"You can yell at the cows, or you can pave the cow paths." — Zeldman

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the DPM summit in Philadelphia, PA.

"The inaugural Digital PM Summit was a big hit. Held in Philadelphia in the fall of 2013, the event was created to celebrate and foster a growing community of people who manage all things digital."

I took away so many important ideas/lessons/connections/notes/ and ah-ha moments that I'm sure will have an impact on the way we work here at Plank.

But in the meantime, here's one thing from each talk I saw that resonated with me from Day 1 (Day 2 coming up next week).

Jeffrey Zeldman

The Ten Commandments of Web Design

Jeffrey talked about user experience and trying to reconcile the design vision for a website with what users want.

Take away:

"You can yell at the cows, or you can pave the cow paths."

Jared Ponchot

Designing on Purpose: Design Process & Deliverables in the Responsive Age

Jared talked about the idea of finding the best lightweight deliverables. How much documentation and planning is the right amount? 

Take away:

"Create lighter weight, living deliverables."

Brett Harned

Be a Better PM

Brett's talk on being a better project manager was so good I have to include two highlights:

Take aways:

"When setting up project postmortem's — make it a two-step process — one quick session to list out good and bad, then a bigger, moderated discussion."

Improve your core competencies — (in my case note taking skills). Continue improving! Set reminders and practice!

Adam Edgerton

Retain Your PMs: Preventing Pitfalls

Adam outlined part of the workflow at MetalToad, where he's director of project management:

Take away:

Think about moving from a maintenance/support model to a dedicated "support group” team.

Dave Prior

Scrum In The Waterfall

Dave ran down the benefits of an Agile/SCRUM methodology. Something we touch on at Plank every now and then. The one thing he did say which really struck me was:

Take away:

"As a PM, I practice "Servant Leadership" — I do whatever you guys need me to do."

Whitney Hess

Outside In: Can Independents Be Managed?

Whitney moderated an excellent discussion on the topic of using contractors/freelancers and consultants.

Take away:

"Never forget the 'contract' in contractor"

Meghan Wilker & Nancy Lyons

Embracing Chaos: An Interactive Project Management Survival Guide

Meghan and Nancy gave us some great practical advice.

Take away:

"Project management is like air quality. If you can see it, it's probably killing you."