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DPM Podcast: Are You Leading Your Projects – Or Just Managing Them? (with Colin Ellis)

By 07/11/2017 No Comments

Audio Transcription:

Ben Aston:

Thank for tuning in. I’m Ben Aston, and this is The Digital Project Manager podcast. So, today, I’m joined by Colin Ellis, who is a project management author, speaker, trainer and mentor. He’s a Liverpudlian who now calls Australia home, and in sunny Melbourne, or maybe even rainy Melbourne, I don’t know, but thanks, Colin, for coming on the show.

Colin Ellis:

It’s my pleasure, Ben, and it’s sunny today. It’s 24 degrees today, which is nice. Yesterday, it would have been rainy Melbourne.

Ben Aston:

Well, it’s always good to start with understanding where the weather is at. Thank you for-

Colin Ellis:

It’s a very British conversation to have.

Ben Aston:

Exactly.

Colin Ellis:

Let’s get it out the way early.

Ben Aston:

In Vancouver, it has been raining. For those of who are interested, in Vancouver, it has been raining heavily for the past few weeks, but forecast-

Colin Ellis:

What people don’t know, Ben, is when we talk about the weather, us Brits, we’re not actually talking about the weather, we’re talking about our emotions. “Oh, what’s the weather like?” “Actually, it’s slightly overcast with a chance of rain.”

Ben Aston:

Exactly. Well, and the good news is, the forecast for Vancouver, in the next couple of weeks, is sunny.

Colin Ellis:

That’s good.

Ben Aston:

With a touch of cloud. So, good on all counts. So, this is, actually, a bit of a first for us, on The Digital Project Manager podcast. To be honest, there haven’t been many podcasts, but never before have we done this where I chat to someone, and I’m just having a chat. We’re not actually talking about a particular article, but Colin got in touch, and I thought that some of his stuff that he’d been writing and talking about was really interesting, so I’ve said, “Hey, Colin, would you come on the show?” And he said yes, so here we are, and one of the things that Colin talks a lot about is about project leadership, which I’m also very passionate about, developing a strong project, and team culture and how we can lead our projects into success. But, before we dive into all that stuff, for those of you who’ve not met Colin, let’s find out a bit about who you are.
Now, Colin, this is, obviously, what we refer to, as The Digital Project Manager podcast, and I know there’s a lot of discussion around, is digital project management and project management two different things, or not? We can cover that later, but you’re not a digital project manager by trade, or at least I don’t think you’d identify yourself as one, so tell me a bit about your story. How did you get into project management?

Colin Ellis:

Well, interestingly, my first project manager job was, probably, what you would consider a digital project management role, at the time, although, kind of, in the late ’90s, we weren’t really using the word digital. We were pressing all kind of panic buttons, Ben, because the world was going to end for year 2000, and, at the time, I was working in telesales in a newspaper for the Liverpool Echo, which was a Liverpool paper in Liverpool, and I wasn’t that good at selling newspaper space, which is … Oh, I had the pubs and clubs, which was my perfect job, you know, because all the publicans around Liverpool knew me, but, I don’t know, I think I was … Well, I must have been good at building relationships and creating teams, and so they asked me if I wanted to be a project manager, and I said, “What’s a project manager?” And they said, “Oh, you get a car, a phone, and you get to travel the UK for four years.” I’m like, “I definitely want to be a project manager.” And so, you know, that was it.
We were replacing advertising systems in newspapers and newspaper sales systems, and this was … I can’t stress how new this was back in ’97, it was ridiculous, really. But that was my genesis in project management, and, yeah, that was 20 years ago. 20 years ago.

Ben Aston:

It’s interesting, I also came … A little known fact, and one that I don’t actually talk about on LinkedIn, funnily enough, but you talk about the millennium bug, which is obviously a … Yeah, that was the thing, but I worked for a company called Computer 2000.

Colin Ellis:

There you go.

Ben Aston:

I was doing telesales for Computer 2000. That’s how I … Well, I did lots of terrible jobs, but that was one of my terrible jobs. Well, to start with, I, actually, was building computers for Computer 2000. I was building servers in a factory, I did that, but then the next year I went back and I was in telesales. I was trying to convince people to go to our Microsoft conferences, or weekends away, or … I can’t even remember what I was selling, and I think it was a good deal. I think I was giving people a weekend away for free, and they just had to attended a seminar, or something.

Colin Ellis:

Yeah.

