#TeamInterviews with Oriol G. Vivet
LÚCID's PMO Manager

“The implementation of the Agile philosophy in a design agency is essential”

“It is clear to us that the agreed deadlines have to be met, but we are also aware that creativity does not come “on demand”

Uri is our PMO Manager, a great professional (and a better person😊) who works tirelessly every day to ensure the correct execution of projects, acting as a link between the team and the client.

Although the official role of a PMO Manager is to optimize the company’s processes to improve the execution of projects and ensure their success, at LÚCID this figure is much more than that.

From natural leader to eternal motivator, always ready to find time to put together a plan for all of us, he is an essential piece of the team. What a better way to inaugurate the #teaminterviews than with such a (as he jokes) “myth”?

 

Let’s talk a little bit about your functions. Explain to us exactly what your role at LÚCID consists of.

My role at LÚCID is a bit diverse.

On the one hand, I try to keep the teams comfortable, happy, motivated. I like to act as a facilitator, either helping each member to have the information they need to work correctly, unlocking obstacles that allow us to reach the delivery of the week, or doing Retrospectives with the team to see what we can improve together, either on a technical or emotional level.

On the other hand, there is a focus on the profitability of the projects. I may be defining homogeneous processes for all work teams, planning monthly objectives, organizing a specific project with the team and the client, or analyzing common factors of the projects that allow us to draw conclusions for improvement.

PMO Manager

 

And is it truly compatible to apply methodologies framed in the Agile philosophy in a design agency that depends on the creativity of its workers?

In 95% of the cases, I would say yes, it is. Agile is a philosophy that, among others, endows the team with full confidence while providing flexibility and adaptability. In addition, we involve the client more, making him participate in the process and make him feel practically part of our team.

“The variety of frameworks that we can find within the Agile philosophy allows us not to fit into a specific modus operandi but to adapt the work processes according to the project we are developing.”

In fact, I dare to affirm that the application of these methodologies is totally indispensable for an agency like ours.

PMO Management LÚCID

 

So, we went from compatible to indispensable.

Exactly. The use of these methodologies is essential to be able to manage the uncertainty that, in many cases, rules many of the projects we execute.

“It is impossible to know, at the beginning of a project, which will be the perfect product to develop. We have to validate it little by little, testing it with the real user, seeing the technical limitations and redefining the next steps every time we contact the real world”.

Many things can happen during a design project that can condition a design.

 

Back to the topic of creativity. How do you work at LÚCID so that timings and planning do not slow down the team’s creativity?

This is one of the most interesting challenges of my job. It is clear to us that the agreed deadlines must be met, but we are also aware that creativity does not come “on demand”.

To prevent this from compromising our planning, we try to get each designer to work on 3 different projects, so that, in case of blockage or little inspiration, they can change projects and renew their minds.

“At the same time, we understand the office as a space to foster creativity in a spontaneous way. Teams can meet whenever they want to carry out creativity dynamics, share knowledge, explore moodboards or draw together to generate new concepts”.

The walls are full of conceptual designs, logo proposals, colors… and anyone can leave a post-it with their opinion about it.

PMO Team Creativity

 

And when it comes to productivity. In the end the work must be delivered and no matter how creative we are if we are not productive…

That’s right. Ensuring team productivity is one of the core parts of my job. And even more now, in these times in which part of the team is working remotely.

In our case, we work for weekly and biweekly objectives, all depending on the team and the project. Every day we monitor the status of the projects with a “Daily Standup” in which we share the tasks carried out and the objectives and unblock any impediment that exists. It is an agile meeting to get going every morning.

“The objective of these sessions is also to achieve individual commitment with the rest of the team so that the projects run successfully as a whole.”

 

And in the case of contingency management. Because unforeseen events are everywhere, no matter how much we plan.

Yes, in fact, part of everything we do with Project Managers is to help manage unforeseen events, assessing the urgency and importance of each of them, trying to find the best solution so that they are not a barrier to the development the other ongoing tasks.

PMO Agile Philosophy

 

Focusing on the case of LÚCID, where there are departments with different needs, how do you reconcile these needs?

The key is to adapt the way of working according to the department. The Agile manifesto already says it: “Individuals and their interaction, above processes and tools.”

“In fact, the LÚCID method is interdepartmental. The Strategy, Research, Product Design, Digital, Branding… teams have to work in an optimal way, but without hindering the transfer of information between departments. “

All the work of the PMO Manager has a great impact here. And this whole process requires organization, planning and flexibility.

 

And what is the most satisfying thing about your job?

There is no greater satisfaction than finishing a project with a design that says “Wow!”, complying with all the timings and deliveries, and when you call the client to receive a little feedback and he tells you that he is very happy, and that he is already thinking about which project we can start together again.

 

And the most enriching?

To try. Make mistakes. To learn. We never close our doors when trying a new way of working. As Linus Pauling said, “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas”. So, if together with the team we believe that we could improve the result by changing any of the processes, we have no problem in testing it. If it works, perfect. If it does not work, the least we have got is that learning.

 

Lastly, Uri. If you had to define LÚCID in two words, what would they be?

Passion and family.

LÚCID team

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