As a three-year board member of a local user experience-focused meetup group, I focused on a few different areas which helped hone my project management skills.
As most people who have served on a nonprofit board can probably tell you, the role usually encompasses much more than what you originally signed up to do. My time with Minnesota’s User Experience Professional’s Association (UXPA-MN) was no different. I had a lot of great interactions on the board, serving first as community manager for two years and as a co-mentorship lead, and then stepping in as programming director for one year.
During the first two years, I also served as a co-lead for the first mentoring program. Alongside Kristin Sewell, we designed and organized a mentorship program that matched over 20 pairs of mentees with mentors in the St. Paul / Minneapolis, Minnesota area. We helped mediate pairings, shared out resources for mentors and mentees, and hosted several check ins throughout the year. We created a year-long structure and worked with instructors at Metropolitan State University as well on researching and documenting the process and results of the program.
Tools: Google Docs
Skills: Project management, event management and research
Read a long form piece on the mentorship program.
As programming director, it was my job to focus on the monthly events alongside the assistant director. This started with identifying speakers and topics for every month. From there, finding a location that could comfortably accommodate our growing group (average attendance grew from around 50 to over 70 by the end of the year). After that came food and logistical considerations – do we need to share information about parking? Is there wifi? What is the presenter’s Twitter handle? Will they share their slides?
To manage all of these pieces, I created a spreadsheet to not only manage the details, but allow us to look back and remember how we handled certain things which arose or what we thought of a venue. I also standardized processes for things like cancelling registrations, opening and closing the waitlist, and other event registration-related tasks.
Tools: Wild Apricot, Google Docs, Slack
Skills: Project management, event management
View 2016 event list.