I’ve worked with (for?) several development directors. Some have been talented individuals, some incompetent. But invariably, the role has (in my experience) been useless. I’ve always seen it as a needless position on the producer/PM hierarchy. And oftentimes an add-on position due to explosive producer/PM headcount growth.
I understand what creative/technical/art/design/qa/(product|game) direction is. I have no idea what “development direction” is. And if I do, I have no idea how it’d be beneficial. I mean, the few decisions like “we are using Hansoft for scheduling and backlog management” can be made at the project producer level, and most other ‘development direction’ I can think of negatively infringes on team autonomy.
Has anyone actually had success with the role of development director? Not just a super-talented individual who happened to do a good job, but an actual use for the role?