Our Teams Are Autonomous
We believe in autonomous teams. Each team at SuperGenius is run by a Director and that Director can build, structure, and run their team the best way they see fit. Each team has a set of responsibilities that don’t necessarily have to fall on the Director. For instance, a Director can hand off certain responsibilities to a Lead, like communicating with the developer, making deliveries, or even reviewing work. It doesn’t matter who handles those tasks, as long as the team takes care of them as a unit.
Autonomous teams are a direct result of our philosophy that those who are super talented, self-motivated, and personally responsible people can do incredible things when they are given the freedom to do them their way. Things such as solving problems, producing work that is inspired and high quality, and helping their teammates do the same. They don’t need someone hanging over their head reminding them of the consequences of not doing their jobs properly. They simply need to be in an environment that supports innovation and reminds them they are free to do their jobs the best way they know how.
Autonomous teams are also a practical way SuperGenius, as a studio, can scale up without being bottlenecked by too much management. It’s a grand experiment in some ways, but we are far from the only ones who follow this philosophy. There are other companies, some giant, some small, who follow this method of management. There have also been a lot of failures in this area which arise when companies aspire towards a completely hierarchically-free environment, a.k.a a “Flat” company. SuperGenius is much more moderate in its approach. We are not, nor will we ever be a “Flat” company. We believe in, and encourage autonomy, personal responsibility, and self management up to a point, but with support and checks and balances from management to make sure the vision of the studio is being met. So far it’s worked out great and the result is the SuperGenius you know and love today.
While our teams are autonomous, they are not alone. We have an entire studio designed to support each team and make sure they are run properly without having to deal with any unnecessary distractions that could keep them from producing the highest quality of work.
Producers assist the teams with booking new projects, creating proposals and budgets, and helping directors manage schedules. They ensure clear communication between the developers and internal teams, and coordinate multi-disciplinary projects wherein several teams are working together. They track the dependencies within such projects, as well as managing resources across multiple projects within the studio. This is especially crucial on higher volume projects where the directors need to spend most of their time running their team, reviewing work, and keeping quality in check.
Our teams have a whole department of IT professionals and technical artists to lean on when it comes to software or hardware issues. We often deal with developers own version control software which leads to a lot of setup through VPX and other security protocols. We have been through it all. Luckily our teams can continue focus on producing great work and rely on our own Technical Support team to figure out all the details.
Obviously a team can’t be completely effective if they are also dealing with billing, NDAs, and on-boarding, which we have to do with many of the larger companies we work with. SuperGenius has a full-time Office Manager, as well as other staff members, who make sure all those details are taken care of so our teams and developers can focus on the things we enjoy and that need to get done. Whether it’s maintaining the office, ordering supplies, fielding health care and employee benefits questions, or anything else that makes our team’s lives easier and allows them to focus on the project at hand, we have them covered.