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March 20, 2015 - No Comments!

It takes true grit to be a good project manager

No one ever said that being a project manager is easy. In fact, on most days a lot of project managers wonder why they took the path into the world of wrangling people, process, and all of the very important details that come along with them. On other days, great project managers pat themselves on the back for mustering up the true grit they have deep within to not only manage all of those things, but lasso them in and hog tie them like a pro. screenshot_40 I've been a Digital PM for a long time, and I still encounter issues that seem impossible for me to resolve. I get nervous. I question myself, my team, and our approach in the face of a client conflict. I am always questioned by my team and my clients, yet I always find a way to respond and smooth things over. Sometimes I wonder how or why I do it, because it's difficult and stressful at times. Want to know the real secret? I love what I do because I am a problem solver and I thrive under stress. When I am met with an issue, I address it head my own way. I've found that if I hold off on reacting immediately to an issue and take the time to think about it, I will find the best way to resolve it. Sometimes that means I need to step away and think about things: What is the true problem? Who is involved? Who can help? How can I solve this and make everyone happy? If I mentally take a step back and dissect the issue, I can truly find a resolution. If I take on a different perspective, I might find a clearer solution, or even see where I could be wrong. That's right. As project managers, we are not always right. Sure, we know the details, we know the limits, we set the expectations. But they change all the damn time. So there's a chance we just haven't changed with them...or kept up with them. So we can be wrong. I hate it when I'm wrong. Especially when I have to go back on my word, change a plan, or do something I REALLY don't want to do. But if I want to be good at my job, I have to be vulnerable and fess up to not knowing everything and owning problems. It's tough to do! It takes courage. To be a great PM, you need to be courageous enough to address a difficult situation head on. You also need to do it with grace. While you might be scared to death of that issue (and its potential outcome) inside, you have to be cool, calm, and collected on the outside. It's not easy to do, but it's what you have to do. The more confidence you display, the more trusted you will be, and the better results you'll see. As you gain experience being a PM, and experience within your industry, your company, and your team, you will find confidence. That confidence will bring the ability to face any situation head on with little hesitation. Now, I'm not saying that you'll always have the answers. I'm saying you'll know how to find them. And when you do, you'll have the courage to resolve them, whether that be through a difficult conversation, change request, email, and so on. You'll know that what you are doing is not easy, but that it needs to be done for the good of the project. And that is why you're a good PM. How do you muster up courage when you need it? Share it in the comments below!

January 4, 2015 - 2 comments


DPM:UKHave you heard about DPM:UK yet? It's a one day conference for digital project managers held in Manchester, England. I was happy to be a part of it last year. I gave my "Be a Better PM" talk and got some really nice reviews. Well, this year is looking to be amazing as well, and I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. In fact, the Matt Thornhill and the fine folks at Manchester Digital have asked me to give my one-day Digital PM Workshop on the 28th and host the conference and a panel of all-star speakers on the 29th. It's going to be a ton of fun.

I'm looking forward to catching up with friends I've made over the last couple of years, but also very excited to meet new friends and connections in the UK. I'd love nothing more than to work with some of the smart people I've met! On top of those opportunities, we'll be treated to great presentations by Sam Barnes, Meghan Wilker and Nancy Lyons, Meri Williams, and more. It's going to be a great conference. If you're there and we haven't spoken, please reach out!

December 15, 2014 - No Comments!

Blogging every day in 2015

every day dpm logoI start every year with a new goal or "resolution" in mind. Truth be told: I typically give up on that goal by February. Mainly because I get easily distracted, caught up with work, or just plain old lazy. Not this year, my friends. It's only December 15 and I'm looking toward 2015 with a big goal in mind: I'm going to write more.

So how do I have it covered already?  Rachel Gertz and I launched a new blog today. It's called Every Day DPM, and our goal is to post helpful, fun, and fascinating content to you every damn day for one whole year. We're not talking about all long-form content, but just enough to whet your whistle and provide that little push you need to get through the day, or maybe just to learn something new. It used to be that there wasn't much for Digital PMs on the web. Well, that has changed. Check out our first post and follow us on Twitter to catch the daily updates starting on January 1, 2015.

Oh and don't miss the creepy/amazing photo on our about page.