Project Management

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facilitated by Gunner

Notes by Katie Roper

Gunner's Tips:

  • commit to the least number of deliverables
  • document everything
  • focus on producing the MVP - minimal viable product

Lisa- looking to learn skills Shina- food bank Suzi- multiple people Caitlin- Raeanne-

Project management is like community organizing, you need to tell the story and get people behind your idea. You are facilitative leaders, get the best out of everybody. You are not miracle workers or controllers. You are not here to

  • Key: accountability and transparency
  • Great tools: the more simple the less likely it is to be hated. Base camp is simple which makes it impossible for it to fail by non-compliance.

A Project Management Tool Should:

  • Allow you to set milestones
  • Say who's accountable for it
  • Turn red when dates are missed/email notification

Nothing should be done without value. People will not do stuff for the sake of doing it, relate the story of how/why this is useful.

How to hold people accountable:

  • Make sure your project goal is clear
  • Know what the individual accountability is towards goal
  • Have document clearly explain this in no ambiguous terms
  • Don't "voluntell" people for the the job, discuss the aspects in clear terms and get by-in
  • Manager is the love bringer not the enforcer


  • Weekly meetings are best timing
  • Goals fail when not tied to checkin
  • Base camp is tied to workflow/checking
  • Do the MVP of short tight meetings work
  • Know when is something needs to be offline
  • Have weekly checkin but if not needed we cancel it

Other tips

  • All things in life need to be conveyed by project managers by giving value for every ask
  • Understanding all stakeholders needs/ values/ motivations and convey to them differently
  • Commit to working toward that value
  • "I hear you, I hear you would like to get to x, I would like to help you get there too. For x we need y"
  • Project managers use tension and aversion sparingly, guilt
  • Lift up the winners, overall narrative of we're winning
  • Work with the elegant silent fails
  • Instead of "I know cost-benefit," try to get people who are difficult to do the minimum and deprioritize their needs if they are not delivering

What if you are managing someone in a different org?

  • First never say "managing" to partner orgs
  • Need to have transparency layer
  • Perhaps online transparency tool
  • Experienced project manager has all to-dos in an open spot not behind your organizational boundary
  • Really clearly define accountability
  • Project managers live and die on the clarity of deliverables

Must be in writing Meeting notes are key Never agree on deliverables just in conversation

Project managers 101

  • Write down the story of how we get to done
  • Many new project managers freestyle
  • We need an asset path: what we will make to get to the thing
  • What each thing is specifically
  • Front load complexity
  • Use MVP
  • Leave the fluffy stuff/pretty stuff til the end

How to manage Funders need/ high maintenance funders

  • really account for the costs of those funders: low morale, loss of respect
  • talk to funders as peers not as better than you, you are not their hired help
  • be transparent and have a conversation early about when they can have input
  • name the potential issues out right, evoke people that don't exist (we had a FUNDER that...)

What is your advice for training a new project manager? Watch one,

  • do you throw them in the pool? No
  • project managers work from experience
  • explain values
  • deconstruct them project management
  • give them incremental pieces, you've seen it, now you drive it

Phasing it