Apprenticeships in Tech are Not Just for Developers: Explore Digital Project Management Apprenticeships

Metal Toad has the deep belief that apprenticeships in tech can hone new skills introduced in code school and provide real world experiences that can springboard people to a new career. Our founder Joaquin Lippincott has shared his beliefs about how anyone can learn to code and the concept of open source apprenticeships. Metal Toad started its Developer Apprenticeship program in 2015.

Building Departments from Scratch: From Project Management to Client Services.

Metal Toad, I would like to congratulate you for one year of project management consistency, one year without turnover in the project management department. This is a cause for celebration! Raise your glass filled with the libation of your choice and high-five your neighbor. Leading this team and building this department fills me with pride when I reflect on 2016.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Presenting Multiple Scenarios to Meet Client Needs

In the summer of 2016, I was asked to fill some big shoes. The product owner for the team supporting one of our biggest clients decided to move on,  the client wasn't particularly happy, and the delivery team was facing a large and challenging backlog with a fast approaching deadline. I was asked to step in as the product owner/project manager/account manager all while continuing to lead the project management department. Sounds like a fun summer, right?

A Case for Agency Project Managers to Get Their PMP

Consider your credentials

Depending on your industry, you may or may not be aware of the Project Management Institute (PMI) or their Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. Working in the software agency space, it wasn’t particularly on my radar either. ScrumMaster certification sure, but nothing quite so broad and traditional as a PMP. Like many project managers/producers in the tech industry, I just didn’t consider that the kinds of certifications PMs get in big companies had anything to do with my job.

Jobs in the Software Industry Aren't Just for Programmers

As anyone who has read a blog post from me over the past two years knows, I am passionate about creating jobs in the software industry.  Over 5 million manufactuering jobs have been lost in the United States alone since the year 2000 and no industry since has been able to keep pace with the creation of middle-income jobs needed to offset this massive loss.

Notes: An Agile Project Manager’s Critical Asset

The Livesaving Nature of Notes

The software industry’s shift to Agile project management methodologies has many of us happily burying the waterfall project artifacts – the 13 required management plans, comprehensive work breakdown structure (with dictionary) and predefined schedule have all lost favor as useless overhead. The Agile Manifesto explicitly values working products and responding to change over comprehensive documentation and following a plan.

Does Lean Six Sigma Work at a Digital Tech Agency?

Using Lean and Six Sigma methodology in a manufacturing environment is practically required. The healthcare industry is a big fan. Applying it in a business services environment happens more frequently but it's still not status quo. Using Lean Six Sigma at a digital agency is practically unheard of,  which is why we wanted to try it!

Project Manager Hobbies: Managing Projects

This year marked my 7th consecutive trip to Park City, Utah to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. In past many years, I’ve been lucky enough to balance 10 days of volunteerism and my “real life” job(s) in tandem. My role at the festival this year included working as a venue staffer at ASCAP’s Music Cafe venue, as well as supporting the Manager of Film Music for the Sundance Institute, Jarom Rowland. It just so happened that my particular arsenal of soft skills (project management) proved incredibly valuable. And relevant.

On Manual Process & Reporting

Data automation has been popular business buzzword jargon as of late, and to some extent, rightfully so! It saves time, creates seamless integration between applications, and can provide always-on, real-time information for making appropriate decisions. But data is only as good as the story it tells, and automation often hinders the storytellers that it aims to serve. Until machine learning surpasses human capabilities, there are key aspects of manual, hands-on project management that can't be effectively replaced by automation (though I'm sure some will try).

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