CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Crystal Larsh is a Senior Consultant managing custom software development projects in Austin, Texas, USA. She has been leading teams in the project and product space since 2003.
Valuing continuous growth, she has gained an MBA in eCommerce, a Masters in Project Management, and NPDP, PMP and Scrum Master certifications. She has used her education and 15 years of experience to help bring up the next generation, particularly women in tech.
Serving clients by trade. Gaming by hobby. Mother of two by love. Managing projects comes as naturally as breathing.
From my blog I’ve recently been working on: https://www.tabletoppm.dev/
What is your project management super power?
Empathy. Being able to rally the team by putting their humanity first. Understanding the team’s personal motivations to grow their bench strength. Building trust enables me to make the hard asks when a project turns critical.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
By increasing the talent pool. They can’t diversify if the people aren’t there to choose. That doesn’t just mean school aged girls, but those seeking to switch professions who have done a lot of informal project management and just need the foot in the door to succeed. There are such high barriers to entry though that it becomes nearly impossible to pull off without starting at entry level pay.
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Pushing back on stakeholders to consider the why – why this project, why this approach, why this piece of scope. It takes confidence to ask, a great poker face to reserve any inflection of judgement in the question, and great patience and listening skills to absorb their answer rather than gearing up to argue the point.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
Internally, it’s about getting feedback and making the time to have a difficult conversation – whether because you genuinely need to make something right or find out what’s going on with someone. I’ve had to have far more of these conversations than I care to admit but it’s the most important step to moving forward.
Client facing isn’t much different, but it requires a little more finesse if you don’t already have a relationship and sometimes you just have to let the bus run you over for the good of the contract and let someone else play good cop. When things are better you can have that one on one and make good.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Identify what the root of the problem is. People are rarely upset about 1 small thing they have blown up about. Understanding that and determining how not to cross that line again is big.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Diversity, Flexibility, Satisfaction
Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.
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