All Posts in Personal

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:

screenshot_58

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.

February 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Motivation First

I’ve been reading (and seeing) a lot of articles lately about productivity: How to be more productive, productivity killers, how managers can be more productive, how to help your employees to be more productive, and so on. Each article is full of really good tips on how to manage your day. Each article is written from the perspective of the author*. Obvious, I know. But they’re writing tips that are based on their own work, schedule, etc. And if there’s anything I’ve learned as a PM at various companies working with several personality types, it’s that there is no single solution for anything. What one person finds helpful, the next finds annoying. How we work is personal, and it should be.

It’s easy to follow some of the helpful guidelines that are out there, but you’ll never achieve true productivity if you aren’t motivated to do a great job. It’s simple: if you are motivated by an outcome or even a feeling that work gives you, you’ll find ways to be more productive, and it return, successful. When you’re excited about work, you’re willing to take more on. You want to work, because something about it excites you.

What does that mean if you’re in a job where you feel productive enough but not excited? It could mean that you should find something new. But before you jump ship, take the time to examine what makes you happy. Ask yourself some questions: Out of all of your tasks, what are the things that you really enjoy? What is it about those things that you enjoy? Why do you like them? Are there ideas, practices, or approaches that could cross-over to the tasks you don’t love as much? From there, take the time to think about ways to make the mundane tasks exciting, and maybe—JUST MAYBE—you’ll find a newfound love for them. Sometimes all we need to do is mix things up to rekindle the love we once had for something—even work.

So go on, read the next “productivity” article you see. Implement some new ideas. I’m pretty sure that the tips in those articles will help you! But be sure to think about what motivates you, and do what you love.

* I might be one of those authors.

February 3, 2015 - No Comments!

Love your work

It took me about 6 years and 3 jobs to realize that I wasn't fully happy with my work. Sure, I was working on great projects with really nice, smart people, but I wasn't in a role where I could do my best work. It wasn't until someone told me I should be a PM that I actually realized what I was meant to do. Ever since, I've found this drive to be a better project manager and help others be better as well. Now that I'm an independent consultant, I've made this a central goal for myself and my business. After all, this industry needs confident, happy digital project managers.

As a consultant, I'm helping companies to improve their project processes and communications, but I'm also offering one-on-one coaching services. A DPM can make or break profitability, set the tone for team and customer happiness, and they can facilitate processes that work. None of this comes over night, even for a seasoned project manager in a new role. We all need someone to turn to when we are facing an issue, want advice, or just need to vent. With some guidance, a good Digital PM can be great, and I would love to be the person to offer it.

So how would it work? Through a monthly retainer, I'm providing regular coaching through structured meetings and on an ad hoc basis to provide advice, direction, and encouragement. I'll take my clients under my wing and help them on a variety of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Estimating project and task time
  • Writing solid scopes of work
  • Creating reports to share overall data on project health
  • Understanding stakeholders
  • Best practices for project planning
  • Conducting project management research
  • Being confident with clients and not being afraid of difficult conversations
  • Working with a variety of personalities and backgrounds—from creative to technical
  • Taking stellar meeting notes (and sharing!)

I'm excited for the opportunity to work with a variety of project managers to help find what their best qualities, and work on the things they can improve on. It's kind of crazy, because at the same time, I'll get to do what I love. It's a win-win.

If you're interested in working with me, please get in touch.