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Welcome back to the show here we're going to look at helping your call fusion team find flow, seven keys project management success. And I'm here with Christine all misty saying your last name right? Because I didn't practice it for a solid I should have done and we're going to look at the role of a modern project manager on cold fusion a mirror projects to hats you might wear as a project manager and what is flow and why is it so important today for you and your team and we'll go through seven keys she has for success in your project. So welcome, Christine. Thank you.
And in case you don't know, she is the Senior Project Manager at Blue River and oversees mega mural, CMS cold fusion projects and keeps them meticulously on track and in budget. So a genius
Yes, she's gonna be speaking on this top pick at Mira con in just three days, I think. Right. So four days a few days. So very exciting. And we'll talk a bit more about miracles later in the episode. But would I look at those different things. And let's just start off with how do you see the role of a digital project manager? I'm kind of curious why you call yourself a digital project manager?
Christine Ballisty 1:26
Yes. So the reason why we've been using the label as digital project manager is because all the projects I manage our digital projects or web sites, their applications on the back end or intranets, things like that they're not construction projects or projects where you have a tangible products that you can hand out at the end of the life cycle. It's all digital based.
And how does that affect what you do?
Christine Ballisty 1:54
Well, for me, it doesn't have too much of an impact, because that's my specialty, you managing digital projects. My specialty is in managing custom application development along with websites and internets. And so for me, having that moniker of a digital product manager is pretty much a perfect fit.
And then what what exactly do you see as your role in that? Yeah, so
Christine Ballisty 2:23
I'm in my role at Blue River. I mean, within the Professional Services Department. And I particularly wear many hats. I'm not only a project manager or manager in the traditional sense, where I manage a timeline, and I check on budget, and I make sure that people are taking tasks off their list. But I'm also a business analyst, where I have to, you know, conceptualize applications and dive deep into requirements and create spec docs, and maybe even help out with wire framing, I am an account manager where I'm interfacing with client checking in making sure they're happy and pleased with our work. And I'm also support representative. So after our projects are complete, we don't just abandon our clients, we maintain our relationship with them, and help support them throughout the future of the application to make sure that continues functioning properly.
So basically, you are the glue between the clients and the developers, pretty much your code and anything that's client facing you're involved in, yeah, everything
Christine Ballisty 3:33
Yes, I'm the the frontline for our projects and our company.
So when you said you, you do business now, this is that a lot of your role, figuring out what the requirements are, or in making sure the scope doesn't change during the project, or that's dealt with correctly, you
Christine Ballisty 3:51
it is for me, because I have a backup grown in web development actually. And so that's what I went to college for. I was a front end developer for many years. And I have kind of that technical experience on how things are built. And so I'm able to, again, be that front line. And that first line where I'm helping scope things out, I can technically understand how things need to be built. And I can articulate that in a written form to them translate to my team. So for me, that is a hat that I definitely wear?
And do you find you almost have to speak a different language when you're talking with clients versus with the developers you work with? Or
Christine Ballisty 4:42
Yeah, definitely, with clients, the majority of the time they're either marketing department based on they may not necessarily be technical people. And so, you know, I have to make sure that my language is used an understandable way to them, you know, imagery helps a lot because are visual based creatures. And so having wire frames and designs are always very helpful. And then, of course, when I talk with my dev team is can be very technical, and, you know, we'll whiteboard and sketch things out. And so yeah, I definitely speak differently, depending on my audience.
And then you mentioned you're an account manager, what, what does that exactly mean? You
Christine Ballisty 5:28
You know, so it means for me, it means making sure there's always a positive relationship, a business relationship. So I means communicating constantly with my clients, it means checking in with them to make sure that they're happy even after a project is closed. And it means even thinking ahead to see what are some enhancements that they may benefit from, that we may have done on another project that could benefit them and introduce that to them. It really just means maintaining business relationship and keeping that open line of communication at all times.
So somewhat of a sales hat in effect.
