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Sprints & Milestones
40 minutes | 3 years ago
Season One Wrap-Up
Season One of Sprints & Milestones was all about the principles of digital project management, taken from Brett’s book Project Management for Humans. We released seven episodes full of discussion and stories about our experiences leading projects. It was very much about us, but really it’s for you. In our final episode of the season, we respond to questions submitted by listeners. Several questions about project leadership came in, so we sat down to share our two (sometimes different) perspectives. At the direction of our listeners, we cover: The PM career path How to scale your PM tasks on projects of varying sizes Questions to ask PM candidates in job interviews How to develop trust with a team Managing people without being their “manager” And more! And before you go, please take a few minutes to give us some feedback! Rate us on the iTunes store, and send us feedback via twitter or email at email@example.com.
25 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Pathfinders
We’re not box-checkers or micromanagers. We give our teams the agency to create and build without the burden of nagging process overhead. We find new roads to delivery while sticking to principles rather than following the words in a book or training. We forge paths on every project by focusing on the strategic vision first, while having a keen sense of process, timeline, and budget. In episode seven of Sprints & Milestones, we talk about how project managers can move on from that rigid, box-checking way of working to being more open-minded, and strategic about the way they handle projects and teams. A few topics discussed include: The evolution of the project management role Having operational awareness, no matter your role How having a better understanding of your work and team help you to make better strategic decisions Doing more and being more helps your career long-term Tools to help you to think more strategically
25 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Honest, Always
Everyone who works with us, clients and partners included, trust us because they know that we’ve got their best in mind when guiding process and decisions. We don’t cover up mistakes; we illuminate them with the intent of not repeating it. We stay transparent when it comes to scope, budget, and timeline changes. We resolve conflict by remaining neutral and honest about causes and solutions. We truly believe that the truth always prevails, and we champion that in all interactions and communications. In episode six of Sprints & Milestones, your hosts talk through the hesitation, challenges, and clear benefits of being completely honest when it comes to project challenges, mistakes, and straight-up issues. Get ready for stories with so-so outcomes, and ideas on why honesty is important in business no matter your role. Here are a few topics covered in the episode: Delivering bad news Bracing yourself for the worst response -How others view transparency, and how that can affect you (or how you’re viewed) The positive impacts honesty can have on project teams Dealing with scope (and money) and the uncomfortable conversations related to change, or even unexpected increases in project budgets needed
23 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Laser-Focused
The role of a project manager is far more strategic than it’s perceived to be. In fact, a lot goes on behind the scenes to orchestrate the best possible project experience, and often stakeholders—and sometimes teams—don’t realize it. As project leads, we expect change on projects because we understand that business goals evolve and change. Processes fail. Stakeholders come and go, and new ideas arise. When asked to change, we use project goals as a basis for discussion on whether or not the change is acceptable. We wade through comments and feedback and analyze and discuss change to help guide our teams and clients to the best decisions given our focus on project goals. In this episode of Sprints & Milestones, Brett and Greg talk about how project managers stay laser focused when projects are being pushed and pulled in many different directions, sometimes by many people. Here are a few of the themes discussed: Creating a project environment that is conducive to alignment with clients and a team Finding a moment to pivot on a project to make a positive change Setting expectations to get what you need out of projects and making agreements to do things successfully The value of setting work agreements and running retrospectives to keep those agreements true
29 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Consummate Learners and Teachers
Working in an industry that moves so fast, we are inherently adaptable and open to new processes, ideas, practices, and deliverables. We follow what's happening in our industry from all angles, and do what we can to account for change to make our projects more successful. We're open to bettering ourselves, and our peers, by sharing our work and practices openly and freely with other DPMs as well as our team, clients and stakeholders. We recognize that learning and teaching builds trust in what we do, and benefits others, and leads to stronger partnerships and outcomes. In this installment of Sprints & Milestones, Brett and Greg share their personal stories of how they landed in design and project management careers. They also discuss the importance of continuous learning and teaching in the digital space to push yourself - and others - to be better. It's not about learning everything in school, in fact, it's all about learning on the job. Some topics discussed include: Finding your role, but also finding what you love to do and continuing to grow within that role The value of certifications Being a part-time project manager when your focus is in another area of a project Resources for learning about project management for PMs and non-PMs alike The value of community How teaching can bring about learning opportunities
24 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Loveable Hardasses
Digital project managers walk the line between servant and leader caring equally about numbers and people. It's a challenge that requires much thought and consideration in the way we behave. While we are not managers with direct reports we work hard to build relationships with our team members to serve as confidants, councilors, and friends who have their work and best interest in mind at all times. At the same time we challenge bullshit when we see it, stand up for our clients and our teams when it's easier to stay quiet, speak up and save our projects, and work damn hard to keep our teams motivated, our clients happy, and our projects on target. In this episode of Sprints & Milestones, Brett and Greg explore what it means to be a “loveable hardass” and how difficult that can actually be. Some topics and scenarios discussed include: Does the PM have to be the B.A. Baracus of their project team? Will you ever succeed in leading teams if you play the role of “the enforcer”? Building trust and good relationships on projects Setting expectations for how teams work together The “Trust Battery” and mutua work agreements Safe words for teams
23 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Multilingual Communicators
As project leaders, we have to adapt and speak to a variety of people at many levels in organizations about a wide-range of topics. It's a tough gig. But when you work hard to digest information and communicate effectively with your team and multiple layers of stakeholders, you can find the path to building trust, great relationships, and eventually project success. In this episode, Brett and Greg share their experiences with pushing nerves aside to make projects and teams work well together. Some topics that are touched on in this episode include: Digging in to understand confusing language and company-speak Figuring out what unwritten expectations exist in projects Establishing trust and using it as your superpower Speaking up justmenough as a DPM Setting expectations for what the DPM's role is on projects Feeling empowered as a junior DPM The DPM's role as the the undeputized enforcer of accountability
21 minutes | 3 years ago
We Are Chaos Junkies
Work and projects can be chaotic, and that’s not always a bad thing. In kicking off a topic that can truly drag projects down, Brett shares a story about how a project was going really well…until it wasn’t. That sparks a conversation about not only how to manage through chaos, but to embrace it. Greg talks about his experience working with teams and finding what works best when you’ve got to wade through team chaos — because working as a team can be tough to figure out, and chaos doesn’t only come from client work. So take a break from your current chaotic episode, and listen to this episode of Sprints & Milestones to find better ways to solve problems and stay chill when things get nuts.
9 minutes | 3 years ago
Digital project management: What is it, and who makes a good digital project manager? In this first episode of Sprints & Milestones, Brett Harned and Greg Storey introduce you to digital project management, the principles set forth in Brett’s book Project Management for Humans, and how they apply to anyone leading projects. This episode is just a taste of what’s to come in future episodes, so take a moment to get to know your hosts and the basis of this first season before we dig in. Show Notes In this first episode of Sprints & Milestones, Brett Harned and Greg Storey introduce you to digital project management, the principles set forth in Brett’s book Project Management for Humans, and how they apply to anyone leading projects. This episode is just a taste of what’s to come in future episodes, which will be a review of each of the seven principles, which are: We Are Chaos Junkies We Are Multilingual Communicators We Are Loveable Hardasses We Are Consummate Learners and Teachers We Are Laser-Focused We Are Honest, Always We Are Pathfinders Each episode of this first season will deep deeper into the principles and your hosts will share their opinions, war stories, and tips and tactics on how to address many curve balls that come your way while working on digital projects. This episode is just a taste of what’s to come in future episodes, so take a moment to get to know your hosts and the basis of this first season before we dig in.
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