Creating a retrospective process for non-agile teams

A few months ago I was messy-bun-deep into a web project that was consuming all of myself and my team’s time, energy, and resolve. The project was tough for a number of reasons (actually, all of the possible reasons) and led to a lot of emotional highs and lows for everyone involved, as well as a good amount of frustration. Luckily, I was working with an amazing team. Our collective frustration led to long talks while venting, but also talking through processes and analyzing the avenues that had brought us to where we were. I knew as we worked through the project that we shouldn’t walk away from these discussions once the project launched. Having worked with other teams using…

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How do I freelance as a project manager?

The other night I was at the Sharatoga Tech Talks and had the chance to talk to a lot of people about what I do as a freelance, remote project manager. I’ve been contracting full-time for almost a year now, and part-time for about two years. I wasn’t surprised to get so many questions, since contract project management isn’t something that’s common in the tech world (or any world in general). So, I thought I’d talk about what I do, how I got here, and how I do it. How did you start contract project managing? I was looking to leave my job at the time and had been pursuing job leads for a month or two. I received offers at…

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5 Reasons I Decided to Go Freelance

Over the next few weeks I’d like to document the process I’ve gone through to switch to working for myself full-time, the applications I use to stay organized, what I’m learning as I go, and how I’m managing my schedule. I always love looking back on this stuff for myself, and I have small hopes that some people might be interested in reading this as well! I know I’m always curious about what other people do and what their workflow is. The conditions that existed for me to choose to go freelance full-time were perfect (in my opinion). 1. I was willing to quit my job. This was the first, and biggest condition in choosing to work for myself. I…

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Changes and Moving Forward

I’m excited to announce that a few weeks ago, I left my position in marketing at Mohawk in order to pursue a few new opportunities in project management! My main goals and reasoning were to get back into the digital/web project space, which I’ve really missed, and am so excited to continue again full-time. Over the last few months I realized I was unhappy at my former job – a combination of not having a passion for PR (a big part of what I was doing), a lack of passion/understanding for the market space I was in, generally not enjoying the workflow and type of work I was a part of. I also really missed web work and client relationships. It was a…

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Experience:Dev at Fresh Tilled Soil in Boston

This past Thursday, Fresh Tilled Soil held an event called Experience:Dev for the first time. The event focused on a closer look at development and UX practices, running teams of developers, and different approaches and dynamics in this field. I attended the conference with a web developer, and found it interesting to be able to compare our experiences and thoughts in between each talk. I was super inspired by all of the talks at this event. I found that the speakers reminded me of major topics in the field, and brought new ideas of company culture, managing remote or local teams, and the importance of communication between teams to the table. I took a few notes but mostly tried to listen and absorb all of…

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My first talk aka AIGA Upstate NY Porfolio Building Workshop

A few weeks ago I was one of the speakers at the Upstate NY AIGA Portfolio Building Workshop held at The Foundry for Arts, Design + Culture in Cohoes, NY. 13 talented designers, educators, artists, and design/creative business owners talked about their experiences in the field relating to hiring, job searching, interviewing, portfolio making, and more. It was a hugely inspiring event, not just for the 80+ design students who attended, but for me, too. Events like this always remind me of why I love doing what I do. There are so many talented designers and creatives out there, and we all have something to learn from each other. This topic of life after college was especially appealing to me,…

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2014 To Do List

2013 was a great year, but it seems like it’s been leading to even great things for 2014. I’ve started making more of a presence professionally in my field; I’m comfortable taking on freelance projects and consulting gigs (and I love it!); and I’m discovering more and more of an amazing community that exists for project managers. I’ve also worked on some personal goals in the past year and accomplished a lot – more on that later. I’m hoping to keep this momentum going in 2014 and accomplish a decently-long list of to dos for the new year: Master Google Analytics (enough to make sense of the oodles of data I have access to at work). I’ve bookmarked free online…

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Weekend Reading & Tidbits

After a week knocked off my feet by the flu, I’ve had lots of reading to catch up on. Here are a few of my favorite links from the Thanksgiving break as well as this past week: Writing with Experts by Kate Kiefer Lee: This, this this! I happened upon this link from a friend’s tweet and this is one of the best pieces about writing I’ve read lately. I really struggle with writing and can relate to the people Kate talks about working with. I love her take on managing writers and how she proofs work and deals with voice and tone. Frank Chimero’s Writing Advice: I appreciated the simplicity of this! Your Process Isn’t Sacred by Cap Watkins:…

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6 Perils of Project Management

Originally posted at the Digital PM Summit blog. I became a project manager after working as a SEO technician for a few months. Going from the serene, quiet environment of research and coding all day to a client-facing position with meetings and phone calls all day was quite the change! In my first few months as a project manager, I quickly learned many things the hard way. As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve remembered those lessons and realized they are universal to project management. Here are 6 of the perils I encountered and struggle with every day. 1. Over or under communicating. When I took my first job as an assistant project manager, I was suddenly on the receivingend of…

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dpm2013 – The Project Management Community

A few weeks ago something called the Digital PM Summit took place in Philadelphia, the first conference for managers of digital projects. I read about it too late to physically be there, but I’ve followed all of the coverage leading up to the conference, during the conference, and now all of the great roundups being posted by PMs who participated in this event (in person or remotely!). The goal of the Summit was to foster and celebrate a group of people who have been traditionally underserved in support of their profession. It seems like this was the push the PM community needed to form just that – a community. The #dpm2013 tag on Twitter seems to still be going strong…

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