Christine Ballisty 6:09
Yeah, kind of. I do a little bit of business development to actually. So yeah, it's definitely kind of salesy sometimes. Well,
this is a lot of hats you wear.
So yeah, so how do you avoid getting stressed out with so many hats, and being responsible for such big projects?
Christine Ballisty 6:29
Yeah, so I have seven keys to success that I try to implement into my work. And with my team, I definitely try to work smart as opposed to multitask. And I found that these seven keys that I have implemented work really well for me and my team. Of course, it's a evolution and a constant process to evaluate what works for you and and adjust as needed. But these are things that I have found work really well and help mitigate stress in our organization.
Now, you mentioned when we were talking earlier, that you like to have a state of flow, both yourself and for your team. Yeah. Why is that so important today? Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 7:17
again, because we were we all wear many hats, we all have a lot going on work never ends, we joke about the spin cycle here at Blue River, and how work just never ends. And that's actually a good thing. Because we're an agency and we need, you know, work to never end. But having flow is really important for us, because it makes sure having flow, make sure that we're productive, efficient and happy. And it's a really great philosophy that we've embraced over the last year as an organization. And it's a very simple, it's characterized as complete absorption, and whatever it is you're doing, and it results in a loss of your space and time, when you're in that moment, it's also referred to as being in the zone. So I'm sure you're pretty familiar with it. When you're in the zone, and there's nothing else in your way you're experiencing flow. And for us, it's super, super efficient, and productive and profitable
makes a lot of sense. And I think everyone who's ever been a developer, or really any task where you just have to concentrate and juggle a lot of thoughts in your head in order to be able to solve the problems knows that if you're interrupted, it can take 1015 minutes to get back into a state of flow. And so having that you as a project manager, supporting your team and stay in a state of flow means that can be more productive and less stressed out about it. So and it's not part of your role to kind of protect them from interruptions, or
Christine Ballisty 8:56
Yeah, it is, I mean, at the end of the day, our clients and our projects are the Queen as I call it, where they rule the roost, right? whenever they need we we solve that need as, as, you know, people working in a services industry, but I do try to prioritize and make sure that things are lined up in a way where my developers and my team can tackle those tasks in an efficient manner to where they're not bouncing around or juggling, because that definitely breaks flow for them.
So do you unplug their email at the beginning of the day?
Christine Ballisty 9:37
Yeah, I wish. Well, going back to those seven keys to success. My first one is to plan for everything, literally plan for everything. And it's really built into my personality type, to have everything kind of buttoned up and organized. It's also known as having a type A personality. And so I use a number of tools to make sure that my team has exactly what they need. And they say distraction free, we use a couple of different tools for task and project management, so they know exactly what they need to work on. At what time we use slack for Team communication. And we have various bots and status controls built in to allow people to go distraction free, and kind of go Do Not Disturb, so they can focus on what they need to do. And for us, it seems to be working very well.
Now, you mentioned that you use some pm tools, can you tell us what tools you use and why you particularly like them? Yeah, definitely.
Christine Ballisty 10:40
So the first two tools will actually the first main tool that I use is Google Calendar. I use that literally, for everything in my life. I have color coded calendars that serve different purposes. And so I'm able to organize things blocked off accordingly.
I love it. I literally put everything in it, whether it's my team's PTO, someone needs to go out of office periodically, my own out of office, if I need to block off dedicated time to work on something, I'll just block off a few hours and calendar. And that's my life saver, having calendar. And also I use a tool called liquid planner for project management. Right now, I'm using that as my resource allocation and client schedule tool. So I feed in all of my team's availability. And then I feed in all of my projects. And it's a great tool that dynamically calculates due dates and completion dates and allocation of my team. So I'm able to find those gaps of when, for example, Evan might be free to work on a one week tasks. Oh, it's in about 20 days. So let me throttle that out to that day. It's a great tool web based. And I'm able to also create PDF export of those timelines to then share with my clients, which they love, because they always want to know, when's it going to be done? When's my due date, things like that. I love that tool very much. And then,
Christine Ballisty 12:13
use tableau, which is another web based tool. I'm sure you've heard of it. It's really great because we can set up a board per project with all of our lists of tasks and we can either break that out by phases or we can break it out by person and then you have a card per task and you know exactly what you need to work on one and it allows for some really nice real time collaboration and organization of tasks so those are my two go tues for sure. Well, and
the other thing I love for cello is just you can track things between Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 12:48
it's just really user friendly. Everybody loves it here. Yeah.
