Digital PM Summit 2019 Agenda
Sunday, October 20: Workshops
9:00 AM–12:30 PM
Nailed It: Process & Team Management
The last project you worked on went well, so why not use that process for the next project? Well, not every project is the same, and your team might not always be the same. Plus, you can always improve! But how?
Well, you’ve got to adapt based on the variables and challenges that are presented to you. It’s never hard to do, but with a solid foundation in place, you can conquer change smoothly and come out on top.
In this interactive workshop, you’ll participate in group exercises and discussions to help you to set a new standard for how you work as a project lead, and how you can adapt not only your style, but also your process, to meet the needs of your project.
Specifically, you will:
Assess and refine your own process, and collaboratively work with a team to discuss pain points and solutions
Pick up tactics to document and manage that process
Learn how to master change management (or roll with change even when it’s frustrating)
Define the process points where the team needs you most (and where you can add the most value as a PM)
Discover simple ways to continue providing value as a PM who is not only process-focused, but people- and goal-focused
Operations Thinking for Better Projects
So you have been managing projects for a few years, and it still feels like operations is working against you. You know what is best for your project, but sometimes the seemingly right decision is passed over by the higher-ups. This feeling can be incredibly frustrating. What the heck is going on?
The goal of project management is to deliver successful results for the project, while the goal of operations is to deliver successful results for your company across a portfolio of projects. The ability to view projects from an operations perspective will allow you to better position your projects to keep the whole business portfolio on track.
During this workshop we will cover how to take all of those amazing project management skills you have worked hard to acquire and start to adapt that perspective to include thinking about operations.
During this workshop, Rob will cover:
What is operations?
How to have a better relationship with operations
How to harness operations thinking to deliver successful projects
Staffing and forecasting improvements for predictable scheduling
Repeatable cadence for happy operations and happy customers
Managing budgets with operations in mind
Social Event: Welcome Reception
Monday, October 21: Summit Day 1
7:30 AM–5:30 PM
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Business Agile: Driving a New Way of Delivering Change in the Digital World
A project is a temporary endeavor where people come together to work towards a common goal and purpose; it is therefore a temporary endeavor that must rely on a social system of communication and collaboration in order to succeed. Social project management is a non-traditional way of organizing projects and managing project performance and progress aimed at delivering, at the enterprise level, a common goal for the business but harnessing the performance advantages of a collaborative community
How can we both lead and encourage a move away from traditional centralized control of projects, overcome the challenges in such a paradigm shift and instead promote the value of open team collaboration for greater business advantage?
Design Operations: Scaling Design Teams & Amplifying Impact
You may have heard about design operations and wondered what it is all about. This session will illuminate how design operations scales the impact of design and why that matters to all of us working to deliver digital experiences.
We’ll look at the relationship between design operations and digital project management and what really matters in leading creative projects for our teams. Also, we will discuss strategies to manage a team’s design capacity to drive changes in user experience.
What you’ll take away from this session:
Learn how to overcome the challenges in scaling a creative team
Find out how you can foster a creative team culture ripe for innovation
Discover how to facilitate great reviews, design critiques
11:00 AM–12:00 PM
Panel: The DPM Career Path
Join a subset of our Digital PM Summit speakers as we talk about the possible career paths for DPMs. We'll talk about the panelists’ own career progressions, what motivated them to go in the direction they chose (if they chose it!) and where they want to go (or not go) next.
We’ll also explore everything around your career path: education and training, job titles and descriptions, characteristics of great DPMs and the many possible paths you might take. Moderated by PM Patrice Embry, you'll leave with insights from real world pros, which you can use to help choose your own path.
Floppy Disks & Cloud Storage: How Generation X & Millennials Can Collaboratively Manage Projects
Today's business world has shifted and now consists of mostly Generation X and Millennial team members who are expected to work together on projects, a sometimes difficult task for any multi-generational workplace. This session focuses on how Generation X (floppy disks) and Millennials (cloud storage) can work together to successfully manage projects. Both generations must find a common ground to eliminate workplace conflicts stemming from projects, while eliminating the stereotypes of each generation. Key takeaways for attendees includes:
Learning how to work together in a multi-generational workplace on projects
Actionable steps for both generations to successfully manage projects
Understanding generational competency for project management
Lost in Translation: The Handoff from Sales to the Project Team
Maybe you’re a project manager who has had new projects cross your desk with unrealistic timelines, poorly documented assumptions and unvetted budgets. Or maybe you’re in business development and you’ve seen projects careen off scope and run into timeline / budget issues soon after the project team takes them on. Or perhaps you’re a strategist, designer or developer who’s tired of suffering late nights and lost weekends at the hands of a poor sales process.
It doesn’t have to be this way! In this session, Sally Shaughnessy, Aten’s Director of Project Management, and Joe Crespo, Aten’s Director of Accounts, will share their practices for ensuring smooth transitions from sales to the project team.
