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Chronicle Books

C

Interviewee

33 Designer

Team Disadvantages

0, 2

Project Outcome

Control

Industry

Travel/tourism

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

High

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_FunandProductive

Company

Chronicle Books


So we can go there. That was totally not at all IDEO process, but that project is completely in my sweet spot from a discipline perspective. I loved it just because I love doing work like that. I think that the team ... We had George is a photographer here doing all the photography. Shane was a project manager who is Fred Dust's assistant who I'm sure you'll meet all of them. Have you already been out in the San Francisco office? [2736]
So in San Francisco, the one who's leading these books is Fred Dust, and he's amazing. He's brilliant, he's really energetic and very personable, but also very concise and articulate. Shane is his assistant who was the project manager. I think everyone got along really well. We had a writer who is named Amy Leventhal who is also brilliant but humble. [2748]
I think we had a really good balance of personalities and we sort of deferred to each other on different things. [2738]
like everyone had their core competency, and you trusted and expected that they were going to do a great job, and lean to them when you needed help or advice on something. I think we're all really proud of how the books turned out. [2750],[2749]
Like I said, it wasn't really relevant because it wasn't like a regular project, but it was just a pleasure to be able to be in an experience like that where sort of the same thing, like everyone had their core competency, and you trusted and expected that they were going to do a great job, and lean to them when you needed help or advice on something. I think we're all really proud of how the books turned out. [2737]
So he and Amy did the research of all the locations, actually went to London and to New York to scout out everything. George and Shane went to photograph everything, and Amy and I worked on logistics of the day-to-day. So it was sort of a stair step as far as the team went as far as who was involved at what point. I guess you'd say five, and then we were all involved at various intensities throughout the whole thing. [2751]
Well ... So he and Amy did the research of all the locations, actually went to London and to New York to scout out everything. George and Shane went to photograph everything, and Amy and I worked on logistics of the day-to-day. So it was sort of a stair step as far as the team went as far as who was involved at what point. I guess you'd say five, and then we were all involved at various intensities throughout the whole thing. [2739]
You know from a financial perspective, we didn't have necessarily a budget we were working with then, because I think that we're getting revenue back from the books in order to cover our expenses. It wasn't like a normal project where we had a certain budget to work with. [2740]
I guess maybe not Shane. Shane, who is Fred's assistant, was mostly checking in with Fred. He wasn't necessarily making those decisions himself, but George was making photography decisions, Amy was making writing decisions, and I was making graphic design decisions. There was always sort of Fred at the helm agreeing or disagreeing, but I think that each of us sort of had the power of our own thing and were moving forward with that. [2742]
You know that's funny because I think this was unique because each of us were. So I'd say six because there were ... I guess maybe not Shane. Shane, who is Fred's assistant, was mostly checking in with Fred. He wasn't necessarily making those decisions himself, but George was making photography decisions, Amy was making writing decisions, and I was making graphic design decisions. There was always sort of Fred at the helm agreeing or disagreeing, but I think that each of us sort of had the power of our own thing and were moving forward with that. [2741]
Two. Most of the time there was one, and then another woman came into play toward the end as we got a little bit more tangible with specifications. Just about cover materials and things like that because she was more knowledgeable about that. So we had an editor who was mostly making decisions on creative content, and then when we got more towards structure and finishing, there was another person who came into play. [2743]
I think that we had several conversations about what it should be. We all sat in a room for a couple of days and sort of talked about what it should and what it shouldn't be. Verbally we had an idea that we'd move forward with and sort of kept true to concept, but we didn't necessarily have a written brief that we were abiding by. PROJECT ID [2752]
There were several decisions we made along the way that veered away from being a guide book. For example, we don't have blow up maps on the inside that tell you exactly where to go. We have the map on the cover that sort of views more as a graphical element. It's accurate as far as pinpoints and locations and things like that, but usability may be lower than if we were actually intending that people carry it around and navigate with it. So it was sort of crossing this boundary between a guidebook and a coffee table inspirational book. The intent was trying to walk that line carefully. [2744]
It was. It was useful in helping make some difficult decisions along the way about when Chronicle was pushing us to do certain things that we just didn't feel were necessary, and we could sort of go back to that logic as the rationale for why we didn't feel like it needed to follow the normal rules. [2745]
No, actually unusually large, I would say, because both because ... Well, because there was no parameters. Maybe now people will be kicking me for saying that because it's sort of like we did what we needed to do in order to get it done. But Chronicle pushed back our deadline because they were late in getting us back comments, so it sort of felt like whenever we were getting really stressed out that we were up against a deadline, it would get extended a little bit. So it was definitely a lot of work, but I think the time was appropriate in the end. [2746]
Well, because there was no parameters. Maybe now people will be kicking me for saying that because it's sort of like we did what we needed to do in order to get it done. But Chronicle pushed back our deadline because they were late in getting us back comments, so it sort of felt like whenever we were getting really stressed out that we were up against a deadline, it would get extended a little bit. [2753],[2754]
It was a little bit frustrating at times because they were a little bit heavy-handed, but I don't think it ever turned sour or anything. Think there were a lot of back and forth and questions back and forth, but it was all in good faith and good intentions I think. [2747]
Reference Tags
[2736] Status quo bias,[2748] Believes one has a hopeful path,[2738] Organizing effectively,[2750] Organizing effectively,[2749] Trust,[2737] Promote autonomy & sense of ownership,[2751] Empathetic disposition,[2739] Organizing effectively,[2740] Appropriate resources,[2742] Promote autonomy & sense of ownership,[2741] Organizing effectively,[2743] Indecisive leadership,[2752] Communicating ideas across domains,[2744] Scope creep,[2745] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2746] Balanced workload pressure,[2753] Insufficient Feedback,[2754] Planning fallacy,[2747] Empathetic disposition

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