Celebrating the Digital PM Community


This time of year makes me feel warm and fuzzy for all of the obvious reasons: warm sweaters, mulled wine, holidays, time off to relax with family and friends, and so on. But this year, I am warm and fuzzy (and extremely thankful for) the growth of the Digital PM Community. I’m proud to be a part of it, and I’m so happy to see that we’ve established such a strong network—one that is willing and excited to not only share ideas, but to genuinely look out for the best that we, as practitioners, can offer to our industry. It’s clear: Digital PM is here to stay and we have a strong point of view and deep care for our work. As a DPM, how can that not make you feel great? So, before we wrap up the year, let’s celebrate DPM.

DPM is Strong!

Just a couple years ago it seemed as though there was nowhere to turn for Digital PMs. But wow, has all of that changed! 2014 was a great year for Digital PMs. It feels like it was the year where we started to be more widely recognized as a community. It brought the first DPM:UK conference to over 200 attendees in Manchester, 4 DPM Workshops across the US (and soon Manchester), articles and opinions published in industry publications like .NET, new blogs from several key members of the community, a whole study on the profession (wow), a podcast series, an interview series, the second annual Digital PM Summit for over 300 attendees, tons of new meetup groups, Twitter accounts, career opportunities, and more.

I’m so excited to kick off 2015 at DPM:UK. I’m planning to meet a ton of new people and listen to how they want to see this community grow. I’m personally excited to see how we can continue to support meetup groups and individuals across the globe by offering tips on how to strengthen DPM skills and make connections with like-minded individuals who are facing the same issues day in and day out. We’re just at the beginning of forming this community and my expectations for what we can achieve together are sky high.

DPMs are Sharing Ideas

I’ve been so excited to see new friends and colleagues writing about the practices, challenges, and fresh ideas on DPM regularly. Sharing experiences and ideas not only helps your peers, but it shows that there is a true commitment in our industry to making sure that our projects are handled with a high level of care. These are only a few of my favorite posts from this year:

  1. A Digital PM’s Plea to Product Owners by Holly Davis
  2. What Would You Say…You Do by Tera Simon
  3. Your Estimates Suck (And That’s Ok) by Carson Pierce
  4. Turn Signals by Brenna Heaps

We Care About Our Work

While the mantra of “on time and under budget” persists, it feels like we’re focusing on what matters: the health of our teams and the success of our projects. Long gone are the days of the PM who is there to check boxes and follow-up on to-dos. Digital PMs are 110% invested in our projects and are proud when we deliver something that pushes the industry—and our clients—forward. And, of course, making sure the projects are on time and within scope is exciting…and always a major accomplishment.

Support from Like-minded People

There is nothing better in this world than to have a group of people I can turn to when I want to talk about challenges or opportunities. The conversations I’ve had over the past year have only made me a better PM, and more curious about what else is out there for us to do on projects. Due to some conversations, I’ve come up with some new ideas on how we can be better practitioners. As a result, I’m no longer happy just being the guy who handles the PM-ey things on projects. I want to be deeply engaged with my team and clients, and I want to contribute more than a project plan.

There is a lot more out there for us to do. Think about working with stakeholders to help them identify review teams to ensure project success, try conducting your own level of research to make sure you’ve accounted for all of the potential project risks, and most of all, just be yourself, because that’s what will make you the best PM in town. Come up with new practices of your own and test them—see what works best for you, your team, and your clients, and you truly will be better. (Oh, and don’t forget to share those ideas.)

2015 Better Be Ready

Whether I’m involved or not, I feel a strong connection to everything that’s happening in the Digital PM realm. I’m truly interested and excited to hear of new projects and developments, which seem to be happening almost weekly at this point. I hope to see this continue into 2015 and beyond. If you’re new to this, take hold of what will be published here throughout the month and please use it as inspiration to do your own thing in the new year—or whenever you’re ready.

Enjoy the holidays. Do yourself a favor: Push the laptop away, have a drink, enjoy your family and friends, and most of all, relax. You deserve it.

Brett Harned

UK Workshop – Manchester January 28th

Brett will be running a one day workshop in Manchester January 28th as part of next years Digital PM Conference – you can find more details about this exciting day and buy tickets from here.

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