Taskmaster Redux

As a follow up to my note on the furor over Electronic Arts’ labor management practices, here’s a posting with a recent internal email from Rusty Rueff, one of EA’s flock of Vice Presidents. Pertinent bits:

As much as I don’t like what’s been said about our company and our industry, I recognize that at the heart of the matter is a core truth: the work is getting harder, the tasks are more complex and the hours needed to accomplish them have become a burden. We haven’t yet cracked the code on how to fully minimize the crunches in the development and production process. Net, there are things we just need to fix…We’ve started a Development Process Improvement Project to get smarter and improve efficiency. Just as we have revamped the Pre-Production process, we are now creating a Product Development Map that will provide earlier decision-making (on SKUS and game features), improve our consistency of creative direction, and lessen the number of late in the process changes, firedrills, and crunches…Most important: we recognize that this doesn’t get fixed with one email or in one month. It’s an on-going process of communication and change.

It sounds as though the pressure the unhappy employees have brought to bear has been helpful in getting the senior management to take a look at some of these issues. I hope they’re able to bring off the changes they’re talking about, as there are a lot of good people in the company who are taking a beating because of the way the company manages projects and personnel. Thanks for taking the first step, Rusty.