Smashing Spotlight: Caroline Colón, Senior Producer

Wonder what makes Smashing Ideas so smashing? Our people! We sat down with Caroline Colón, Senior Producer, to talk shop, the importance of a 10,000 foot view and why you might also know her as a professional juggler.

Many companies are in the midst of a digital transformation, which takes technology and applies it to varying aspects, obvious and not, of our daily life. As Senior Producer, you play a critical role in taking an idea and bringing it to fruition. Do explain…

Beyond the obvious project management activities I do that are critical to the role of a producer, like setting schedules and managing budget and staffing, I do many less obvious things like guard the client’s vision of the project, keep all invested parties on the same page and on the same trajectory, make sure team morale is high and lend my experience to the overall direction of the project. A big part of my role is anticipating and removing roadblocks, making sure my clients’ needs are addressed and have everything in place for seamless communication, productivity and excellent creative vision.

Everyone involved in a project comes at it from his or her own lens. Yet when varying perspectives are present, it’s critical for someone with a 10,000 foot view of the project to keep an eye out and draw connections to parts of the project that might otherwise be missed. At the end of the day, I make sure everything from a production standpoint is in place and running smoothly to ensure we’re building the right product for our client.

 

You have worked in both the digital world and in filmmaking.  Who has a stronger “artistic temperament”, actors or creative directors?

I will plead the 5th on this one.  🙂

 

What is the magical methodology mix you use to run a successful project?

I am a big believer in the methodology we use at SI. Layering on top of that, my goal is to build collaborative teams that bring our clients into the process as partners, built on trust and open communication.

 

As Senior Producer, you’re responsible for making sure a project stays on budget. If budget weren’t an issue where would you go on vacation and why?

On time and on budget, right?  If time weren’t also an issue – an around-the-world trip for sure!  I love traveling and getting the opportunity to meet new people and see new things. I have so many countries I have yet to visit.

 

If you were to have a new title that best represents what you do, which would best describe you: Quarterback, Cat Wrangler or Professional Juggler?

Professional Juggler.  Producing requires an ability to keep the big picture in mind, while still staying on top of small daily issues.  I balance planning for future phases of a project by removing blockers for my team and keeping things moving and everyone going in the same direction.

 

You’re at the forefront of interacting with leading-edge companies that are shaping the future of digital. What are some digital trends you are excited about coming to fruition? 

I am excited by the continued convergence of interactive digital and physical experiences, basically the Internet of Things.  I love products like the Nest that take an everyday task and make it even easier for its users, adding in a modern time saving twist (like remote control from your phone).  Virtual reality is also exciting and I look forward to seeing innovations in the healthcare, automotive and educational fields as that matures.

 

What was your last truly smashing idea?

Taking the plunge to go back to school while still working full time.  I am passionate about User Centered Design and User Experience and furthering my education in that area by pursing a Master’s Degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington.

 

You are a founder of Smashing’s Book Club. What book would you recommend up-and-coming producers to read and why? 

Lean UX was our inaugural book for the SI book club and I think it’s a great one for up-and-coming producers, as well as those that have been in the industry for a while.

 

If you weren’t a rockstar Senior Producer at Smashing Ideas, you’d be….

A photojournalist working for an agency stationed outside of the US. That or a documentary filmmaker working on social issues films.

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