This session will cover:
Setting expectations in sales and keeping them top-of-mind after kickoff
The things that every project team MUST know before kickoff
How to collaborate with the project team in the sales process
The documentation Aten uses to transition an engagement from sales to the project team
Company culture and practices that ensure smooth transitions
Managing Internal Projects & Agile Teams using JIRA
Do you work with internal teams to build and deliver digital projects? If you struggle with how to best manage the complexity of teams, priorities and programs while providing visibility, transparency and accountability across a portfolio of activities, then you might need to up your tool game!
In this workshop, David will show you how to set up your Agile projects in JIRA, create and prioritize your backlog, run Scrum or Kanban, broadcast team performance and look at how much value is being delivered by your program. If you already use JIRA, bring your experience and questions so we can get into real-world examples!
In this workshop you will:
Be introduced to the elements of the JIRA interface
Learn how to create different kinds of Agile projects
Learn how to create work items and prioritize them
Learn how to run Scrum and Kanban projects in JIRA
Learn how to look at team and program performance
See some examples of advanced reporting
Get some great ideas to bring back to your projects
Bringing Personality to Project Management: Be Soft. Be Unapologetic. Be BIG.
This lightning talk will explain the idea of using soft skills as a platform for DPM growth, both personally and also for the benefit of the team. It will explore the importance of being unafraid to be unapologetically BIG. Using personality as a way to form cohesive teams and individual rapport is necessary for digital project management.
At the end of this talk, you will:
Understand the value of soft skills
Learn how to use your personality to become a better project manager
Reframe how you lead your teams
Be ready to show how BIG you can be
Surviving…Thriving in Chaos!
Your boss walks out the door for that much-deserved two-week vacation with full confidence that “YOU GOT THIS!” And then…IT begins! All the balls start dropping at once and all the best groomed plans and faithfully applied methodologies hit the skids. With your brain in full fight-or-flight mode, your instincts may not offer the best course forward.
What if overwhelm was an optional track? How can we observe our teams or the circumstances in a way that elevates the outcome from merely surviving to thriving?
You’ll leave this session with a greater awareness of how we create our environments and understand why what you say may not be what is actually communicated.
Here are some topics we’ll look at:
What authenticity as a project manager looks like
Choosing the team you have!
Overwhelm as an optional outcome
Thinking from the future
Design Process in an Agile World
Daphne will be talking about “Crafting a three-legged stool from Product, Tech and Design to problem-solve more holistically and effectively.” Her presentation will cover how she coaches designers to take design process and use it to connect with partners in Product and Tech, all while in an Agile environment that wasn’t created with the design discipline in mind.
In the session you’ll:
Hear how empathy and a lean canvas tool play pivotal roles in early project inclusion and collaboration with the three disciplines
Learn how to avoid potential pitfalls one can inadvertently set up when influencing teams to collaborate
Learn how to maintain the health and happiness of your team through all of the above
Choose Your Own Adventure: You're the Star of Your Career Journey
What is the best career move for me? That can be a challenging question for some of us as we get caught up in being everything to everyone.
This presentation gets real about assessing your values, steering clear from the comparison trap and putting yourself in the driver’s seat when it comes to your career path. After all, YOU are the star of your career journey.
At the end of this presentation, you will:
Recognize the perils of social comparison
Examine personal and professional goals
Identify opportunities to learn and grow from experiences
Build your network of Team You
Thank You & Announcements
Tuesday, October 22: Summit Day 2
Welcome Day 2
Be Bold. Be a Digital PM.
Choosing to be a digital project manager is a bold choice. In fact, if you’re a DPM, you have taken on a role that many cringe at, a role that often offers limited education, support and certainly no fanfare. But that’s okay because we are a unique breed of hardworking rock stars.
From the shadows, we take care of our clients, our team and numerous projects. But how do we make sure we challenge ourselves and level up our community? In this session we will answer the ultimate question, what should we be?
Takeaways included in this session are:
Direction on various ways we can improve ourselves to maximize the value we get from our Digital PM role
Examples that showcase why this matters
Actionable steps to help you define who you want to BE
How Technical Should a Digital PM Be?
As a digital project manager, you know it's your core responsibility to foster happy client relationships and deliver your projects on time and on budget. Doing so successfully requires a lot of skill, creativity and dedication. But is more needed, particularly when it comes to the tools and technologies used by your teams on a daily basis? Should you as a DPM possess the technical skills to squash that annoying little bug or add that new feature your client is asking for?
In this session, we're going to discuss the following key questions:
Why is it important for you to push the boundaries of your technical expertise and just how far should you go?
Beyond technology, in what other areas should you be thinking about increasing your skills?
What are some tangible things you can do to become more technically proficient and increase your skill set?
How can increasing your technical abilities benefit you, your team and your clients?
11:00 AM–12:00 PM
Choosing the Best Project Management Approach for Your Team: The Cynefin Framework
“We are going agile!” This seems to be a statement often used in an effort to streamline existing business practices in favor of more efficient and customer-focused processes. However, before we make a paradigm shift in our day-to-day business activities, it is important to recognize the context in which we currently situate ourselves, and make the right decisions based on that context.
Dave Snowden’s Cynefin Framework helps us visualize and understand that not all situations and/or challenges are created equal. Using this framework can help us make sense of the context we are in so that we can not only make better decisions, but also avoid the problems that arise when our preferred management style causes us to make mistakes.
