Havin Team Democracy Is Not Top Priority

The objective of a game development team is to produce results. Having democracy and “hearing everybody” shouldn’t be top priority in every decision making. There are some reasons for this.

Democratic votes are time consuming
That’s the main reason why there should be leader in the team who is willing to make decisions when necessary. If you use “democratic voting” – hear what everybody has to say – every time you try to make a decision, it will be darn slow. Sometimes you should just cut corners and decide stuff on your own.

It might slip into being fake democracy
If people are just heard (but nobody is really listening), then you are just faking democracy. You are asking what people say, but then do whatever you already decided. That means wasted time (and basically is pretty annoying).

Democracy might indicate that you are a clueless leader
This is bit of an exaggeration, but think about it. If you are the leader, and you are always asking “what are you guys thinking about this” and “what are you guys thinking about that”… then people might get the impression that you don’t want to make decisions.

Leaders should bring vision and goals – people want leader to lead.

A word of warning. Being tyrant is equally bad (or worse). You have to keep the team motivated and ask their opinions now and then. Balance is necessary.

The point I want to make here that “having democratic team” over “having team that produces results” is not such a good idea – since the goal is to actually produce something, not make sure everybody gets heard always.

Juuso Hietalahti