Ben Aston:

But it’s soul destroying. I found it soul destroying, so …

Colin Ellis:

I think some people are more naturally suited it to others. I used to love the conversations with people, Ben, and I think that’s why…

Ben Aston:

Yeah. When they talk to you.

Colin Ellis:

Yeah, that’s right, when they’re not slamming the phone down on you. “Not again, Ellis.”

Ben Aston:

Exactly.

Colin Ellis:

Slam.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. And it’s when you put the phone down, and then the phone rings again. You’re on an automated thing, and it’s like … It’s just that you can’t win. There’s this feeling of, like, of not winning. But, okay, so from telesales then, and getting all the perks, you’ve become a proper project manager then.

Colin Ellis:

I did, yeah, I became a proper project manager. And do you know what? When I first started out, and I share this story a lot, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I think the Project Management Institute recently released some survey that said that, “For 70% of people who find themselves in project management, project management is their second career,” and it certainly was for me, and it was for you, and, to become a proper project manager, I had to take all of the stuff that I was hired for, which was the peopley stuff, but I just wasn’t very good at planning, which is really important, too. I wrote a blog, I think it was last week, or the week before, about the importance of being emotionally intelligent, and, kind of, actually intelligent, and so I had to really, really learn, like, properly learn how to plan well, and to do all of the, what I would call, the technical stuff.
Too often, we call the technical stuff in the broader project management world, not so much in the digital world, I’ll come back to that in a bit, we focus on the method, and the process, and planning, and it’s all of these things when it’s a real mix of the two, because you have to motivate a team of people to give you the information, and what you need to be technically good at is knowing what techniques to use to plan something really, really well, rather than understanding the subject matter, which is slightly different for digital project managers, I understand. So, technically, I had to watch and learn from the people around me to become a good project manager, yeah.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. So, going back through your career then, what kind of project management roles have you done? You’ve done a lot of different ones.

Colin Ellis:

Yeah, different ones. I was a project manager for five years, which is relatively short, I would say, for most people, then I did program management, and I think it’s because I had those people skills, Ben. I think it naturally suits itself to bigger pieces of work, and then I went to head up a big PMO for the newspaper I was working for, and then I moved back to Liverpool and headed up a PMO for a big retail company, and then emigrated to New Zealand, where I worked in the public service, heading up big project departments in the public service for six years, and then moved to Australia four years ago to head up a PMO in the public service here, so real mix of big infrastructure stuff, and big telecommunications stuff, so a mix of IT and, what we would term, business stuff. Yeah, and lots of money to spend. Couple of natural disasters in there as well, and just a real mix of hugely enjoyable work.
I’ve always enjoyed what I’m doing. I love the dynamic project environment. And I think … I’ve been working for myself, only really, for the last two and a half years, and the thing that I miss most, and we talked briefly before I came on air, is that real kind of people, team interaction.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So what are you doing now then? You talk about working for yourself for the last two and a half years, so what does that look like now?

Colin Ellis:

Yeah. “What are you doing now?” That’s a question my wife asks me on a daily basis. “Where have you been for the last two weeks?” So, what I do now is, well I obviously write. I’ve written a couple of books. I train, specifically emotional intelligence, so how to be the best version of yourself, and to create teams that everyone wants to join, which is so important in a project context, and I speak, I’ve done lots and lots of speeches around the place, which is great, and, hopefully, trying to inspire the next generation of people coming through in the project management profession. So, speaking and training, principally, are the things I get paid for now, Ben, yeah.

Ben Aston:

Cool. Good stuff. So, yeah, so you’ve written a couple of books. One of them, if you want to look it up, and we’ll put a link in the podcast itself, but one’s called The Conscious Project Leader, and the other one is called The Project Rots from the Head. But, let’s talk about the Conscious Project Leader, as I think that’s the one that’s really more focused for PMs, rather than the bosses.

Colin Ellis:

Yeah. That’s right, yeah.

Ben Aston:

If you’ve got a project sponsor, who is not doing their job properly, The Project Rots from the Head is a great one for them to leave on their desk.

Colin Ellis:

Absolutely it is, yeah. Anonymously.

