Our plan for creating resilient digital project leaders who shape the creative organizations and departments of tomorrow

Project leads are the catalysts in your organization. They touch and impact every person and project outcome, and drive the goals, project success, and profitability of your company. When they’re trained in the art and science of digital project management and empowered to own their domain, they have the potential to nudge projects, people, and your organization in radical new directions.

We’re here because we know that organizations like yours, who wield the tools of communication, technology, and creativity, have the ability to write the future (and be sustainable while doing it). We believe that strategic project management and the people who practice it are the heart of that transformation.

Table of contents

What’s wrong?

Smell that tangy smoke. Our governments are casually leaning towards authoritarianism. Big tech is extracting our attention, absorbing our workforce, and cornering our economy like a Dyson Cyclone in a wind factory. The advertising industry has consolidated into a fragile web of spiders spinning up inflated numbers via click farms and fraudulent algorithms. Investors are betting against the startups they invest in.

And robots?

Well, automation is twisting our job market into a rickety employment landscape bent on making us unemployable or catatonic.

So where does that leave folks like you— all the digital agencies and studios, consultancies, creative departments, and product shops like yours trying to protect their teams while supporting their clients and customers with great software, marketing, strategy, and design?

Clients and customers are demanding more for less

Projects are late, over-budget, or never hit the finish line

Teams look and think the same

The products look the same

Profits are measured by monitoring human productivity at the expense of humanity

People work too much and don’t have time to learn, live or breathe

People can’t keep up with skills to do the jobs

Wages are stagnant or in decline

The real cost of living is increasing faster and faster

Employment is more precarious and less permanent

Talent keeps cycling through a revolving door

Tech giants are gobbling talent, teams, and companies

Internet platforms are consolidating and centralizing power, wealth, and attention

Automation is creating skilled job competition

Anxiety and depression are on the rise

In many ways, it feels like this system is on the verge of collapse. The old ways haven’t yielded to the new ones. The standards and practices we’ve relied on for decades have made things worse. The present feels stuck and we can’t seem to invent the future. It’s a scary time.

But here’s the thing: you work in technology and creative services—you and your team are designing and coding the digital building blocks of tomorrow’s world. You’re in the business of persuading, influencing, and building the tools people use to communicate and get stuff done. This industry has a lot to answer for, but it’s also in a position to fix it.

You are inventing the future. What if you knew you had allies and a plan to pave that path?

Inventing the future

What would a healthy future look like? If we were to invent a new world, what would tech companies, design departments, and web studios look like? How would they support a healthier society?

Would we still be charging by the hour or tracking butts in seats? Getting distracted by dozens of projects at the same time? Our staff burnt out and overworked? Our clients and customers frustrated and going dark on us? Our work looking like it got spit out of a digital photocopier? Working for nickles in factory-like production jobs?

We don’t think so.

We don’t have the answers for your particular utopia, but for us, there are some basic fundamental outcomes we should be working towards.

You deliver what you say you’re going to deliver, on time, on budget, and you can do it sustainably

Clients and customers are happy, enjoy working with you, and stay with you for a long time

You run a profitable, healthy company that can adapt to change under pressure

Staff leave work every night and every weekend and overtime is the exception, not the rule

Staff can afford to live where ever they want, free of economic anxiety

Your teams feel respected, taken care of, and protected

Labour is disconnected from income, and lower utilization is rewarded without reducing revenue

Staff have the time and funds available to refine their craft, experience their environment, experiment, and innovate outside of regular projects

You have a diverse workforce of people with a range of perspectives, background, and experience

You create genuinely unique outputs in novel ways that favour real-world application over a shallow case study or portfolio piece

Every project incrementally inches your company closer towards your own utopia

We follow a baseline, humanist ethical standard that prevents us from building technology products that go against the best interests of the public

Many of you will write this off as a pipe dream. That this is just the way the industry is and what it will be until we burn this globe into ashes. But we bet a good number of you believed it when you started. What would make you change your mind?

We know that sustainable organizations are possible. We know this because companies like this exist and thrive. Many of them even went through our training. There’s no good reason these tenets shouldn’t be industry standard, but it’s going to take a paradigm shift.

We’re here to make that shift with you.

The right kind of pressure

We can make change on a huge scale when we apply pressure to certain operational processes and leverage points within our projects. The common breakdowns we see across our industry almost always tie back to weak project management and a lack of alignment. But we can change that…

Project management, the secret weapon

Project management opens a door to better processes, harmonious alignment, more resilient human interactions, and the side effect of better-run businesses. When we raise the tide of this technology industry through better PM, we support orgs and project leads who are resilient, future-focused, and who welcome change that makes a better world.

We’re reframing how digital work gets done. Let’s take it up a notch.

A future of resilient project leads

We’re not talking about run of the mill construction planning, PMP, document-heavy, task jockey project management. Digital is different. Adaptable project leads are nimble and intuitive. They can assess positive and negative risk, can adeptly move project goals and people toward alignment, and they understand modern digital workflows. Less paper, more collaborative planning.

