At the Office - Project Management with Leisha

By Christina Sims

Hello all you Cryptozoic fans! I've returned from an awesome vacation in St. Louis and I'm ready to give you the next blog about everything and everyone in our office that makes it a kick-ass place to be. This week I'm interviewing one of the bigger cogs in the Cryptozoic machine, so read on for all the uh… juicy details.

Name – Leisha Cummins

Title – Director of Operations

Preferred Title – Glorified Babysitter, Den Mother

What goes on in your day to day at the office?
I build the product schedules and manage the day-to-day tasks for everyone. I plan out all of the tasks for all of our products and how they link to each other, then plan it out into Microsoft Project system. When the release date is released, I hold everyone to meet that particular date. Sometimes things get moved around a bit. I also do all the quoting for our game production and for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. In addition to all of that, I manage the designer's time for their projects, do routing for licensors, and work with factories and print facilities in China.

Is it difficult to work with the factories in China because of the language barrier?
It's a lot of emails, and sometimes it can be difficult, but I have really good vendors that I work with. Time management is the hardest; there are a lot of late night emails and a lot of early morning emails. I'm a bit of a control freak; I can't control it since I'm not there so that's the hardest part for me.

Do you have a favorite project that has crossed your desk?
I'm focusing a lot on our games right now, Rachel (Valverde) is helping manage all of the trading cards and Kate (Sullivan) is managing all the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game related stuff. I really like Hot Rod Creeps. It's a fun game that I can actually play because I'm not that game intelligent. It has a lot of interesting pieces … I like Hot Rod Creeps the best.

<I point to a colorful print-out on Leisha's desk> What about MOD X coming up?
It's coming soon! We're localizing the rulebook right now. I think we're going in four different languages and it'll be a game sold worldwide.

What kind of training does it take to do what you do?
I started as a traffic coordinator for a magazine and controlled advertisements, including the placements…

You're pregnant! Congratulations!
It's been good so far! I am 21 weeks today, so I'm on the downward slope. No nausea, although I should probably have pretended to so I could get some sympathy pains. It's actually been really easy. It's a girl! I just found that out. That's new and exciting.

It'll actually be the only baby born fluent in Microsoft Project!
Yeah! Like a little baby project manager to help out.

Any names so far for the little one?
No … we figured we'll go in with five names and we'll name her when we see her.

So the design team is the healthiest part of the office, where do you stand when it comes to being the “best” at something at Cryptozoic?
<Leisha inquires if she can swear, I laugh and shrug.> Being a b****! With a smile.

Thanks for taking time out of your crazy schedule to talk with me, Leisha!