25 Online DPM Resources
We keep saying “there’s nothing out there for digital PMs,” but that simply isn’t true anymore. Here’s the thing: many of us are just too busy these days to keep up with all of this awesomeness (25 Days of DPM posts included!). So I’ve collected 25 resources that can help you stay in touch with the DPM world. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a list of links (sarcasm), so read on!
- Conferences: DPM:UK and Digital PM Summit
There is serious proof that these conferences are not only helping many digital PMs be better at what they do, but they are also connecting like-minded people and helping get the word out about the community. If you’re able to attend one of these events, do it. You certainly will not regret it.
- LinkedIn Groups
I turned to these groups before I found anyone IRL. Now they’re second-hand to me, but there are great resources and conversation still happening there. Check out the one for Web Project Managers…and maybe start one for Digital Project Managers while you’re at it?
- Personal DPM Blogs
A lot of us are writing. Here are just a few of my favorites: thesambarnes.com, carsonpierce.com, thedigitalprojectmanager.com, iamtera.com, and of course brettharned.com. There are a ton of other blogs out there as well—some whip smart PMs write for their company blogs and other sites. But these guys deserve the real nod, as they’re doing it on their own.Are you writing? The community would love to hear what you have to say!
- Local Meetups
It has been truly amazing to see meetups pop up all over the world. If you’re not running or attending one in your area, you should give it a go!
- The Project Communications Game
I gave a presentation about being a better communicator at the 2014 Digital PM Summit. This site was the leave-behind for my presentation and I’d like to share the resources I created with you! Check them out if you’re looking for better ways to work with stakeholder groups. The slides to go along with this site are online too.
- Every Day DPM
This one is more for 2015, but check it out! Rachel Gertz and I will be posting resources, inspiration, and even things to make you smile every day of 2015. I’m excited to get started!
- Louder Than Ten
Speaking of Rachel…she’s amazing. She and her husband/business partner, Travis Gertz, re-launched Louder Than Ten this year—and it’s all for DPMs. They’re kicking out articles, resources, Q&A video sessions, trainings, and more.
- The Geek Girls Guide
There is no doubting that Meghan Wilker and Nancy Lyons have contributed a ton to our community—through a book, amazingly inspirational keynotes, and their own website where you can find articles, podcasts, and more. It’s not all DPM, but sometimes that’s a good thing!
- Tools who support our community and provide great support and content: Basecamp, Resource Guru and TeamGantt
Anyone can create a tool and market it, but not everyone can do that AND support a growing community the way these guys do. Check out their sites not only for really solid products, but for great DPM content on their blogs.
- Guide to Project Management
I can’t help myself. I have to share this one, because honestly, IT TOOK ME A LOT OF WORK TO GET IT WRITTEN and TeamGantt is an awesome resource—not only as a planning tool, but for sharing knowledge. I’m so glad they gave me the opportunity to write this. If you’re looking for some general tips on DPM practice, or want some insight into how I work, check it out. The final chapter will be published very soon.
First, if you are not on Twitter, sign up now. Once you’re done with that, log in on Fridays and follow the #pmchat hashtag for 5 questions and answers from PMs from all over the globe—and a variety of industry. It’s a great way to expand your horizons and learn more about how PMs approach their work in other industries.
God knows we need a break from the hectic pace of projects. Don’t forget to take a minute to enjoy your work. Smile when something good happens. Even if that smile is amidst a ton of other problems, it will feel good. And don’t forget to take a break to enjoy work, and others. It’s okay to be the class (or project) clown every once in a while. Find a funny tweet, goofy video, animated gif, or silly article and share it with your team.
- Free PM Templates
We don’t typically work from “templates” per se, but checking out how someone else approaches PM can always be useful. Check these out to see if they can help you.
- Aquent Gymnasium
Looking to learn more about design and code, or maybe even just get a high-level view of how your team works through challenges day-to-day? This is the stop for you. Aquent Gymnasium is totally free and offers a variety of video training content. (Hint: One of the courses was recorded by yours truly.)
- A List Apart
It you work in the web industry and you’re not reading ALA, you’re totally missing out. Again, not all PM content, but that’s a good thing. This is a great resource for broadening our horizons on the web industry and the articles are really well written.
Did you just gasp? It may have been a ~little~ tough for me to write it, but it’s true! I’ve been a member of PMI in the past and I’ve gained some really great information from them. I would suggest checking it out if you’re getting started in your DPM career and want to gain some practical knowledge on how PMs operate outside of the digital world. An outside perspective can be helpful in so many ways.
- Digital PM Radio
Leading up to the Digital PM Summit in Austin, Carl Smith started Digital PM Radio. It’s a podcast that offers Q&As with some of the brightest PMs and business owners in the business. If you like it, nudge Carl at @carlsmith on twitter and ask him to keep it going!
- The Great Discontent
PMs love getting to know people. It helps us to understand how they work, and how to architect processes. What you’ll find here is a series of long-form interviews with leading designers, developers, business people, etc. I find TGD impressive not only in its content, but in its beautiful design. I can get lost in this site if I don’t keep up with their regular postings.
- Animated gifs
We all love them. Some of us more than others (looking at you, Sam Barnes). But if you’re anything like the people I’ve worked with, your Basecamp threads and Slack channels can fill up with animated gifs pretty quickly. If you need a quick repository of go to images, check this out: http://giphy.com/. And if you want to make your devs laugh, use this: http://devopsreactions.tumblr.com/.
This list would be silly without mentioning some of the books that have been written about the topic of project management. There’s a good list of books on Amazon, but my personal favorites are Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun and Interactive Project Management: People, Pixels, and Process by Meghan Wilker and Nancy Lyons.
- Food Delivery Apps
We all get stuck with the team during launch time. One of the best way to keep the troops happy and coding is to feed them! Be the person who thinks ahead and orders a nice meal. It’s so easy with apps like GrubHub in the US and HungryHouse App in the UK. I promise that if you use these, you will become popular and you will be well-fed and happy.
- Calming Effects
Your client just called: they hate the design your team presented, they want a fifth iteration, and you think they also hate you. You could scream, but you won’t. Instead, throw your headphones on and visit calm.com for a few minutes of quiet meditation. We all need this every once in a while. Plus, it has been said that meditation regrows the grey matter of the brain! Be a calm AND smart DPM
- To Do Lists
Every DPM needs a damn good to do list. There are a TON of apps out there to help you out. I am constantly trying something new, but my favorites have been Teux Deux and Wunderlist. But truth be told, I always go back to my Field Notes and Sharpie pen.
I am no power-user, but I am really enjoying Evernote for all of my note-taking, writing, and even list-taking needs. I’m planning to explore it further next year and use it to store images, files, and more. Check it out!
- The Digital PM Community
Your peers are your very best resource. Let’s continue to write, listen, and connect online in 2015. I’ll kick it off by saying I’d love to hear from you personally via email, Twitter, Skype, or whatever. Let’s connect and talk about what matters.
That’s all I’ve got! I hope you enjoyed and can take at least one thing back to work…to make your transition into the holidays smooth, or your ramp up into the new year even better!
Do you have something to add to this list? Tweet it at me!