We want to shout this to the cosmos, but nobody likes a yeller. So we’ll tell you calmly and passionately why we’re here, what this whole thing’s about, and why we need you to believe in it, too. And we might get a bit animated, but don’t worry, we won’t shout. Maybe bellow, but not shout.
Our digital project managers (DPMs), freelancers, and internal teams—like the rest of our weird species—are spinning around the sun in an eliptical orbit at a whopping 30 kilometres per second. Yet we don’t feel an ounce of motion sickness. In fact, we don’t even notice how maddeningly fast we’re moving through the universe (~4.4 million KPH). Our heads are down and we’re getting things done. We’re working through digital project deadlines, and wrestling team and client expectations to the mat. We’re tidying up loose ends and scheduling meetings. We’re working out the kinks before big presentations and tucking in our milestones for the weekend.
Of course! We should be. That’s our job. But, it’s only our job on paper.
Feeling the gravity of time and space
Our real job is this: to get things done that help other people get things done. So their world is simpler, more enjoyable, more convenient. Better. So they can spend 80 or 90 years experiencing and making sense of all these organic and inorganic wonders that hang on dearly to a planet spinning around in a 4.6 billion year old solarsystem.
That’s why part of our job involves lifting up our chins to see above the chaotic world in front of us. One that is glaring brightly from screens and in spreadsheets and on to-do lists—vibrational waves that tell us what to do, when. We need a viewpoint to see the big picture, and we need each other to step up and glimpse the light.
Sound the PM signal
This is a siren call, a bellow, a hark to all people who manage creative projects (not just our lovely project managers). It’s a call to come together, to look around, and to see that there are millions of us all spinning our project plates, and not one of us has got it all dialed in. But if we help each other with our unique skills and points of view, we can make the work we do have more kick and less canker. We can use our strengths to lead more, and stop pointing fingers at our clients or internal teams or bad weather for screwing things up. We can make the industry better. We can help other people get things done.
Our Louder Than Ten dream for feeding this community of creative people is to support, educate, and captivate them so we can smarten up our digital industry.
What we’ve learned about project management
- It’s not about methodologies or tools. It’s not about creating an effortless project plan. Those things all help, but the core to getting it right is about the learning between the letters. The silence between the words. The psychology behind the decision. The personalities behind the project.
- It is getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Learning how to fall, like Dave Prior shares.
- It is about understanding what makes us human, because no matter what project we’re working on, it always comes back to the human hands and hearts that temper it or rely on it.
- There is no ego in getting work done. There is only ego in owning it.
- There are a ton of great people helping to build this DPM community. And the wave is building.
- We each have a unique perception about how the big picture looks. No one is wrong, but together we construct the full image.
- We have the vacuum of space to contend with; we don’t need a vacuum around ourselves and the work we do.
Quieting the vacuum of space
So why are we here? Managing projects is tough. Everything in a project changes and human nature dictates that people aren’t overly thrilled with change. Louder Than Ten aims to help people speak ‘project’ and to teach them how to make rational decision during project tempests.
We help with:
- How to handle tough conversations
- How to recognize and properly apply red flags to project scope
- How to capture and deflate dissent, and build a positive team
- How to understand and redefine our team roles
- How to create a silo-free creative workflow
We’re here to lend an arm so we can strengthen our digital industry.
What are the ingredients?
How do we make a better industry? Here’s how we start…
Offering workshops and webinars to beef up digital skills.
Tools and resources
Building a hub for PM related tools, tips, and reading.
Chatting with digital PMs and agencies to create a new mentorship program so new PMs aren’t jumping into real projects with cold feet and no experience.
Supporting the growth of an international community of people who manage creative projects through meetups, a podcast, conferences, and other social events.
Developing a full-fledged curriculum to help brand new PMs (and other creative people) learn the project management ropes and get that glorious stamp of approval so they can dive into the digital work world prepared.
What’s the next signal?
This year, our plan is to carefully craft the best damn school possible. One that doesn’t lock you up behind brown brick walls, buckling your knees under tiny desks. Instead, we want this school to be one that helps you scratch the coating off of corporate speak, dismantle the hierarchy between you and your clients, speak the language of empathy, and teach you how let go and let others embrace you as leaders. And of course, this school should empower you to do the best job using digital tools and methodologies your own peers have made. We want to build a school with a soul. Not a Scantron sheet.
Come fly with us
We’re not experts. We’re lifelong learners, just like you. We get people’s quirks and know some stuff about how to run projects, but for this to work—for us to truly build a digital PM community, it can’t be about a bunch of people telling everyone else what to do. We need you to help us build this community, so we can laser etch our focus toward a common galaxy. All the other important parts (like accessibility, user experience, design and development methodologies, security, quality assurance and testing) tuck neatly inside this goal. It’s not about choosing one over the other. It’s about tuning our ears and picking up the common frequencies in all that eerie static. It’s hurtling 30 km/second into an orbit where we’re all on fire. We need you to need this.
Are you in?