Womenize! Wednesday Weekly is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Enya Tack, Project Manager at Wargaming. Read more about Enya in this interview:
Hi Enya! You are the Project Manager at Wargaming’s Berlin office. What is it that inspired you to take your first step into the games industry?
Being an avid gamer, I did not have to think twice when I got the chance to work in the games industry. I was in college when the community team of a game I played a lot at the time reached out to me and asked if I was willing to work for them and move to Berlin. I followed my gut feeling and accepted pretty much right away.
I want to give players the best possible gaming experience, which is exactly what I expect when I play games myself. The thought that people will play the game I work on and get enjoyment out of it is very fulfilling for me.
Last year you gave a talk during the Quo Vadis conference, where you spoke about the process of managing a game project spread across two separate Wargaming offices – one in Berlin and the other in Shanghai. As a Project Manager, how do you approach such a challenging task?
I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to talk at Quo Vadis. I appreciated sharing my experience and learnings, and hope other teams can learn from it!
It may sound cheesy, but communication really is key. Being so far away from each other can make it hard to be on the same page and share the same vision, so you need to make sure to keep yourself up-to-date on everything.
The challenge is to find the right channels to communicate and to make sure communication is efficient and balanced. You don’t want to spend all day writing emails or in skype calls, because then you will get no work done. But the teams should also not be afraid to reach out and ask questions, or to have a quick call when something is unclear. We use mails for heavier topics, group chat channels for quick questions, and also have regular play sessions to get a clear view of features that are being worked on.
I also think it’s very important that as a Project Manager, you avoid creating unnecessary bottlenecks by taking on all the communication. Show your team how to properly reach out to the other studio and give them the resources to do so, making them more independent and empowered in their work. We make sure the relevant team members are always added to CC and to use group chat channels as much as possible, so everyone can follow along and does not need to rely on me to get all information.
In the end it’s all about keeping the conversation open and creating an environment of trust.
In the past you’ve also appeared on the official World of Warships Blitz Youtube Channel, where you have held livestreams and announced new ingame content. Generally speaking, how important is it as a Project Manager to have a good amount of self esteem, any tips on becoming more confident in yourself?
As a Project Manager you need to put yourself in the middle all the time, question everything and take the lead when necessary (and let go when necessary). This does require a good bit of self esteem, but also a great deal of empathy and self awareness. You will get to work with a diverse group of people and not all personalities will match yours or the rest of your team, so you will often need to get over your own ego. In my opinion that is only possible if you are comfortable and confident with yourself and your skills.
That isn’t to say you should not question yourself! It is healthy to think critically about your own actions. Is the process you put in place 6 months ago still up to date? Do you have your priorities straight, or do you need to re-adjust? Are there new bottlenecks created that need fixing? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself and your team questions to keep on evaluating yourself and your work.
There are a few things that helped me improve my self esteem:
- Know yourself, be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and make the best out of them. I know exactly what I am good at and know how to use my strengths, which in return makes me feel more confident at what I do.
- Get to know your team and the people you work with, for example by going to lunch together or playing games as a team. Talking to someone, giving feedback or asking questions, is just so much easier when you know the person and will make you feel more comfortable as a whole.
- Set clear values and realistic goals: what do you want to achieve? Splitting up your bigger goals into smaller steps is a great way to get started. Being able to move a task to the “done”-pile is so very satisfying!
- Own up to your mistakes, fix them and learn from them. It is never fun to make mistakes but acknowledging them and coming up with a solution is a good learning experience and will only help you grow.
- Help others! Nothing will boost your confidence more than knowing your work and your actions helped someone else.
- Get yourself a mentor, if possible. Someone who you can sit down with on a regular basis to go over your performance, possible issues and doubts, someone who can give you unbiased advice and feedback, but can also point out the things you are doing well so you can build on that.
Thank you for your time Enya!
WWW Feature by Anne Zarnecke