DPM Summit 2018: The Importance of Asking Why

I am overjoyed to announce that I will be a speaker at this year's Digital PM Summit in Memphis, Tennessee!

I will be leading a breakout session talking about the importance of asking why and how "why" can break down project hurdles related to workflow, process, and communication. This workshop will teach practical ways to uncover the root of difficult problems and strategies that use "why" to improve project documentation, relationships, operations, and a PM's path of career growth.

Learn more at the Bureau of Digital

People Are People

Have you ever found yourself in an echo chamber at work—you look around and everyone thinks like you, talks like you, looks like you, and problem-solves the way you do? While this might make for a very comfortable environment in which to go about your day, it does not create one that is conducive to innovation, creativity, or truly effective problem-solving.

The technology industry is a pretty homogenous world. This isn’t a big secret, but it’s something that no one really likes to talk about. But we have to first acknowledge our problems if we want to address them or challenge them. Fostering diversity on our teams and in our companies is becoming more and more important. When individuals have the freedom to identify and express themselves authentically, workplace satisfaction improves, creativity flourishes, problem-solving becomes faster, more dynamic, and more productive, and whole teams find that they function and perform better.

Now this may seem like a dream, but it is neither fantastical nor unrealistic. Organizations all over the world are implementing changes to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces and they offer lessons for others to follow, pitfalls to avoid, and best practices to emulate. And that means that regular people like you and I can follow in those footsteps and help make our workplaces more inclusive and welcoming of diversity. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but it’s going to be so worth it and will only benefit you, your teams, your projects, your company, and your clients.

Read more at Coax

Signs You Are a Great PM

Imposter syndrome is real isn’t it? Being a project manager can be so challenging. Sometimes we can get so deep in the weeds of a tricky project or situation and when we finally lift our heads from the trenches covered in twigs and mud, we may wonder if we’re even doing our jobs well or if we’ve chosen the right career path.

I have struggled with this more times than I can count. For a long time, I’ve been the only project manager at the companies where I’ve worked, and it can be hard to have a benchmark for what is “good work” when you’re working in a silo. Joining the DPM community has helped me immensely, and when I struggle with imposter syndrome now I am so thankful that my DPM community helps me keep my head on straight.

But, for whatever reason, if you find yourself wondering if you’re succeeding as a project manager, here are 5 ways to help you know if you are indeed a good PM.

Read more at The Digital Project Manager

5 Techniques For Building Strong Relationships In Virtual Teams

As modern project managers, we have so many roles, and managing relationships is one of the most important ones. Our position makes us responsible for project health and gives us the special opportunity to nurture the health of our teams and our ongoing relationships with clients. When we invest in relationships with the members of our project team, we help to build teamwork and collaboration, improve communication, create a creative and solution-bound project environment, and build stakeholder investment in our common goal–the success of our project. Above and beyond our day-to-day tasks, relationships give meaning and significance to the work we do as project managers.

As a member of a digital agency, I often find myself working with remote teammates and clients, and, more often than not, our relationship building occurs over the phone, video calls, and online chat tools. Most people prefer to spend as much time in-person as we can with the members of our project teams, but how do we make sure that our communication remains compassionate and empathetic even when it occurs over digital mediums?

Here are 5 simple but incredibly effective techniques for successfully building relationships with your remote team and clients when communicating virtually. Taking these steps helps people to see that you value them and, in doing so, helps you build critical project allies with the stakeholders involved.

Read more at The Digital Project Manager

The Importance of Community

Although I've been to the Digital Project Manager Summit put on by the Bureau of Digital year after year, the most important thing I gain from attending the conference remains the same: the ability to connect with people like me.

Before attending the Summit, I had never before met anyone who did what I did. Like many DPMs, I fell into this career much ‘by accident,’ and it has been a fast-paced learning experience since the very first day. It has always felt a little bit lonely to be learning so much by myself and not have anyone to run ideas by or find solutions to problems with. I often longed for a DPM buddy to help me make sure that I’m not (too) crazy when I try to make a company-wide change, to learn from their unique experiences, and to commiserate with. That wish was met from the very first moment at the DPM Summit, and remains the most heartwarming and validating part of the DPM community.

Read more at Foster Made

Three Essential Elements to Effective Communication

Whatever your field of work is, communicating with other people is likely a fundamental part of your job. While it can be one of the most challenging tasks, it is arguably the most important, and one of the most rewarding! Even if you are the best at whatever you do, the importance and impressiveness of your work is diminished if you can’t effectively communicate with your team members, your supervisors, and your clients.

Through many years of practice, I have learned three essential elements to effective professional communication. Consistently reminding myself of these three elements gives me the tools that I need to comfortably and competently handle most any conversation I may need to have.

Read more at Foster Made