Ben Aston:

But, so … Yeah, anonymously. Just maybe with a post-it saying, “Read this and thought of you.” But, I thought it would interesting to see … Yeah. That should be a campaign for you, like, “Hey guys, I bought this for my boss. Here it is on their desk …

Colin Ellis:

Someone bought five, recently, at a conference, if you can believe that, and she said she was going to leave them on a steering committee’s desk, which she did, and then she emailed me, and she said, “Just to let you know, I followed through on my plan, I left one on everybody’s desk.” And I emailed back, saying, “That’s amazing. Tell them it was from you.” She was like, “Oh, my God, no. I’d be out on my ear in five minutes.”

Ben Aston:

Let’s hope it worked.

Colin Ellis:

Yeah.

Ben Aston:

Let’s hope it worked. But, yeah, so the … In terms of the, yeah, The Conscious Project Leader, though, is really, like you’ve been talking about, focused on the softer, emotional intelligence, or, yeah, aspects of leading projects, and you talk about creating a culture of success for your projects, and your team, and yourself, and I think, yeah, I think these are such important projects, and I think when you look, particularly, comparing it to things like the PMP, which are very process and methodology driven, I think it’s so important that we actually start talking about what it means, not just to project manage and be a project administrator, but, yeah, this importance of being a leader with your project team, and seeing yourself as, actually, the one whose casting vision is the one who’s inspiring the team. But that’s a pretty hard thing to do, right, so what’s your … For someone who’s never really heard about this, about, “Hold on, I’m not just a project manager, but, actually, I’m a project leader,” tell me, what does that look like in a day to day of the project context? What does that look like to you?

Colin Ellis:

Yeah, it’s a great question, Ben, and it’s one that I get a lot, because this thing called leadership, we’ve made it too hard. We’ve made it something that feels untouchable, or, worse still, we’ve made it hierarchical. You can only be a leader when you sit at this table, or you have this job description, and I think what most people forget, particularly in a project context, is that the biggest job that you’ve got is to lead and motivate a team of people to do great work. Now, listen, don’t get me wrong, you still need to understand the methods, and I’m always keen to point out that, from a project management perspective, you’ve got to go and do all of the badges, right? You’ve got to tick all of the boxes and do all of the things, that’s your technical information, but the best projects are a result of the person that leads it, or the environment they create for the team. It always has been and it always will be.
It doesn’t matter whether you digital IT, whether you’re doing construction, telecommunications, all of these types of projects, and I think this is what really made me want to go work for myself. I went to a project management conference, and there was just lots of the same old stuff that I’d been hearing for the last ten years, rehashed a slightly different way. There wasn’t inspirational, to me, at all, and the people that attended the conference, they were all people who wanted more, but didn’t really get it. So, what I wanted to do, was to write the book that told project managers how to do all of things that weren’t in these methods that they were told that they had to have. When I think back to when I was a project manager, and what made me successful, in inverted commas, and what made me successful, of course, was the team around me. Of course that it was, but there were certain things that I needed to do to get them to that point, but no-one had written that book, Ben. No-one had said, “Here’s how you be the best version of yourself. Here’s how you communicate a message in four different ways. Here’s how you bring a bit of humor to a situation. Oh, and here’s the right time to do it. Here’s how to actively listen.”
These little things. And so I wrote The Conscious Project Leader partly out of frustration that no-one else had really done it, but I wanted to give project managers, wherever they are in the world and whatever kind of project that they’re doing, that real insight in what I takes to be the best version of you, and then how to inspire a group of desperate people, who might be in different parts of the world, or different bits of the office, how to bring all of these together to create something that’s truly unique that everyone would want to be a part of. So, the word ‘conscious’, as in you think about it. We’ve all been the unconscious project manager from time to time, where we’re not thinking about our actions and our words, and, at that point, you cease to lead and you start to manage.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. And I think that’s great, but what I’m interested in is your war stories. The reality is, and I think, when you’re working on an exciting project, maybe, yeah, a sexy project, people are excited about it. You’re working with a new technology, or you’re doing something that’s groundbreaking, or there’s something exciting about it. I think what you’re talking about, getting people emotionally engaged in the project, getting people casting a vision, and leading people towards that vision, and helping them care about the project, that’s easier, but how do you do that when everyone thinks the project is, you know, bit of a turd? And, surely, in 20 years, you must have had lots of crappy projects, where you’re like, “Hold on a second. It’s out of my control. We might not necessarily be doing the right thing, but this is what we have to do.” No-one really wants to …

Colin Ellis:

