My First Real Taste of Project Management: Gif the Halls

I’ve been wanting to learn how to run projects and I recent had an experience that I want to share.

I’ve done some project management previously, but never at the caliber required by my position at 10up. I was recently given the leadership role on a project with WPEngine called Gif the Halls. They came to us with the idea, and asked us to build them a website that would allow for the submission of holiday card text, a way to project the text onto the side of a building, and the record people seeing the projected text. It sounds simple on the surface but required a great deal more work than even I thought.

In the end, I didn’t successfully lead the project from beginning to end. I needed my boss, Dana to step in and help me and Vasken, a VP level staff member, to also jump in and take over pieces of the puzzle. It was disheartening to feel like I had failed in accomplishing my goal, but I’m so grateful for their support. I knew I wasn’t quite ready to lead a project, but I was very excited at the opportunity, and I learned a great deal from my experience that will stand me in good stead the next time I’m given such an opportunity.

I also owe a huge debt to the team that I work with as they put in ridiculous hours developing pieces that were forgotten about at the eleventh hour of the project. We worked through our Christmas holidays to make the project as successful as possible, and I think what we did accomplish was monumental.

There were moments of hilarious revelation as we realized that we had a person in China controlling a digital SLR in California, while working with a team member in Germany, watched by myself in Ontario, Canada and my boss in Florida. Just so very crazy, but exciting and part of what makes working remotely so interesting and engaging.

I’m spending a great deal of time reflecting on the choices I made, and what I could have done better. I am looking forward to the team involved getting together for a meeting and really dissecting this project so that I can continue to learn more and become a better project manager. My goal with working at 10up is to lead a team, and I feel like this experience has helped me get closer to that goal.

In the end, I hope most people that saw the exhibit, and participated in the project are happy with the outcome. I wish it could have all worked perfectly, but it was much more complicated than it seems on the surface, and I know that my team engineered the best solution that we could come up with.

If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out the blog post that was put up on the 10up corporate blog: Gif the Halls: Holiday Cards Gone Wild (Thanks Jake for helping me with it!)

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