hiring make sure you structure is ready TAKE AWAYS
  66. 66. Engagement is way more important then process TAKE AWAYS
  67. 67. The performance of a system is not the sum of its parts. It’s the product of its interactions TAKE AWAYS
  68. 68. Find a way to let people influence the result TAKE AWAYS
  69. 69. ACTION STATIONS!QUESTIONS?
  70. 70. Focus on interaction and not individual parts TAKE AWAYS
  71. 71. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM Finding the weakest link
  72. 72. Process! UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
  73. 73. By trying to reduce the hands-off problem we created MORE work: More documentation More reviews of different sort Even greater management oversight UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
  74. 74. The performance of a system is not the sum of its parts. It’s the product of its interactions. - Russel Ackoff UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
  75. 75. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM Process
  76. 76. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM Process

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