Mimimi Games Unlocks Creativity and Agility With Hansoft
As an independent game company recently awarded Studio of the Year in Germany, Mimimi leaves a unique thumbprint on all of their projects. Hansoft enabled Mimimi’s team of developers, artists, and game designers to collaborate around Agile sprint planning backlogs, while enabling team members with diverse skills and workloads to deliver unique project contributions.
Creative and Efficient Agile Project Management With Hansoft
Streamlining backlogs for a team with diverse skills
Improving efficiency with visual approach to analytics
Enabling custom workflows with flexible folder structure
“Hansoft continues to be the best tool we can use for our project planning.”
Evaluating Project Management Needs For an Upcoming Independent Game Release
When Mimimi Games wrapped up their Desperados III project and shifted focus to pre-production of their independent release, code named Süßkartoffel (German for "sweet potato"), they wanted to challenge the limits and usage of Hansoft. While they were satisfied with Hansoft, it was the right time to weigh their options. After investigating Jira as a viable alternative, they ultimately concluded Hansoft would provide more value to their own approach to project management.
Seeing Hansoft Through Mimimi’s Project Management Culture
For Mimimi Games, video game development brings some very specific and creative challenges that set it apart from web development, or app software development. For example, storylines must hold the game experience together from start to finish. Voice actor performances and motion capture recordings must be accounted for. Additionally, hundreds of assets from various art pipelines must align to create beautiful visuals. Hansoft has helped Mimimi overcome these challenges for nearly a decade.
Tools and Processes Should Follow the Team
At Mimimi Games, it all starts with a good idea. Then they build, test, improve, and sometimes scrap things altogether. Mimimi does not force their team into a specific methodology. Instead, they use Hansoft, which enables talent to fulfill unique tasks, whether designer, artist, programmer, or voice actor. Naturally, they maintain a base structure for all teams. Yet, Hansoft’s features also allow for tailoring project workflows, backlogs, and sprint planning to specific team needs.
Hansoft Versus Jira: An Honest Comparison
Mimimi investigated Jira while talking to other game studios who use it as their project planning tool.Overall, they felt that for their own approach to project management Jira offered a different philosophy surrounding projects and sprints, when compared to Hansoft and their own methodology.
In all, they concluded:
- Though Jira caters well to studios who follow Scrum processes very closely, Hansoft achieves the same results but with more flexibility.
- Jira could not meet Mimimi’s customization and backlog planning needs.
- The option to host Hansoft on local servers and its native client improved speed and flexibility. Atlassian moving Jira to a cloud-only deployment was unappealing.
Hansoft and the Future of an Independent Game Studio
Having evaluated other project management software options, Mimimi Games ultimately embraced Hansoft to help them fuel upcoming independent game releases.
So, how exactly does Hansoft enable creativity and agility for Mimimi Games?
Backlogs, Folder Structure, and Sprint Planning
First, Mimimi uses Hansoft to create a backlog for a project, including a folder structure that goes as deep as necessary. Next, they use sprint planning to calculate the estimated time for each backlog item against available hours. They take a “top to bottom” approach, where the team managers create the schedule and plan the workload, while ensuring developers do not commit to too much workload for a sprint.
Team feedback is important at this phase. Using Hansoft, they take a collaborative approach to sprint planning, with input from both sides. While they embrace an Agile sprint system, they do not utilize Scrum, Scrum Masters, or product owners. Hansoft allows them to customize their approach to Agile project management based on their company culture and management style.
Milestones, Scope, Budget, Asset Planning
A key aspect in their sprint planning is Hansoft’s milestones feature. Milestones are broken into topics, goals are defined for topics, and they typically plan with the end in mind. Next, they create tasks for each department such as art, studio, design, and development. Employees are then given time credits for each phase of the project. These are later adjusted in detailed project planning.
Throughout the process, they utilize Hansoft to make adjustments to scope, time, budget, and quality of specific assets.
Next, Hansoft allows the team to easily keep an overview of where they stand in planning versus a full timeline. Utilizing a global sprint planning approach, they can develop a start and finish date for overall milestones. This then becomes the sprint planning backlog into which they drag and drop all relevant topic-blocker tasks for each developer.
Hansoft Enables Speed, Flexibility, Creativity for Mimimi Games
While using Hansoft, Mimimi Games unlocked greater performance, speed, flexibility, and team creativity.
Software Speed and Flexibility
Using Hansoft on local servers for data control and speed, Mimimi achieves optimal team and Agile planning software performance, including:
- Rapid, often instant, response times when browsing tasks, dashboards, backlogs, and schedules.
- Project managers can rapidly switch between tasks and views, while uploading new milestones and projects.
- Flexible deployment options, such as local server hosting, proved to be a major advantage when comparing Hansoft with competitors.
Streamlined User Interface and Unlimited Folder Structure
Hansoft’s user interface, paired with a custom and vast folder structure, allows Mimimi to easily create complex backlogs, topics, tasks, and folders. They capably navigate thousands of items – moving from task, topic, folder, and backlog quickly and efficiently.
Visual Approach to Data and Analytics
Mimimi takes data analysis seriously when it comes to task planning. Hansoft’s visual approach to data and analytics allows Mimimi to easily create dashboards and charts to visualize project milestones and projected outcomes. They utilize Hansoft to create filters, dimensions, and measures for specific users, milestones, or any other custom tag created to track tasks.
“Hansoft has a very visual approach for creating reports, so there’s no need to type a lot of commands on your keyboard.”
- Tom Kersten, Head of Production, Mimimi Games
Automated Time Management Features
Mimimi utilizes Hansoft’s automated time management features to efficiently calculate user workloads, tasks, and calendars. The ability to set project calendars to country, state, and local time zones allows their team to automatically set local and bank holidays to account for off-days and breaks. In addition, they utilize the out of office task feature, so users and the entire company can block days for time off, or company events.
Custom Workflows, Projects, and Data
Going well beyond basic Agile project management, Mimimi uses Hansoft to create custom project workflows, data, and columns. This enables them to track game levels, types of tasks, or department-level tasks and data. As an independent game studio, their customizations are undergoing constant adjustment to ensure they meet deadlines and create next-level experiences for gamers. Hansoft allows Mimimi Games to continue iterating, tinkering, and customizing workflows for optimal performance and creativity.
Agile Solutions for Independent Game Development
In addition to Mimimi Games, Hansoft helps several other game studios unlock agile lifecycle management. With Jira moving to a cloud-only framework, many application developers are considering agile tools like Hansoft, which allow for a balanced on-premises and cloud server footprint. Hansoft is an agile planning tool providing a single platform for decision-making at the project, program, and portfolio levels for a diverse team.
Experience the flexibility and power of Hansoft by starting a free trial anytime you wish.