Yeah, it’s a great question, and here’s the thing, is sometimes you have to get excited about stuff that you really don’t believe in, and I remember one project, Ben, where I challenged the need to do it, because that’s my job as a project manager. What I didn’t want to do … Now, I did this one on one with my sponsor. I didn’t make my team aware of it, because, obviously, what you’re going to do is create diversion and unrest, and it was my job to visibly and verbally support whatever the organization thought were the right things to do, and I challenged the project sponsor. I was like, “Do you really want to do this?” I said, “If it were me, there’s no way I’d be doing it,” and gave some insights, you know, very solution focused. I felt like I went about it in the right way, and my sponsor, at the time, said, “Colin, when you’re in this chair, you can make those decisions, but, right now, the organization thinks it’s the right thing to do, and we intend to pursue it, and what I want you to do, is to motivate everybody to get it delivered.”

And so it was a bit of a slap in the face. I wasn’t young, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was early in my project management career, and so, what I did was, I set about creating just the best team ever. Someone asked me, just last week, I was in the States, just last week, to do a couple of speeches, and someone said to me, “Oh, I’ve got the worst staff. I’ve been given all of the worst staff. How do you create a team?” And I’m like, “Well, firstly, stop calling them the worst staff, because, as soon as you say that, what you’re doing is creating a barrier in your head.” These might be people who have never been given an opportunity, or else you’re going off hearsay, right? But, in that situation, what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to create a vision, you’ve got to talk about how you’re going to behave, you’ve got to talk about the things you’re not going to talk about.

You know what, I was very clear when I got that message from my sponsor. I said, “This is something the organization wants to invest in, and whether you believe in it, or not right now, it’s our job to deliver it. So, I’m going to create an environment where we can all get it done.” Now, I challenged, pretty much, every decision one on one, where I felt appropriate. It wasn’t difficult, by any stretch of the imagination, but I managed the scope really tightly. We had a really good plan, and then I kind of held stuff back, because the nature of projects is, somebody always wants to add stuff to it, so I learnt how say no, politely, and everyday then, I went home knowing that I was being the best version of me. Now, partly that’s because I failed a bunch of times.
For example, there was one project where I didn’t agree, and I went back to my team and I was, you know, it was like, “Yeah, you know what, I don’t agree with this either,” and we ended up being bitter for, like, three, four months, and I did nothing to stop the bitterness, and I should have done that, because every day we were coming in demoralized, because we didn’t want to work on the project, rather than me lifting everyone up, going, “Hey, this is something the organization considers to be really, really successful.” And someone said, “Oh, you’re just putting lipstick on a pig,” which is a very nice way of putting it, but you know what, sometimes we have to do that to make things more attractive to get something done, and you take what you learn in that togetherness as a team into the next project.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that’s great, and I think one other thing that I’ve found really helpful is, even when a project is terrible, there’s always something that you can find to inspire people. Now, it might be that, “Hey, guys, this is not a very exciting project, but let’s do it the best that we’ve ever done it before. We might have done this kind of project before, and last time we did it we didn’t really care about it, so it was riddled with bugs, so let’s do it twice as fast as last time, and let’s have no bugs,” or, “Let’s find something to make this exciting, and gamify it in some kind of way,” to get people interested in the thing that, on the face of it, seems boring, but find a way to inject something of some kind of interest, and even if it’s just a game that no-one else is getting engaged with, as you start celebrating your wins, however small they might be on this terrible project, you’ll begin to get some momentum, because people will start getting behind you.
If you’re getting excited every day about this game you’re playing on the project, people will start catching on, and what can start as a really dull, boring project, can actually be a quite fun one to work with. If you’re able to build the team around you that begins to care about it, whether or not it’s because of the original purpose of the project, or your gamifying reason, it’s a way to get people engaged.

Colin Ellis:

Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more, and Benjamin and Rosamund Stone Zander said in their book, The Art of Possibility, “Things change when you care enough to grab whatever you love, and give it everything.” And what we should love, as project managers, is project management. And so, we have to give it absolutely everything, and that means being the best version of ourselves, creating a team, doing different things, coming in energized, motivating people, but, again, this is not what we’re taught. We’re force fed process. “If you follow this process, you’ll be successful,” which is garbage. It’s absolute garbage, and, if you can be the best version of … Listen, there’s still a way if the organizations do things, you’ve got to tick the boxes, but, if you can be the best version of you, and create this awesome team, you know what? The magic happens, and everyone feels great, and people want to join. They’re like, “What are you doing in your team? We want to join.”
And project management, it’s not easy. It’s not for the faint hearted. I always say to people, you know, some of them say, “Oh, I don’t like the administration side.” I was like, “What do you mean by administration?” “Oh, maintaining a schedule, and risk.” I was like, “Get another job. That’s what we do. Go and be a BA, they don’t do any of that stuff. They’ve got an easy life.”

