Question: What’s more exciting than talking about the wonderful world of managing digital projects?
Answer: Hopping a plane to attend a 2-day conference with 299 other digital project managers.
The digital project manager meet-ups (aka ‘DPM’) actually started in Philadelphia (yay Philly!) by Brett Harned of Happy Cog. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of some the earliest meet-ups where we all could fit around a small table. Since those early days the group has grown tremendously with meet-ups of DPM groups springing up all over the world. Thus a conference was born. This was the second Digital Project Management Conference and it took place in beautiful Austin, Texas on October 6-7th.
What I like most about the DPM community is the amount of sharing and discussion in these meetings. The fast-paced digital community requires Project Managers to understand everything from the newest design programs to the latest digital platforms. At the highest of levels we need to be able to collaborate with everyone, including but not limited to the client, researchers, designers, developers, and our QA teams. We succeed best when we collaborate. Hence a major theme of the conference this year, Collaboration, which also applies to how we run projects at Intuitive. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Maybe Aristotle had something with that one.
Speakers at the conference included small companies on the cutting edge of major growth as well as an in-depth look at the quality assurance process involved in web projects. Presentations ranged from: People are Weird, I’m Weird, by Sam Barnes, to How Not to Let Content Set Your Hair on Fire with Mahava Leibtag. Things were so exciting that at one point the hashtag #dpm2014 was trending. As would be expected at a PM event, all speakers started and ended right according to schedule.
One of my favorite takeaways was from Nancy Lyons – “You shouldn’t celebrate when you WIN a client, you should celebrate when you DELIVER.”
This group of highly organized people didn’t just scatter after the conference. They planned exact locations to meet (shocker) and proceeded through the streets of Austin on a mission to line up for some amazing BBQ at Ironworks. After that we all headed to an after party at the Container Bar. Unfortunately, I missed the second night where there was Project Manager Karaoke, something that almost sounds too good to be true.
One of the keys to success as a PM, is managing the constant cycle of learning that occurs and applying those lessons on each project. This process is a major part of our culture here at Intuitive. We’re encouraged to not only expand our skillset by learning and attending conferences, but also to share what “We See” with the rest of the digital world. There’s no point in learning unless you’re willing to apply it.
I left Austin feeling very proud to be part of such an amazing digital community.