Sam Barnes

You Can Do Well, or You Can Do Good

sam-headshot-smallBeing a Digital Project Manager means you spend most of your days stuck right in the middle of everyone and their often conflicting priorities. From bosses expecting you to deliver results with profit, production teams wanting to do their best work while not cutting corners, clients demanding your full attention, plus quick economical work, other departments and their strategies, colleagues with personal agendas, right through to fellow Digital Project Managers with their own projects and pressures.

When operating at the centre of this intense environment on a daily basis, it’s deceptively easy to lose sight of what should be your focus, delivering quality projects and instead be drawn into a world of energy-sapping office politics, peer group mentality, client bashing, territorial fighting, self-preservation and all sorts of bad things that will ultimately chip away at your soul, until perhaps you become someone you’d rather not be and people don’t enjoy working with.

In this presentation, Sam will talk about mistakes he’s made in the past, the early warning signs  that you’re heading down the wrong path, what to do if you find yourself there already and how to avoid veering off course again so you can maintain your integrity and get back to focusing on delivering awesome projects.


Although a little short for a Stormtrooper, Sam Barnes is the co-founder at PathfinderDPM, a company formed with Brett Harned that provides digital project management training and consulting that focuses on the realities of managing digital projects vs. just the theory.

After receiving his degree in Web and e-Business Computing, Sam spent two years as a front-end developer before moving into digital project management at various digital agencies in the UK. Over the following years Sam delivered digital projects of all sizes for clients including Nokia, Dell, Zebra, BBC and Oracle.

Sam is a Certified Scrum Product Owner, an international keynote speaker, has written for Smashing Magazine, Think Vitamin and was published in the Gower Handbook of People in Project Management. He can also be found posting articles at, a blog dedicated to the topic of digital project and team management.