Start project management the right way with project codes
In a series of small productivity tips to work efficiently as an individual and team, we would like to share our approach on high level organisation of projects. It’s very simple, yet effective.
Mimicking the power of database with unique IDs
Databases are everywhere, even when you don’t realise it. And while they can sound boring, there are very useful principles that we can apply elsewhere. The first column every database should have is the UID or ID column. This will ensure that every record added to the database has a unique identifier that you can always reference and grab specific. Once aligned on an ID, all computers and people know the context relevant to the information. IDs are by default uniform and short. This key (no pun intended) advantage in databases is what we’ve adapted and adopted when referencing projects in our agency.
Generate your project codes
Upon starting a new project we determine the project code with the following recipe:
No more than 3 characters
Character 1 is often the first letter of the project
Character 2 and 3 should “feel” right
Use unique combinations of characters
A few examples of how we applied this recipe to some of our projects:
Employes → EMP
Martin Garrix → GRX
NOS → NOS (lol)
Adobe → ADB
Yummygum → YGM
Backfire → BKF
We immediately notice how easier it is to process the table of codes on the right.
When and how to use project codes
Once implemented and documented, we suggest using the abbreviations for projects as often as possible. This will help with adoption and dedication towards the project code. Here are some examples of where we use project codes.
All of our channels use the project codes for quick scanning and finding. Channels are sorted alphabetically so you can quickly jump to the right channel. Searching with quick find (⌘K) is also much easier.
Jira & Github
Using project codes from a dev perspective is very powerful and a uniform practice. The project is used as a prefix of every dev ticket and has an immediate context glued to it from a specific project.
Figma’s interface is full of words, characters and icons which is why using project codes helps finding what you need through the noise. Note that the sidebar of Figma allowed us to add the full name of the project for a bigger hit area and extra clarification. Both project and individual files are prefixed with the project code.
Bonus: Emojis in Slack
The real fun kicks in when using the project codes as emoji in Slack or other tools. Visuals are easier and faster to process than words, so triggering a project icon with a project code will save some additional seconds.
Easy to try
Never underestimate the power of small changes like using project codes in your organization. These types of changes compound and you reap the benefits without much effort. We’re known for obsessing over mere seconds of optimization, but all those seconds are transferred to the actual process of making; something we love dearly.