April 23, 2015 - No Comments!

Harnedworld

I've been following Paul Boag for some time and have admired his work from across the pond. I first met him at DPM:UK where he presented on Digital Adaptation. I really enjoyed his energy on stage. Not only is the guy whip-smart, he's a true entertainer. Immediately, I knew I wanted him to speak at the Digital PM Summit.

So I asked. And he declined.

But with the insistent (and possibly obnoxious?) help of Sam Barnes and his use of ALL CAPS and strangely funny animated gifs. I was able to recruit Paul. Unfortunately, he came all the way to Austin and came down with some sort of bug. But I was able to show him some good Austin eateries and make fun of his brand new (giant) iPhone 6+. And in spite of being sick the day of his session, he gave a great presentation. Again, I was thrilled to have Paul there. Not only does he speak on relevant topics for DPMs, he completely supports our Digital PM community. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Not long after the Summit, Paul asked me to record his podcast with him. I was thrilled, to say the least. Between the time when he asked and we recorded, the two of us left our jobs and found new career paths. Of course, his is not in PM like mine, but we've both gone independent. So this interview was an interesting one for me, because he caught me early in my new adventure. I'm still on that adventure, and I'm really loving it. My work with the Bureau of Digital and my work with new and exciting clients continues. So does my desire to continue to talk about and help digital project managers. We talked about all of that. Give a listen if you're interested!

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Thanks to Paul and Marcus for not only having me on, but for saying such nice things about me. I'm flattered and honored, even if they did take a stab at my titles—previous and current. 😉

* The featured image at the top of this article was illustrated by Veerle Pieters and is taken from Paul's book, Digital Adaptation, which is available through Smashing Books.

April 22, 2015 - 3 comments

Inspiration for Digital PMs

I was just pulling together a bunch of new posts for Every Day DPM, and I started to realize that so many project management related articles are about the hard facts: scope, budget, black and white, this or that. I started to think back to my very first blog post about how we're not robots. Unfortunately, that point of view hasn't changed much in the greater PM community. Though, I like to think it has shifted (even just a little) in the Digital PM Community.

Down with the box checkers!

So where do we go? How do we, as a community of people who want to push this profession forward, inspire others to do more than write plans and check boxes when something is done? My first thought was, "Well we just tell them what to do." After all, some people just need to be told. Give some gentle direction to someone who wants to be good, and they'll head down the right path, right? Right! But how do you give that direction if you don't actually work with them? Good question. My response? You feed them bits and pieces of inspiration to make them feel better and do better.

So this is where I started:

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Just a few simple words to communicate what a Good PM can or should do. It's open-ended and should get you thinking. How can you throw caution to the wind by dropping your scope and inspire your team to innovate? What does that mean for you as a digital project manager?

What inspires you?

This single line won't resonate for everyone. I'll come up with more (already have). I'm having fun with it and want to do more to inspire folks (non-PMs too, I might add) in more ways that with long-form articles (that many do not read).

So what do you think? Is this a good direction? Is this the type of thing that would inspire you, or stick with you? If not, then what would (if you're open to that kind of thing, of course)? I'd love to hear from you on this idea.

April 7, 2015 - No Comments!

Be you.

There is so much you're required to do a digital project manager, and it doesn't all have to do with attention to details and creating scopes of work. To be a truly great PM, you have to...

Be nice
Be in control of your domain
Stand up for what's right
Be open to discussing what you thing is wrong
Put in extra hours when needed
Be supportive
Read, read, read
Proofread
Be willing to take a hit for the team
Do the work that feels unimportant
Prove your worth
Buy a coffee or a lunch every once in a while
Put your ego aside
Deal with personalities
Moderate
Facilitate
Vent to the right person
Have fun
Smile, even if you don't want to
Be meticulous about the details
Inspire collaboration
Question things
Not over-question things
Let go when you have to
Be willing to have difficult conversations
Make lists
Multitask
Learn from your team
Know enough about design and code to make you dangerous
Be honest
Be supportive
Provide updates
Follow up
Follow up again
And again
Stay calm
Be ready to address issues
Not use business speak
Share your experiences
Compliment your team for a job well done
Talk about what you can improve
And act on it
Stick to your word
Be you.