It’s been nearly three weeks since the DPM Summit 2015, but I’m still basking in the afterglow.

As I suspected, it was a homecoming with 300+ Digital PMs from literally all over the world. It was pretty clear that we all have spilled the same blood and have the same scars from doing what we do:

  • Resource allocation conflicts? Does a person breathe?
  • Reconciling budgets? You betcha!
  • Unreasonable clients? Always.
  • Scope creep? Every day.

I can go on with a list a hundred bullets long but that would be boring.

The Brotherhood of DPMs

What was more revelatory is that DPMs aren’t just wired to make things better for their projects: they have an eye to improving the way things work for the organization. I’ve attended other PM conferences where sessions were focused on tracking tasks in a Project Plan, how to best resource level in Microsoft Project. Useless. DPMs are wired to get dirty with their organization standards to smooth things out. Tool selection, process inefficiencies, role definition inadequacies become the bane of the DPM existence when their organization don’t have it dialed. All DPMs are united in the brotherhood of making things better. Period. It was so cathartic that I’m not the only one who works that way.

All DPMs are united in the brotherhood of making things better. Period.

Other highlights

Beyond the camaraderie, there were many other jewels I came across the two days:

  • Nancy Lyons talked about how DPMs are the natural “intrapreneurs” and have an incredible opportunity to make things better for their organization
  • Rob Harr’s idea of collaborative pricing where you provide complete transparency to clients was just sheer genius (aka why didn’t i think of that).
  • Cynthia Schmidt succinctly explained the ins and outs of getting (or not) accreditations (of which I had two) in 10 minutes that should be on any junior DPMs list.
  • Adam Connor & Aaron Irizarry’s talk about giving feedback to creatives was a revelation. They helped make it more of a science with practical ways to approach people who might not be so approachable to feedback.

Of course there was much more. I got more out these two days, then I get out a week at most conferences.

Kudos to Brett Harned, Carl Smith and Greg Hoy for making a “home” for the DPM community.