A year ago we went to Owner’s Summit and we met a cheerful soul, Rachel Gertz. As we talked with Rachel, she brought up professional development for project management. She shared information with us about a program her agency, Louder Than Ten, had developed for digital agencies. The program was designed to help restructure the project management system from intake to post-project review. At the time, it seemed like our projects were taking longer than expected to complete and we couldn’t figure out why, so the program was incredibly appealing to us.
The Hello Amigo partners signed me up for the course and I was one of six apprentices that participated in the beta Project Manager Foundation program. The three-month program was conducted by Louder Than Ten’s trainer, Abby Fretz, using Zoom, a screen share/audio tool. The weekly three-hour meetings reminded me of being in college, but without the pressure, and everything I was learning was 100% applicable to my responsibilities at Hello Amigo. There was reading and homework, but again, it was completely applicable to my role.
There is often a misconception that an account executive/project manager does not do anything while the designers are designing and the programmers are programming. However, the project managers are coordinating dates, managing timelines, preparing presentations, preparing projects and insuring projects stay in scope and on budget. It is the ultimate multitasking job, and Louder Than Ten’s program broke down each step of the project and helped us create a system where we can keep everything manageable and organized without the stress.
The program engaged the partners and our whole team. It made us stop and reevaluate our goals, our pricing structure and our client communications. It helped our team incorporate important practices like time-blocking, to complete tasks without interruption, and review how we plan project milestones and deliverables.
What makes this program unique is that it really creates a community for project managers in digital agencies across the globe. The weekly session allowed us to see what common issues other agencies are facing and gave us a community to lean on so we don’t feel like the lone wolf at our agencies. Additionally, we got to share industry articles and new tools with each other to help the project management process and have virtual one-on-one talks with industry leaders. Because of the program, Hello Amigo is now using Zoom, Mural, Luttucemeet and other tools that help improve our internal processes and external client communications.
After completing the Louder Than Ten Foundations program, I can honestly say I feel confident about our projects being complete on time, within scope and budget. I recommend this program to any agency large or small. I gained more from engaging in this program than I would have from just attending a weekend conference, hands down!
Written by Analisa Silverstein
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