Managing a Music Project

Project Management Gantt ChartBack in the day (PMR…Pre-Music-Reimagined) when I was working for a fortune 100 global corp in Information Technologies, we had this massive, enterprise-wide, accounting-integrated project management software. We used it to manage software development, testing, and rollout projects. While I won’t give the name, it was supposedly the same software tool set that NASA used to manage manned space flight projects, send probes to the edges of the galaxy, etc., etc., etc. So what does this have to do with music, and particularly, my music?

Also “back in the day” (a totally different day) of pre-Internet-connected-Indie-artists’-music-production, big record labels spent rather large sums of money placing their bets on artists, rolling the dice, and ultimately sending them into the studio hopeful of a very positive financial return on investment after all was said, done, and toured. Those days are gone. In their place is a new reality where a whole lot of music is being produced not by the elite, wealthy few, but more and more, by the masses of independent artists with their MacBook Pros, studio software, preamps, mics, and other gear. But along with this change has come the burden for the Indie artist to manage tasks once done by record label company staff. A prime example is all the planning and execution that has to go into doing a recording project. Even a short EP has a long task list of things that must be done.

At least, that’s the way that I am finding it. As I look toward finishing the recording of a batch of songs that I want to promote and release in EP form later this year, I find that I alternate somewhere between moderate concern that I won’t get all the details covered and all the tasks completed, to nearly all-out panic that it can’t happen between now and my target date. So after cobbling together some low-cost software tools on my notebook and iPhone computing devices, I’m starting to get all the tasks down; starting to get organized. My three-part question to any of you out there who have managed an Indie music release is this:

Do you ever feel like you’ve got to do everything (including drive the bus) having to do with your music; do you get overwhelmed; and what have you found in the ways of organizing/tracking tasks to relieve the tension and get it all done?

Learning As I Go,   and…
Driving the Bus (well, actually the Prius with the seats laid flat) Too,

Keith