So you then also mentioned that you use slack with your cold fusion and mirror developers now think start this kind of a love hate relationship with slack because it's so cool. Yeah, I keep things organized, on the other hand, is constantly like beeping that Yeah, yes,
Christine Ballisty 13:12
Yeah. And for us, that's very true. Because we have a channel per projects, and we have various spots that do alerts for us and kind of take care of a lot of the legwork for us, but definitely can create a lot of noise sometimes. So we encourage muting channels we encourage marking oneself as Do Not Disturb. We even have this cool trick where you pick a red emoji from the emoji pack to indicate that you're busy, and to not be disturbed. And then you can switch to a green emoji, like a turtle or a tree to indicate that you're available and open to having a ping or destruction. And so for us, that works really well, because it's all visual based. And I can see Oh, Max, go to red circle on his I know, I need to wait until I paying him things like that. And then it works really well for us. Everyone uses it. We all have it on our phones, too. So if we step out at lunch, and an emergency message comes in, we're able to, you know, see it right away. So for us, it's a love hate relationship a little bit too, but I think it's more love than hate.
Well, that's good. So you won't be breaking up with slap back this year.
Christine Ballisty 14:23
No, no, we love it. Yeah.
And then you mentioned some bots, can you you. Can you mention some of the particular bots you use? or? Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 14:33
definitely. So I don't know if you've heard of if then this or that. And so I've set up a bot that chimes in at the end of the month, every month to remind everyone to make sure all their time logging is up to date. So that we can do invoicing, I have a bot set up for trial. Oh, so when certain activities happen on cards, we get a bot that chimes in and slack to let us know. So for if a client comments on a card, we get a little notification and slack so we don't need to leave trial open all the time. I also have box set up for some levity in the office announcing birthdays and anniversaries and vacation time so people know what's going on in our office and can kind of spread somewhere I'll listen happy birthdays and share some gift ease and some other fun emojis like that. So those are some of the box that we use.
Now, you mentioned morale that it Do you feel as part of your role and a secret hat that you have?
Christine Ballisty 15:35
Yes, that's definitely one of those keys to success. Having fun. It might be, you know, something that that's considered an afterthought. But for us, it's very important to inject some fun in the workplace. Definitely boost morale. You know, we spend so many of our waking hours here together. So having fun is really important. And we do that by setting up a quarter team events. So we'll think of a fun thing to do, like go wine tasting, or go hang out for dinner or something. We'll set up coffee dates. And we have, we all have white boards in our offices. So we draw pictures on each other's whiteboards and leave little fun notes and things like that. And we also hang out outside of work together. We're all pretty close knit. It's a very family vibe here at Blue River. And so we'll go to baseball games together, we'll hang out after we have meetings with clients, things like that. And we try to really encourage creating friendships and bonds here at the workplace
Now, you mentioned whiteboards. I'm kind of imagining that everyone has their own office with a whiteboard. Or if you have one of those bullpen. Open plan.
Christine Ballisty 16:50
Yeah, right now, we, we have a few people per office sharing. So it's kind of a nice little dorm room vibe, if you when I think of it that way. And in each office, there's a couple of white boards. And so I have to white boards in my office, for example, I think you can see one behind me. And so we'll just randomly go in each other's offices. And maybe we need to talk about a task or scope something out and pull out a pen, and just kind of start jotting and draw pictures and rate quotes from the office and other fun things like that. So it just kind of naturally happens. We don't really think about it, all of a sudden, you'll look and there's a turtle drawn on someone's whiteboard, you know, so yeah, it's just kind of built into our personalities, I think
and, and how do you do deal with you've got remotes, people developing, you know, helping out to how, how do you involve them, because they can't come for a coffee date. They can't on the whiteboard.