Ben Aston:

Yeah, just coming up with more things for …

Colin Ellis:

Love you, BAs.

Ben Aston:

Yeah, the internal scope creepers, the BAs. So then, talking about their success then, and I … Look, I checked out your LinkedIn profile, and I’ve seen that you’ve created a project success tool of some kind. Tell me about that.

Colin Ellis:

Well, it was something I used to do, by spreadsheet, when I was back in New Zealand, that was what we would do, because too many … Projects are still measured, or project managers, sorry, are measured by how many projects they deliver on time and budget, which is totally and utterly bogus, because the nature of projects is that they change, and less than 40% of projects, according to IBM, come in on time to cost. In fact, KPMG found in New Zealand, earlier this year, it was less than 30%, and so what we should be measuring project managers on is, firstly, people’s confidence in them, so how well do they know their job? And, secondly, what kind of team have they created? And you really get that sense of satisfaction, which is something you see in digital project management as well, because in digital project management, we’re very focused on that client satisfaction side of things, whereas, in project management, your team are your clients, your stakeholders are your clients, and I’ve always said that if you keep your client or your stakeholders happy all the way through, it almost doesn’t matter whether you deliver on time to budget.
In fact, some of the worst projects I’ve ever managed, or overseen, delivered on time to budget, but we weren’t being the best version of ourselves. We were smashing stuff in, and there were undue influence, kind of outside influences, all this stuff, and so I think if the customers are happy, then, for me, that’s the most important part. I worked with a developer, and we came up with a tool called Project NPS, NPS for Net Promoter System, and so this is how organizations measure satisfaction with their services. The same should be of leadership as well, and of project management. If your customers are happy, then you’re doing a good job. Plus, you get some insights into what you can do to improve as well.

Ben Aston:

Yeah, cool. Sounds fun. And that’s an app? How does it work?

Colin Ellis:

It’s almost like a survey tool, but it’s three very simple questions. And you can view it on a mobile device, or you can do it on a mobile device, absolutely, and then, as a project manager, you get a score. You get a score every month, based on customer feedback. I always say, from a project management perspective, anything over plus 40 is a good score. Anything less than 40 and you’ve got work to do, but the great thing is, is your stake holders give you the feedback on the things that you need to improve, and so it’s got that real positive, “Here’s the score. Oh, by the way, and here’s something …” Now, obviously, what we want to do is create more conversations. That’s what we want, and the aim is that project managers go and talk to stake holders more, so they’re, almost, preempting what people are going to say anyway, so the aim is, eventually, the tool is redundant, because you’re just putting the emphasis back on great conversations, improve self awareness, and then better all round customer experience.

Ben Aston:

Yeah, that sounds cool. Now, talking about tools though, one of the things that I’m interested in discussing with you is, one of the chapters in your book is about … I can’t find it now, but about collaboration tools, and I’m fascinated by this, because my theory about collaboration tools, whilst I love tools, I find that collaboration tools, like Slack, or, in fact, any of the digital project management tools out there can actually make it harder to lead a team, because we are … Rather than having a conversation about things, we’re sat, meters away from each other, typing away at each other, and you get less of that feeling of team, because people are reverting to typing, rather than walking over the office, or picking up a phone, or having a Skype conversation, and we’re doing less talking than we ever did, I feel like, and more typing than we ever did, but what’s your feeling about that? Like leading a team, especially a remote team, where you’ve got these collaboration tools that, on the face of it, seem to be helpful, but are they really useful in helping us lead a project, rather than just being a project manager? How does that work for you?