In this session, you’ll:
Gain an understanding of how the appropriate application of a specific agile methodology in relation to project context will increase business efficiency and productivity
Learn how to choose more appropriate tools to set project direction
Learn how to use the framework to coach teams on increasing business agility
Don’t Just Manage Your Team, Manage Your Client
If you manage a digital product or service team with skill and aplomb, chances are good that you’ll succeed. At least that’s what they say. But every excellent digital project manager knows there’s more to it than that. You’ve got a client to manage. They could be an external project leader or an internal VP. Regardless, if you fail to control them, it hardly matters how amazing your team is. You’ll be in trouble.
The best digital project managers understand the art and science of managing their client’s expectations, fears, time and budget.
In this talk, you’ll learn practical client management kung fu, including how to get your client to:
Say yes to your vision for the project
Provide more budget without undo fuss
Accept responsibility for scope creep
Show you how to grow the account
Use your collaborative tools
Readily accept your expert leadership
So, let’s stop complaining that clients ruin our projects. Let’s do something about it, starting with better management.
Doing a Lot with a Little: Project Management at Scale
Feeling overwhelmed? Whether you belong to a PM team of one, manage a laundry list of clients or wear several different hats on any given day, sometimes the deluge of work far outweighs the resources at your disposal. Yet, you still need to give every project your full attention and best efforts, without blowing timelines and budgets.
No two teams are alike, so why do we apply a one-size-fits-all philosophy to digital project management? This session will discuss how to customize the standard DPM processes to fit your personal constraints. We will review efficient, scrappy solutions to help you use your time wisely and still achieve the desired results.
In this session, you will learn:
Ways to scale your process to meet your team's unique constraints
Tips for approaching projects one-by-one... when you have 50 of them
Tactics to reduce overhead, set boundaries and add structure when your task list gets out of hand
The appropriate time and place for a “PM lite” approach
Driving Consensus: Using Design Thinking to Solve Your Largest PM Problems
This design thinking workshop is framed uniquely for project managers to provide guidance on how to approach issues relating to lack of project strategy, prioritization and alignment. Using a sample case study, this interactive session will enable participants to better identify user needs, gain alignment with teams and stakeholders and prioritize ideas.
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Articulate design thinking principles and understand the value of creative problem-solving
Implement a new set of tactical problem-solving methods to take back to their teams
Identify key points in a project when it makes sense to inject design thinking into the team’s work
3:00–3:30 PM: Lightning Talks
Driving to a Schedule & Minimizing Accidents Along the Way
We've all been there…your project is under a very tight deadline and you, as the DPM, are responsible for hitting that schedule. How do you keep your stakeholders and team accountable? How do you motivate your team? How do you stay within budget? These are just a few of the tough questions we ask ourselves on every project, and they become critical when you are driving a project to a unbudging, tight schedule.
This presentation will give you tangible takeaways that can improve any project, especially those that are under intense schedule pressure.
At the end of this presentation, you will:
Have tips to hold your stakeholders and team to deadlines
Learn communication strategies to increase transparency in key decisions
Be able to identify signs that your project is going “off the road” earlier
Take away some of the “fear” that comes with tight timelines
Tips for Project Managing a Native App Build
Native app builds are becoming increasingly popular as the world continues toward mobile-first tech. You may be wondering what the differences are between building natively versus building for the web. These differences are significant and worth learning.
Native builds are profitable, relevant for any vertical and a smart way to diversify your service offerings.
At the end of this presentation, you’ll have an understanding of:
Best practices for project managing a native app build
The technical complexity that necessitates in-depth project management
The difference in roles and responsibilities between native and web builds for project managers
Why core project management skills are still important with this type of development
The Cheese is Always Moving: Lessons in Change from an Agile Master
What happens when one of the creators of the Agile Manifesto approaches your agency for a website redesign? You jump at the opportunity (of course)…and then you question every process you've ever used.
Are we really agile? How will our methods hold up under the magnifying glass of THE king of agile, Dr. Alistair Cockburn?
What our team learned completely changed the way we manage digital projects. Whether you're an agency or an in-house DPM, the lessons we learned from managing the Heart of Agile website project will turn your normal process on its head.
In this session we’ll explore:
How to manage the initial freak-out when someone moves your cheese (take a deep breath and lean into the change)
Simple changes you can make to move closer to the heart of agile (it’s more than a process to help refine your process)
Hands-on methods you can start tomorrow to help you and your team become more adaptable and efficient (don’t be afraid to rock the boat)
Turboboosting Your Teams
Today’s market is causing many shifting pressures on business, not the least of which are commoditization of our work, the race to the bottom for prices, competition from large consultancies offshoring our work, and the need to survive and take on more work so we can grow our companies. In this presentation, Robert will talk about those pressures, discuss some of the challenges you may already be facing, and offer a look at how process - the method by which we can more effectively and efficiently deliver our work, can lead to your ability to better compete in the market, improve your margins, run leaner teams without placing further undue pressure on them, and take on risks with larger projects to help you grow your enterprise.
Closing & Thank You
Thank You to Our Wonderful Partners:
Interested in sponsoring the 2019 Digital PM Summit? Let's connect.