Project Management for Entrepreneurs: An Interview with Echo A Woolf, MBA, PMP

Project Management for Entrepreneurs: An Interview with Echo A Woolf, MBA, PMP

By Sara Bristoll |
Oct, 25 2019

Echo Woolf is a certified Project Management Professional with more than five-years experience as a project manager, as well as an MBA and B.A. in Business Administration, focusing on Project Management. She not only helps and clients with their project management needs, but authors articles centered around her field. Read on to discover more on who Echo A. Woolf, MBA, PMP is, how project management can help you and what some of her favorite tools are. 

How did you get into Project Management?

I’m what you call an ‘intentional project manager.’ Unlike many others who fall into project management in the workplace, I knew this was what I wanted to do. It was what I went to school for, what my career has always been centered around, my business focuses on and what I do outside of work.

You have more than 5 years experience as a Project Manager. What about project management keeps you engaged in this field?

Everyday is a new day. I love taking a concept/goal/objective and working with a team to drive results and bring the project full circle. There is something so satisfying about wrangling many moving pieces and making it all come together.

Project management requires me to become more adaptable to different cultures, work styles, and personalities.

It also challenges me everyday to up my game and keeps me well engaged in the work I do. 

What is one thing entrepreneurs/small businesses should know about project management?

Project management can help bring the right people together to drive results where it matters. Not only that, having exposure to project management skills like planning, organization, and relationship building can be a huge asset to business management, operations and projects that businesses take on.

What are your favorite project management tools?

I use Jira, smartsheets or even just a planner or notebook and pen - depending on the situation or client. 

What are some of the benefits Project Management can bring to an organization?

Having skilled project managers on the team allows subject matter experts to focus on the work they do best.

The project manager will drive things like timelines, scope, costs, and resources associated with running projects. In turn, project management brings value to the organization by delivering projects that help the organization meet their strategic goals.

Your LinkedIn Profile features the quote: “The ‘P’ in ‘PM’ is as much about people management as it is about project management.” Why does this quote move you?

Project management is all about the people. Early on as a project manager, I found it easy to focus on learning the science of project management (risk, schedules, costs, etc). As my career has progressed, I discovered what makes the real difference is building relationships and trust with the project team and the stakeholders.

Better relationships make for increased decision making, motivation, and cooperation.

Without it, it’s really hard to get work done. To me, the quote summarizes just that.

You are the managing partner of the small, local project management firm: Your PM Sidekick. What pushed you to make the jump to your own company over working for a larger corporation?

My business partner and I wanted to leverage our complementary skills towards something we could grow and cultivate. We have all the freedom when it comes to business decisions and it allows us to be able to design a more flexible lifestyle for ourselves. We both have accumulated so much knowledge in our careers and to be able to share it with others seemed to make sense and has been well received.

You’ve worked with the team for a little over a month now. What are your impressions about the company and the team you’ve worked with so far?

I’ve really enjoyed how empowered I feel to work with the internal team and clients. I feel really supported and surrounded by a ton of brilliant minds. To top it off, it fits well with my lifestyle and continues to fulfill the craving I have to be apart of a team working on projects.

What are some of the top Podcasts you listen to?

I’ve been really enjoying the local Business X Radio show, more specifically Joe Pusz’s segment: Project Management Office Hours. He interviews practitioners, consultants, business owners, and authors whose focus is, in some capacity, project management. I learn so much from every episode and love the practical tips these great minds share that I can take into the workplace.

What are your favorite apps for organizing your professional and personal lives?

I love my password app, I am currently using 1password, but I’ve used Last Pass as well. With so many logins, it is the only way I can keep them straight

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