Great project leads understand the economics of the workflow and the urgency of a burn rate. They know how deadlines affect cash flow. How to design the ultimate teams and how to create value for clients and customers. They navigate difficult conversations with decision makers effortlessly. They know how to manage their own bosses. They understand and support the sales and intake process. They tally red flags and turn risk into revenue opportunities. It’s a lot to ask for and not all project leads can do this.

But our apprentices can.

PMs are the connective tissue

Good project leaders versus great ones

Good project leadsGreat project leads

Keep projects on time and on budget.

Guide healthy projects and processes that positively impact the financial health of the organization.

Keep decision makers happy.

Drive the experience of working with your organization and push back on requests that take decision makers further from their goals.

Have a solid understanding of their organization's PM methodologies.

Methodology agnostic. They eat methodologies for breakfast and apply the best approach by understanding the needs of the goals, people, and outcomes of each project.

See the big picture of their projects.

Shape and align the bigger picture of their organizations. Get them ready for the future.

A new kind of apprenticeship

If you want a true leader of projects, you’re going to need more than a few videos or a soul-crushing boot camp.

We’re changing the rules. Learning is a process that takes months, not weeks, and definitely not days. Deep learning requires a mix of real-world experience and support with a steady flow of deep theory, practice, comprehensive application and regular practice.

This is not a one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter rulebook. We’ve built an adaptable framework and systems-first approach so your project lead can learn in midflight.

If you want your project leads hitting the ground running, you have to let them practice on the ground.

We’re pairing new learners with experienced professionals in real work environments. We’re prioritizing custom experiences over theory. We’re making this accessible for working moms and dads as well as people just joining the workforce.

Apprenticeship was the model of the past, and we’ve adapted it be the model of the future. There’s no better way to embrace the technological change that’s coming.

Your whole team has to be ready. Our apprenticeship can help.

In an industry driven by change, the [tech] skills gap is widening and we are facing a digital skills crisis. With ever-increasing pressure from consumers, the demand is growing all the time for new services and technologies—but without the trained professionals to deliver. We believe that apprenticeships are key to this issue; helping businesses to build, train and develop a workforce from scratch. […] Because apprentices are training as they work, it’s a mutually beneficial partnership. We often hear stories of apprentices teaching the more seasoned employees about the latest trends and reverse mentoring.

Tailor your leaders to your org

This apprenticeship isn’t generic. It’s for tech. Your apprentice learns or tightens the project management ropes directly within your ecosystem. In months you have a learner who is tailored to your own organization’s processes and workflows. This translates to lower onboarding costs and higher specialization. But you don’t carry the physical training burden. We offload your onboarding time so you can focus on running healthy projects.

Make a smarter investment

Hiring and paying learning fees for your apprentice will cost you less than hiring and paying someone in a mid to senior level role. And it will cost you less than hiring the wrong person and losing them or burning through project budgets because someone isn’t trained to spot the signs of project failure. Rather than burning through homogenous candidates and burnt out PMs, put your dollars into new or current project leads who are itching to be better at their craft.

Keep your people. Happy.

You’re investing in your apprentice’s learning. A love of learning is a commitment to continuous self-improvement and a commitment to your organization. If you invest in them, they will invest in you—and they will stay longer and create evolving processes which means you retain a happier, healthier team.

Build the talent pool

There are limited senior project leads available and it’s difficult for juniors to get their foot in the door. When you train someone with complementary skills and a different kind of work experience, you end up with the best talent and you make the pool bigger.

Close the skills gap

There is a shortage of great PMs and our industry is expected to grow. When you commit to an apprenticeship you are committing to elevating our industry and making it easier for diversely skilled workers to enter the job force and build upward mobility (like programs at IBM, Apple, and Huge are doing). As the job force increasingly loses to automation, this gap will widen. Together we can help to close it.

Make diversity happen

Diversity isn’t a checkmark. It’s a commitment and it starts with action. We encourage organizations to seek out and invest in a wider pool of learners who might not have the same technical skills or cultural backgrounds of typical white, often male workers in the tech industry. Diverse teams are more productive and more adaptable. It’s a fact. Be a leader in the industry and don’t just talk about diversity. Make it happen.

Apprenticeships have a 90% retention rate for employment and 81% of consumers prefer to buy from businesses that publicize their Apprenticeship programme.

We need you

As tech workers and company owners, we don’t have a lot of time left to get things right. The world is quickly moving into a state of chaos like nothing we’ve ever seen. But there is some good news. Our organizations—the organizations responsible for shaping how the digital world looks, acts, reacts, and shapes our future. And you know what? It’s our best possible shot at getting this right.

Help us set an example for your industry and your clients’ and customers’ industries.

Let’s rebuild the trust of our people.

Let’s show the world that commoditized labour and cheap output isn’t the only option.

Let’s set an example of sustainability, diversity, inclusion, equality, and mutual respect.

Here’s to the owners, the veeps, all the digital project, product, and account managers, plus the writers, designers, and developers who plan and practice good process every day. We’re here for you and we’re not going anywhere.

All of this is within our grasp and Louder Than Ten is ready to partner with you.

Join us in building a better industry and a damn better world.

Join the Louder Than Ten apprenticeship

Talk to us.

Learn more about our programs or talk to a trainer.