Christine Ballisty 17:50
Yeah, I know, that's a really good point. So we try to split up, you know, screen shares, we do daily stand ups, I do a weekly team meeting, or I make sure that everyone ones included. And again, we'll do video chats where we, you know, like what we're doing right now, and just kind of see each other space, Blue River offers a really great remote working perk. So we'll have people come out here to headquarters and leverage a budget of Blue River allocates per employee and be able to actually hang out here in person. And then sometimes we'll just say, hey, go take the day off, do what you need to do. Let's catch up on you know, Monday, or whatever. So we definitely try to include our remote team and everything that we do here. So they don't feel left out
that that is very important, because it's so easy for remote developers to just feel forgotten about. Definitely. Now, let's, let's look at some of these other keys to project management success.
I think the first one you had is practice gratitude. Which sounds unusual for a web development company.
Christine Ballisty 19:00
Yeah, definitely. Um, yeah, you know, studies have shown that if you inject gratitude and compassion into the workplace, great things will happen, not only for yourself, but for your team around you. So spreading a little gratitude and making sure that you're kind to people can really boost morale can increase productivity and get you into flow, right? That's the thing that's like the glue about all of this is finding flow and kindness in particular, is very overrated or underrated, excuse me, people don't pay attention to being kind, especially in the workplace. You think of being in the office as very transactional, I'm here I need to do my job, get my paycheck, and I'm out. But if you inject a little kindness, maybe spend some time before you dive into a task, catching up with a coworker, maybe surprise them with a coffee or go for a lunchtime walk together and just show that you care and under I'm that person and where they're coming from, you'll find that you not only create flow efficiency in the work and product profitability for the company, but you feel good as a person, and then they feel good, and you'll find that they then injects kindness back to you. It's really it's really simple, but it's really magical how it works.
That sounds really deep. I mean, it's so simple, but you know, if you think of like, but isn't there a TV show called the office, I don't think that's exactly overflowing with kind of gratitude, you know, more like grumpiness and complaining. Yeah. would be the Tony and those actually a road your ability to flow
Christine Ballisty 20:44
definitely, definitely. And that's another one of my keys to success is banishing the ego. And part of that includes that negative thinking, and that stink bug that's on your shoulder whispering in your ear, trying to inject like, you know, decrease efficiency and negative behaviors and responses to things. If you focus on your end goal and what you're here for within the organization. And understand that you're not just a cog in the machine, you're a person who's contributing in a very positive way. Soon, you'll find that your soul is the thing that's flourishing. And that ego gets pushed aside. And it's really important. It does sound a little New Agey, but it's really powerful.
Now, that sounds easy to say, to banish complaining and negative thinking, how do you actually achieve that, particularly when you're in a stressful thing in a development team, you know, client have exciting emergencies, bugs happen, you know
Christine Ballisty 21:45
totally Well, there's a couple of ways that we can handle that. One is by determining what tasks are actually priorities, reversing pressing matters. So for me, as a project manager, I work in an agency literally, everything I do is press everything I do needs to get done as soon as possible, because there's more work coming in right behind me. But it's my job to determine what's actually a priority and escalate that as necessary. So taking a step back and assessing the work around you can definitely kind of create a sense of calmness in the process. Additionally, what I found that really works for me and my team is focusing on solutions and the end goal, it's so easy to complain about a task and say, Well, I don't want to do that. But if you focus on what the end goal is, and what that shared responsibility is in the organization, you'll find that you can quickly find a solution which ends up becoming something positive in in that stressful moment, and it mitigates the stress
i i think that was a great tips. I mean, I, I think also it's asking myself, what would it take to make this task more fun? Yeah, yeah, sometimes even the most mundane kind of things can be made fun by listening to the right music, or definitely,
Christine Ballisty 23:04
I definitely don't listen to music a lot at work, especially when I'm knee deep. And writing a spec Doc, that might seem very dry and boring. I'll get these headphones in, and I'll put some electronic dance music on something kind of melodic in the background. And it just helps me get into the flow right away. It's really something Do you
have a favorite track on the album or artist you can share? Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 23:30
I really love Yeah, yeah. So I really love above and beyond. They're a UK based electronic group, their producers and artists, and they're amazing. I highly recommend you check them out. Yeah,
I have some other albums. So great.