Colin Ellis:

I’m always very careful, and I do this in the book as well, to say that you have to ask yourself whether you need a tool in the first place, so, for me, to always face, phone, tools in that order. Always in that order. I always do everything face to face when I can, but then, there are some times when you’re managing multiple projects where you just can’t be in all of those places at once. Now, I’m not a fan of email and never have been, and I think there’s too much is done by email. There’s too many emails we’re CC’d into, or people expect response, and so, for me and my team, I’ve got a couple of people that work with me, is that we use Slack just to get just quick answers to questions. I don’t want any emails in my email box, and that my business manager, or my content director know that, if they want a quick answer, they can use a collaboration tool.
But I always say to teams, and it’s part of the culture, is you get together at the start, because project managers, you’ve got three jobs. Build the team, build the plan, deliver the project. When you’re building the team, you get together and say, “Okay, do we need to use a collaboration tool?” As a project manager, if I’m managing more than three projects, I’ve got four, and I’ve got virtual teams as part of that, tools might work, but it also might confuse the hell out of everybody, and so it’s a question that people need to ask, and it’s not a black and white question, depending on your organization, your age, your sector. It’s just something you need to talk to each other about, and say, “What’s the best way for us to communicate here?” If you’re across different time zones, what’s the best way for me, if I’m in Melbourne, to communicate with Ben, who’s in Vancouver? And the answer is, we’ll have a phone call at 3:00 Melbourne time, because I know Ben’s up and Colin should be up by 3:00 in the afternoon, you know?
But, for those times when we’re asleep, a tool might be useful. But technology gives us those options, but it’s about understanding what those options are at the start, and then decided whether, as a team, it’s going to improve things, or not, and, if not, face, phone, tool, always in that order.

Ben Aston:

Yeah. Talking of tools though, I’m interested, are you … Yeah, have you found any tools, recently, that have grown in your mind, or that you’re like, “Oh, everyone should know about this?”

Colin Ellis:

Oh, not that are worldwide. I think that tools are there to help you do a job. We used to put things on butcher’s paper, post-it notes, tasks and things. We use Trello to do that now, we have a shared Trello board, that’s really easy to do. Atlassian have got a great tweet of tools for people who are working on projects, some of which are free, but there’s a great resource that … I’ve never believed in the big project manager tools, the huge ones. You know what? I’ve managed some big project departments, and I’ve never been able to justify a 500,000 dollar, or a million dollar spend on a big tool, because just having information centralized doesn’t mean that the quality improves. And so, we-

Ben Aston:

What’s, typically, in your tool kit then? Running a big enterprise project.

Colin Ellis:

My last job, I made sure everyone used Microsoft Project, because that’s the only tool for scheduling, and we made sure everyone was trained, so they knew how to do it well. Some people use Trello to keep their task. We didn’t have a shared Trello board at an enterprise level, we allowed people do different things on different projects, depending on what they need. Slack was in its early days, so we used a little bit of that. SharePoint we used, and we had little Wiki pages as well. But, again, there’s so much stuff out there, Ben, that … For me and my team we use Trello, Slack, I use OneNote, heavily, to capture notes from books, and articles, and, also, I wrote my book using OneNote. Just simple things that make life easier, and that’s why, when people are looking at project management tools, that, like I said Atlassian’s got a good set of tools for projects managers, because they’re really simple, straightforward, easy to … I’m dumbing them right down. There’s hours and hours of work that’s gone into them, but anything that can improve the way that you do things, simply, I think can only be of benefit.

Ben Aston:

Good stuff. So, just to close then, other than reading the book, for those who are listening to this today, have you got a take away, one take away for people who are thinking, “Okay, well I want to shift from being a project manager to a project leader,” what, for you, is step one of making this transition to being a project leader?

Colin Ellis:

So, step one is improved self awareness. You’ve got to get really, really good at knowing what you’re good at, because they’re not good at acknowledging that, these people. What is it that you’re good at? But, also, ask the people that you work with, what are some things that you can improve? And then, relentlessly, self develop, Ben. Relentlessly. I mean, for me, I didn’t read a business book until two years ago, which seems ridiculous to me now. I put that on LinkedIn last week. I don’t know why. But relentlessly self develop. Look at different ways you can do things. But, what will be expected of you as a project manager, more than anything else, is to be a good person, treat and communicate with people the right way, put your emphasis on building a good team, understand, technically, what you need to know to plan your project, and then just keep leading and motivating people to that result, and there won’t be many complaints with your job if you’re doing all those things well.
It’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me on, Ben.

Ben Aston:

Good stuff. Colin, thanks so much for joining us. It’s been great having you with us today. And, if you’d like to contribute to the conversation, we’re going to post thing, you can comment on the post, and head over to the community section of thedigitalprojectmanager.com, where you can join our Slack team, and you’ll find all kinds of other interesting conversations going on there. Let’s discuss it there, but, until next time, thanks for listening.

Ben Aston

Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and VP of Client Services at FCV, a full service digital agency in Vancouver, Canada. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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