Here’s a second post in our Portland PM profiles series, inspired in part by the Digital PM Summit’s speaker Q&A blog post series, and part by our applicant pre-screen process at Metal Toad. If you’re interested in being profiled on the blog, contact us and we’ll make sure you’re featured too!
Today’s profile features Craig Higdon, a Portland area PM/producer that currently splits time between several agencies in town.
Who are you, and what you enjoy most about your current organization?
I’m a hybrid PM/Producer. I end up doing some creative and account work as well as the more traditional PM work. I work with a couple of companies locally with clients that include professional sports teams and multi-national communication companies. I work on top-flight brands as well as tinker with internal PM processes to help firms run better.
What makes a stellar digital project manager?
Hustle in every shape and form. Never be satisfied. Always try to be smarter, more attentive and more useful to your dozens of stakeholders every day.
What was your path to becoming a project manager?
I started as a content producer and writer. I was shanghaied into PM work when designers and devs I worked with realized I understood client requirements and could translate them into something the production staff could build.
What aspect of project management keeps you excited and coming back every day?
I enjoy living at the intersection of design, business and technology. It’s an amazing time to be alive.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer to a new digital PM?
Double and triple check your assumptions.
What has been your biggest challenge as a digital project manager?
My biggest challenges are those hard talks with clients. Even if when the client and production teams are on the same page, things can still go haywire and standing up to explain a bad situation is never fun.
What is the one tool you can’t live without at work? Why?
I’m pretty tool agnostic, but if pushed, Google Docs. It edges out Office because of simpler version control and communication tools.
How do you succeed at managing projects where you’re unfamiliar with the technologies being used?
Questions, questions and more questions. Hell, even when I do know the tech, asking questions is a great way to make new friends and earn trust. Everyone likes to explain how smart they are and what they know.
What do you consider the key to motivating your project teams?
Enthusiasm. Even boring project can be completed in a new way. Find out what motivates team members and talk to them about the project with that language. Pretty soon they’ll be coming to your desk to share their latest triumph.
What do you enjoy when you’re not busy managing projects?
Comics, walking, wrangling my 8-year old pointer and 1-year old son. Trying to keep my beautiful wife happy.
Do you have a work or personal blog where you share about digital project management? Where else can you be found online?
Check out My LinkedIn account. That’s where I post links to articles I’ve written or projects I’ve worked on.