Pro Tips for FINISHing Projects

Pro Tips for FINISHing ProjectsEach year, the FileMaker development community gathers for the FileMaker Developer Conference (“DevCon”). We met in Phoenix for my 4th Devcon on July 24-27. But, for the first time, I attended as my own brand and as a panelist for a conference session, “ProTips for FINISHing Projects.”

As a non-developer, most conference sessions did not hold my attention in the past, but this year FileMaker, Inc., ran a business track that was great. And, they had an FBA Day where the FileMaker Business Alliance partners had some special sessions just for us.

Meeting & Greeting

When you operate a virtual business, opportunities to get out and meet the people you work with in person are rare. Getting the chance to meet clients I haven’t met in person before was great. Despite working with some of them almost daily, I had never met the teams from Scott Howard Consulting, The Proof Group, and The Scarpetta Group. New clients from Harlow Technologies and Gearbox Solutions were also good to see. And, of course, it was great to connect with old friends from Thorsen Consulting, Surefoot Consulting, MainSpring, Skeleton Key, IT Solutions, Informing Designs, DataMate Solutions, Two Story Systems, Productive Computing,¬†Soliant Consulting, and many more!

I also met, in person, many of the subcontractors I help my clients manage for the first time. I enjoyed talking with some FileMaker team members, who I work with regularly.¬†Plus, I made new friends and alliances. Overall, it seemed there just wasn’t enough time to talk with enough people, but I enjoyed every conversation I had.

In the opening ceremony, the presentation featured a quote from Ernest Koe of The Proof Group and Marty Thomasson from Gearbox Solutions. Gearbox was featured because of a project which is making a big difference in the world. Scott Howard led a session, Beyond Damage Control: Reversing Bad Client Experiences. And in the awards ceremony, The Scarpetta Group was presented a FileMaker Excellence Award for Design for its product Jarvis. (Congrats to the team who helped to build a beautiful product!) I’m very proud to have such well-respected clients!

Pro Tips for FINISHing Projects

I worked two booths (Women of FileMaker and Visionary Bar), offering help with project management services. I did my first Facebook Live video with Don from FileMaker Pro Gurus. And, I was part of a panel on FBA Day (Thursday) called, “ProTips for FINISHing Projects,” along with Jason Mundok, James Hea (Direct Impact), and Eric Lewis (Cross IT). Our panel moderator was Ro Parry from FileMaker, Inc.

In that session, we each presented a few tips that help with finishing projects, including:

  • tackling projects in small pieces
  • predicting risk
  • process development, and
  • signoffs

We took some great questions from the attendees. Despite practicing different project management methods, we mostly had the same answers and opinions on how to handle challenges. Some panels in the past have pitted different viewpoints against each other, making for a bit of conflict. While that approach has its strengths, the four of us really enjoyed each other’s perspectives and I think we all learned from each other as well.

Videos and presentations of the session tracks can be found on YouTube. When FileMaker posts the panel session recording, I will update this article with the direct link.

The whole week reminded me of the smart… and fun… people involved in the FileMaker community.

As if on queue that it was time for a transition, as I was sitting in the airport waiting for my return flight, I received an email notifying me that I was accepted as a speaker at the Xojo Developer Conference (“XDC”) in Denver in April 2018 to speak on two topics: Project Management Solutions and Policies, Procedures, and Processes for Improved Productivity. I can assure you that finishing projects will be part of those presentations as well. I’m looking forward to spending time and making more friends within the Xojo community.

About Susan Fennema

Susan helps you gain control of your business through process development, organization, and structure of your business operations and projects. From developing processes to coaching project managers, she can help you get beyond the chaos.
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