Elizabeth Michalka

Recently, Elizabeth changed jobs and is now a Project Manager at Caktus Group where she is delving into Scrum for the first time. She collaborates with a cross-functional team of developers who specialize in creating custom Django web applications. 

Previously, as the Web & Interactive Project Manager/Producer at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Elizabeth worked in-house, and managed strategic digital projects as well as domestic and international marketing campaigns. In her small, but mighty team of four, she filled the roles of cat herder, web content editor, SEO strategist, marketing email producer, and mystery solver.

During Elizabeth’s 10 years at Duke University in Durham, NC, aspects of people and project management were included in all her roles. She firmly believes that relationships and collaboration are key to success.

Prior to working at Duke, Elizabeth was an award-winning newspaper reporter at The Wake Weekly. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, where she also studied Slavic languages, literature, and history. Why Slavic studies? Elizabeth is a first generation American, and her parents are from the former Czechoslovakia. She loves Prague, and highly recommends that everyone go there! She is active in the Czech and Slovak community in central North Carolina, serving as a Meetup organizer and on the executive board of the Czech and Slovak School of North Carolina

Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or if you also work in higher ed, join the Digital PMs in Higher Ed group on LinkedIn that she co-runs. 


Think Outside the Project Management Triangle

October 13th | 1:30 PM

As a DPM, we need both hard skills and soft skills. For some, the soft skills are a challenge or an afterthought. Think about it – Do you have the mechanics down pat? Do you focus on the project logistics first? So, at what point do you consider the people involved, and your relationship with each of them? 

If you follow the Project Management Triangle, which focuses on project constraints such as scope, schedule, and resources (mainly budget or costs), then you may be forgetting an opportunity. The Triangle doesn't tell the whole story and is missing a key component; it's missing the opportunity to build and leverage relationships. Relationships are what make the DPM world go-round, whether you work in-house or at an agency. 


  • Some differences between working at an agency and in-house
  • Why to add relationships to your PM Triangle to achieve greater success, regardless of where you work
  • What it takes to leverage relationships to allow the points of the Triangle to flex and adjust, depending on the situation