October 12, 2013 - 8 comments

Stay Informed

ImageI really believe that it's really important for project managers to think of themselves as students. The digital industry is constantly changing and we need to keep up. And it's not just about project management, it's about design, development, technology, and whatever else might come along. I've collected a lot of links to resources that I visit frequently to keep me informed on what's happening in the industry.

Project Management and Web Design Blogs/Websites

There are a ton out there. This is in no way a comprehensive list, but these are a few that I tend to visit more often.

Sam Barnes's Blog

The Digital Project Manager

PM Hut

Herding Cats

The Critical Path

Voices of Project Management

Cognition

A List Apart

Creative Bloq/.net

Smashing Magazine

 

Books

Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process, Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker

A Practical Guide To Managing Web Projects, Breandan Knowlton

The Lazy Project Manager, Peter Taylor

Managing Humans, Michael Lopp

Making Things Happen, Scott Berkun

Game Storming, Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Manacufo

A Book Apart

Project Management Tools

I'm not going to recommend any of these because I think we all need to use what works specifically for our companies, clients, and teams. This list spans a lot of tools that I've found in my web travels.

Basecamp

Harvest

Tick

Google Drive

OmniPlan

SmartSheets

LaunchList

Resource Guru

Trello

Float

Gather Content

Articles About PM Tools

Wondering what you should use? These articles might help you find the answers you need.

http://www.inc.com/guides/201102/20-essential-tools-for-project-management.html

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_PPM.htm

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/13/15-useful-project-management-tools/


Learning Resources/Communities

There are a ton of resources online to stay on top of what's happening in the industry. These are my favorites.

Mijingo: Check out the Happy Cog Way series, which was produced by my amazingly smart coworkers.

Gymnasium by Aquent: I'll have a course online there soon!

Design & User Experience Resources

You might not be designing, but you should understand the principles of design and UX. I'd add these to some of the sites that I added earlier on.

http://styletil.es/

http://alistapart.com/article/kick-ass-kickoff-meetings

http://goodkickoffmeetings.com/

 

User Testing Resources

You may do all of your recruiting and testing in-house. Maybe you don't. These resources have been helpful for me in the past.

Usertesting.com

Ethn.io

 

Forms & Surveys:

The tools can be really helpful when you're trying to gather feedback and don't have the time to do interviews or separate reviews.

Polldaddy

Wufoo

Google Forms

Survey Monkey

Email Tools

PMs don't send too many mass emails. I do because I've been working with PhilaMade and the Digital PM Summit. I will say that I absolutely love Mailchimp. We use their email tool for both organizations, and it is a pleasurable, easy experience. Plus, they offer so many awesome design, UX, and content resources. You have to love a company who shares their process and knowledge.

Media Resources:

Explore these sites for more valuable content like tutorials (how I learned how to make good master slides in keynote and fix my leaky shower head...who knew?). And memes.

YouTube & Vimeo

SlideShare & SpeakerDeck (My conference slides are here)

 

Sharing, Commenting & Tracking

It feels like every project requires social sharing these days. This is a helpful list for when a client asks you for recommendations.

Add This

Share This

Disqus

Content Management Systems:

I don't delve too deep into this world, but it's important to have a high-level understanding of what your CMS is all about. These links might help!

http://wordpress.org/

http://drupal.org/

http://ellislab.com/expressionengine

http://habariproject.org/

 

Standards & Testing

Quality is key. Every good PM should be on top of this. Do what you can to learn about accessibility, browser compatibility, and the QA process that goes along with it. These links might help you!

http://www.w3.org/

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

http://gs.statcounter.com/

http://www.netmarketshare.com/

http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2010/08/bug-tracking-system/

http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/webmaster/article.php/3838311/Browser-Emulators---Testing-Your-Design.htm

http://www.browserstack.com/mobile-browser-emulator

Q Cat: http://qcatpro.com/

 

Contracts:

Mike Monteiro gave an amazing talk at San Francisco Creative Mornings back in 2011. It's directed at designers, but applies to anyone working with clients. Check it out: http://vimeo.com/22053820 (if you despise the f word, skip the link)

http://stuffandnonsense.co.uk/projects/contract-killer/

That's all I have....for now. This list could change weekly. And, I would love to know if you have resources to add! Please feel free to leave a comment with suggested additions. Also, many thanks to Sloan Miller for helping me compile this list for our PM Workshop at the University of the Arts.

Published by: brettharned in Uncategorized
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Comments

Anna Thornton
October 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Great article. I heart learning too! I’m with you on a lot of the resources you list and look forward to checking out some I don’t yet know.

For me, work-life as I’ve come to know it would cease to function without Evernote. (My personal life might go off the rails without that one too). GTD gets bumpier without OmniFocus and I’m also starting to use idonethis.com on the prompting of my project-partner-in-crime @jaywest + a few other articles I’ve read recently. It’s a great tool for capturing and reflecting on all the things I’ve tackled in a day. I find it gets me striving to ensure I have productive things to report to myself.

I also gain a great deal of inspiration and insight from a subscription to the Harvard Business Review.

@athorn

Nathan Gilmore (@NathanGilmore)
October 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

Hi Brett… Thanks for all the good links. Found a few new blogs that I’m gonna check out.

Also, looks like the link to the Cognition blog isn’t working. Tried clicking it, but it just took me to an error page.

Ian May (@ThatIanMay)
October 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

A great book you might want to add to the list that I would always want someone new to Digital Project Management to have read is: ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ by Steve Krug. http://www.sensible.com/dmmt.html
It’s not strictly a book about PM but it tells you a lot of the things you need to know about making usable websites in an easy to digest format.

danaokapi
October 25, 2013 at 7:20 am

Cool list! Happy to see I knew most of these, yay! 🙂

Frank Anaya
May 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Thanks Brett for this Amazing Post! You state how it’s really important for project managers to think of themselves as students; I’d like to add something more – AS PMs we must also be Teachers. Let me explain why.

There is an interesting idea called the Learning Pyramid. It was developed in the 1960s by the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine. To summarize the numbers (which sometimes get cited differently) learners retain approximately:

90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.
Article source (http://www.psychotactics.com/blog/art-retain-learning/
& https://medium.com/life-hacks/9c1bc89dc71d)

This means that 90% of remembering something is by teaching it immediately. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn how to grow as Web PMs. As a whole, most people don’t teach, or create content from what they know. There is an idea that states that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk. Wikipedia(URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule_(Internet_culture)

Anybody can become a teacher. I am doing just that. I have began to teach and share resources that benefit Web PM’s over at http://webteamhq.com. I appreciate the quality content and leadership you have demonstrated to Digital/Web PMs all over.
It’s certainly an exciting time to be in this field.
-Frank Anaya
http://webteamhq.com

    brettharned
    May 20, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for commenting,and for these stats, Frank.

    I saw webteamhq and wondered who was behind it. Now I do!

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