Why community matters.

Want to learn more, get help, or gain a new perspective? Joining your virtual (or local) digital community might just be the answer…

Did you know that there is an online community of digital project managers?

I have to confess that I never thought I’d be as interested in the ‘science’ of project management as much as I am now. For me, PM was always a means to an end — it was the next logical step on from designing and developing. I’ve worked agency-side for ten years now. I think it’s fair to say that my previous employers didn’t look to the outside for ideas in quite the same way that my most recent agency does.

Inspiration from across the pond

Through the Bureau of Digital, Brett set up the first DPM Summit in Philadelphia in October 2013. The event has been a massive success and acted as a great opportunity to get PMs from all around the US and beyond to ‘geek out’ on process, tools and people. The third annual DPM summit is being held this year, again in Philadelphia. So far, I haven’t been able to attend the summit but I have followed the event online from over here in the UK.

DPM takes off in the UK

After hearing about DPM:UK, I decided that our team had to go. Then I contacted the organiser Matt Thornhill to ask if there was anything I could help with. We had a great conversation over Skype and it resulted in me joining the Q&A panel (chaired by Paul Boag) for the conference in January 2014.

But what about locally?

In Summer 2014, after attending Breaking Borders, I started talking to Holly Davis from White October about trying to get a local meet-up going. Holly and the team held their first DOxPM event, appropriately enough, on 1st October 2014. Since then there have been more than ten further meet-ups. After attending several events I even volunteered to join the organising committee!

So, why get involved? What’s in it for you?

These are the best reasons I can think of to persuade you:

Grow your knowledge and learn your craft

On the flip side there is SO much stuff out there to help you to understand how digital things work that you really don’t have an excuse! Indeed, people who make digital products or services seem to love publishing information about exactly how they did it…

Get noticed

Build a network or get help

Get a new perspective

How to get involved

  1. Social: Twitter (@BrettHarned, @TheSamBarnes, @ProjectDavis), LinkedIn (Web project Managers, Digital Project Management, Digital Producers), Google Groups
  2. Blogging — reading (The Digital Project Manager, The Sam Barnes, Louder than ten, Team Gantt) or if you’re feeling brave, writing.
  3. Attend a conference e.g. DPM:UK in Manchester or the DPM Summit in Philadelphia
  4. Go along to a local meet-up — there are DPM meet-ups in the UK in: Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth, Oxford and London and in North America in: Vancouver, BC; New York, NY; Portland, OR and Philadelphia, PA

If there isn’t a meet-up near you why not start one? It’s surprisingly easy and the organisers of other meet-ups nearby may be prepared to help.

So what are you waiting for?



Digital Agency Consultant. Proud dad, Yorkshire tea drinker, Steam buff.

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Ian May

Digital Agency Consultant. Proud dad, Yorkshire tea drinker, Steam buff.