the key in project management is to start with a mission statement then break down your goals into bite sized tasks. you allocate time for them, assess the risks and concerns involved, address them, set a due date and a timeline, milestones to help you track achievements and then – you do it! (well, your team does it, but as artists, lets face it – we are our team)
so, I mentioned that I had a number of goals for this year, getting back on track after taking a bit of maternity leave (I didn’t take much time off, but I always feel behind)
so I’m going to break down my plan for each of my goals in turn in a project management new years series. this is so that I can
a) get it all down in an accountable way, and
b) show a little on how classic project management techniques can be used for artists.
Goal #1 on my list: My New Studio
Mission Statement: I want to get my new studio up and running, have it functional as well as beautiful and spend time in it! It’s a garage workshop so it will take a lot of work but the beauty is that when it’s done it will be all mine.
In Project Management, often the risk assessment is used to determine critical risks to the timeline or to achieving the mission statement and requirements from the shareholders. I don’t have a hard deadline, but the sooner it is done the happier I will be. the right setting is crucial to the right feeling while painting. this risk assessment is more about risks to the goal itself and getting it done in a timely way. a number of these risks are reoccurring for a lot of my goals.
The funny thing about risk assessment is that you have to try to think of everything. no matter how small – because sometimes it’s the little things that will trip you up the most. if you spend time brainstorming anything and everything that can happen and plan for the worst – it’s amazing how well it all works out.
Risk: I have a baby! while her nap times are more predictable, and I can do work then, she’s still a handful!
mitigation: Liam can take care of her while I’m painting and getting things ready, she can come with us to buy stuff and when dad and Liam are doing the manual labor I can take care of her. we will pass her around.
risk: I have an unpredictable chronic pain disability: this changes day by day and determines how much I can or cannot do.
mitigation: pushing it is good for me! also, see #1 if I can play handball with some of the tasks we can get it all done.
Risk: crumbling mortar on the unsealed brick
Mitigation: I’ve tried painting on it already and it soaked it up. I need to talk to a specialist about sealing the brick properly so that I can get a really nice glossy finish. this is a budgetary risk as well as a sanity one.
Risk: Light Levels
Mitigation: get a new fluro tube for the empty array. consider reflectors. use a glossy paint on the bricks to bounce the light, get more halogens. Cost – $50-100
Risk: It’s a garage workshop
Mitigation: not when I’m through! it has a window, it has great light fittings and power. lots of space. it’s a great space- it just needs work! and a wall.
Risk: Spiders (don’t laugh! if one drops on me I won’t be able to work in there for weeks!)
Mitigation: Bomb the place and keep bombing. seal up any holes – (will need to anyway)
Risk: going crazy through lack of painting
Mitigation: well you better get moving then woman!
yes, my risk assessments get silly after a while. silly is good. 9 times out of 10 it will be the silly that trips you up. I have more but I won’t bore you with all of them.
Deadline: I’m going to give it a month. The wall is dependant on others so I can’t necessarily control that, but I need to have my parts done and it workable in a month.
Now, artists are visual people so I know this makes sense – why just say it in task form when you can say it in…Chart form!! This is the timeline, task list and chart for my studio.
I will probably go into the joys of Gantt Charts at another stage…
Of course there also needs to be a celebration at the end of a successful project. something to celebrate and prepare for the next big thing. so, when I am done with my studio, and it looks smashing I will have a huge open studio event!