All Posts in Personal

January 20, 2016 - 5 comments

Writing a Book

About six years ago I started this blog because I was unhappy with the complete lack of resources (and community) for people working as project managers in the digital space. Over the years I’ve put a lot of work in to sharing my ideas and experiences. I've published several articles here and in many other places. Needless to say, I’ve taken the opportunity to speak up and tell my corner of the world my feelings about what makes a good project manager…or digital project manager. Here’s the thing: I’m not stopping.  Read more

September 8, 2015 - No Comments!

A New Home

I started this site—primarily as a blog—back in 2009. I wanted to speak my mind about all things digital project management. I did, and it led to a lot of great conversations, connections, and advancements in my career. When I went out on my own in January of 2015, I immediately knew that the design wasn’t going to work if I wanted to showcase my work—or what I’m doing. So I flipped a switch in WordPress and suddenly jumped into a new, less customizable theme. it never felt right, but it did the job for the time being. I always knew that I wanted a more customized site that allowed me to showcase what I’m doing for work in addition to what I’m saying on this blog, but I knew it would take some time.

In March, I decided to put a call out on Twitter to see if anyone would want to help me with a new brand and a new site. That’s when my friend and Every Day DPM co-blogger Rachel Gertz replied and I thought to myself, “Duh. Of course Louder Than Ten!” We had already been doing some work together and had been thinking about planning an Every Day DPM workshop in Vancouver, among other things. It just felt like the best option, maybe even an extension of all of the fun stuff we’d been working on together already. Plus, working with friends on something that is so personal just feels right.

The next week, Rachel, Travis and I were on the phone talking about next steps. They asked me the right questions: What will this “brand” represent? What did I need immediately? What could I wait for? Immediately I was excited, and of course I wanted it all at once. This is why it’s good to work with friends (and good project managers): They laid the project and costs out for me in a way that helped me to prioritize the work.

We started with a logo

We all agreed that the best place to start was with a logo. I mean, I honestly never thought I wanted or needed one, but man am I happy with what Travis designed. And the process was fun, smooth, and easy to navigate. After two rounds of looking at rough sketches, we landed on an option that felt right for me. And then some refinements, and color.

Brett Harned White Logo

 

I could not wait to apply this to business cards—and I’d been lacking those for months—so Travis whipped them up, printed them, and sent them my way. I now have a full box of cards that I will probably remember to hand out three times this year, because that’s how I roll. BUT I HAVE BUSINESS CARDS!

 

Oh, and I printed stickers too. My kids seem to love them.

Brett Harned Cards and Stickers

Then came a website

Every time I received an email through the contact form on my old site, I was met with shock and embarrassment. Shock that someone would take the old site legitimately. Embarrassment because that’s how you’d feel working in the web industry with such a junior league site.

Initially we planned to attack the project later in the year, but I didn’t think I would be able to  wait. Thankfully, Travis was able to make some time in his busy schedule and we kicked the site design out in just two and a half weeks. I handled content, he designed, illustrated, and coded everything in Semplice for WordPress, and I ended up with a site that I’m truly happy with—and proud of. I’m sure we’ll make enhancements or changes in the future, but what I have now is a site that actually represents my work and my personality.

AND WE LAUNCHED IT ON A FRIDAY. Yup, we broke the rules. There were hiccups. We fixed them, and then sent fireworks gifs over Slack. It was quick, fun, and stress-free. That’s how it should be.

Thanks to LT10

I can’t post this without sending a huge thanks for Rachel and Travis Gertz at Louder Than Ten for helping me with this project. They’re not only doing great web design work, they’re a strong voice in the digital PM community. Check out coax, the digital magazine they’re publishing for DPMs. It’s a joy to read—and full of helpful information and opinions.

 What’s Next?

This year has been fulfilling, fun, and busy (but also relaxing at the same time, if that is possible?). I’ve done a lot of work I’ve been proud of, and I’m excited to show you more. I’m always looking for new contacts and businesses to help. Now that I’ve got a real site and logo, I’d love for you to share them! I’m always open to new and exciting projects.

July 30, 2015 - No Comments!

Be There: Digital PM Summit 2015

I've been hard at work pulling together the upcoming Digital PM Summit. Now in its third year, the Digital PM Summit is all about fostering and celebrating the digital project management community. It's an event that was born out of a desire to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from them. It has since grown to be an event that pulls a whole community together to talk about the issues that matter most to us.

Because this is so much a part of what I do, I just had to post about it. If you've been to the event, you know it's invaluable (and fun, to boot). If you haven't been, read on and make your decision...and register.

What is the Digital PM Summit?

The event is two days of engaging presentations, breakout sessions, and conversations that explore how we manage digital projects, from a variety of perspectives.

When we first started, it felt very much like an "agency" PM event. But now it's much bigger (and better) than that. We don't focus on any specific industry, process, or title. We focus on what it takes to lead. So, no matter the methodology—Agile with a capital A, agile without a capital a, waterfall, or whatever one of the 9,000 methodologies out there—speakers will share the secrets of keeping projects moving, keeping stakeholders happy, keeping teams engaged, and keeping budgets intact. To say that I am excited about the speakers (and topics) we recruited this year would be an understatement.

DPM2015 Speakers

Why isn't your face in that grid?

I've had a few people ask me why I am not speaking this year. The short answer is that I am...just not a keynote. I'll be hosting the conference, which means I will introduce our speakers and thank sponsors between sessions. But I've also got a little bit of time in the agenda to make opening and closing remarks. There's a lot going on in this community, so I am excited to highlight it for the conference.

Plus, I am presenting a workshop the day after the Summit. I'm thrilled to say that the workshop is already sold out with a waiting list. Needless to say, my plate is overflowing for October!

Want to make new contacts from across the globe?

A major benefit of this event for me is the connections I'll make. Every year I meet a ton of talented, fun people who do similar work around the world. The conference is set up in way that you can't avoid talking to others. And let's face it, that's where the true value of a conference lies. We've got parties, conversation sessions, and more planned for attendees to make the most of the 2 days in Philly. It's going to be great.

Register!

Okay, so you knew this was coming. You don't want to miss this event if you're at all interested in the community and being a better digital project manager. Tickets are on sale now and we expect them to sell out. If you register before August 1, you can save $100. Get on it, friends!

See you in October!