Abby Fretz


Abby Fretz is Director of Projects at Eastern Standard, a Philadelphia-based branding and web design agency. She is also a Digital PM Trainer at Louder Than Ten where she trains apprentices in digital project management. She is currently a co-chair of the DPM Philly meetup group. Before Eastern Standard Abby worked as a consultant, was a Project Manager at Happy Cog, and got her feet wet in Agile at Azavea, a geospatial software design company. Abby is dedicated to building healthy, happy digital teams who excel at transparent, thorough communication with both their teams and clients. 

In her time outside all things projects, Abby is a passionate urban beekeeper and teaches urban beekeeping to Girl Scout troops, urban farmers, and curious hobbyists. On occasion she merges her two passions and speaks on what DPMs can learn from bees.

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Sustaining the Project Honeymoon Phase: How to Build Effective Client Education

1:30 PM, Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 5
Ballroom C

Our client teams bring wildly different levels of digital expertise to a project. We often dive into a new project with a ton of mutual excitement, driven by our vision for what this digital masterpiece can be.  Over time, as we deliver content, strategy, design, and dev deliverables, teams often start feeling frustrated with each other and increasingly less sure of what’s been agreed upon. What feels clear at the beginning of the project starts feeling muddier. Expectations for scope, functionality, and design start diverging. We hear from clients that they are confused about why they aren’t getting pixel-perfect comps for every screen in their project, or how they thought they would be able to change all the colors of the site on a whim.

Take a moment! Rather than vilifying a client for not ‘getting it’ or for being badly behaved, we as digital project leads, should take a step back and examine what we might have missed or failed to explain. Educating a client who has very little digital expertise can feel daunting, but there are several basic education principles we can deploy that will enable us to consistently, quickly come up with simple AND powerful educational assets for a client.

In This SESSION You’ll:

  • Gain a better understanding of how to identify the areas of your digital projects that most commonly require effective client education.

  • Learn how to quickly act on a communication breakdown (or ideally prevent them!) by leading a rapid prototyping exercise to create effective teaching assets for your clients (that you can use more than once!).

  • Leave with confidence that for every type of client and every level of understanding of how a digital project works, you have the tools you need to effectively build educational assets the client will value and reference throughout your project!