To be best. Yeah, yeah, you
go. The other thing I do for music, I use a site called brain dot fm. And that always kind of electronic music. But it's kinda I can't quite explain it. But they play slightly different music in each year. And then inside your brain, it creates different states. And one of those states is focus, which is what I need to focus. And then instead of me having that like hamster brain that wants to check Facebook, check the email. Oh, what's happening here? Right? I can just focus on the task I have to do so. Totally. Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 24:23
that's great. I have to check that out. I love Spotify. For me. It's really great. I can put an artist and it'll play music that's similar to that artist. So that's really helpful for me, but that that site sounds great. I'll have to check it out.
Yeah, it's worth checking out. And, and I would personally for me, when I'm doing something like writing code or having to focus on things, I don't want words in the music. And it's interesting you said that was electronic music. It doesn't have a lyrics going on.
Christine Ballisty 24:53
There's some genres of EDM that have vocals which can be distracting at times. So I definitely tried to pick artists are a little more melodic. Jay tech is another example. He's from Australia. Really, really great music,
I will check him out. Thanks. I tip on that, and you
Christine Ballisty 25:14
need to have a monthly podcast. That's really great. And it's free. So I I
just want to recommend to listeners, you know, maybe that's a great discussion to have in your company on your internal Slack channel. You know what music helps you work, you know, that can be a fun thing to share. Now, the next thing you mentioned is me. I think we all know bless you were on the third key is how appropriate you're coughing because it says health is wealth. Yes,
Christine Ballisty 25:46
that was perfect. I time that for you. Perfect.
Yes. health as well. Um, so you know, when you get on a plane, and you hear the flight attendant, say, put on your own oxygen mask for assisting others. And that's very important in every facet of life. If you don't take care of yourself first, whether that's in love at the workplace, with your health, You're in no position to help other people. So making sure that you are in tip top shape is really important. And you can accomplish that in many ways by blocking time off in your calendar for you go get a massage at lunch, or maybe do some trip planning. You know, try to find something fun to do on the weekend, go get a gelato, you know, at lunch. Something that is like self care for yourself is so important. And you'll find that you feel better and you can work better. And you can interact with your colleagues and your clients better. But that's only one part of the coin. The other part of the coin is making sure that your team is taken care of to, again, going back to positivity and having relationships with your colleagues. You want to spread kindness and spread time with those colleagues to show them that you care and that you're their health is important as well. So one thing that we do here is we go on a lunchtime walk a few of us, we do a quick 20 minute loop around the office and we chat and sometimes we vent and get it all out of our system. But it works really well for us, again, all surprise my team sometimes with coffee, or I'll take the project manager on my team out for a smoothie and ask him how he's doing and just, you know, just connect on a personal level with them. And you can you find common ground between each other, you will find flow and health and productivity and your work will be so satisfying.
Yeah, I think it's very hard to stay positive and stay out of the ego if you're feeling sick. You know, yeah. And not family. So spreads. Yeah, and which is a good reason to stay home. If you're feeling sick until you feeling healthy and happy,
or at least take a nap or something.
Which makes me wonder, do you do anything with sleep, because I know a lot of people are challenged in that sleep department. Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 28:16
so I usually have a lot of trouble asleep, I tend to not be able to turn my brain off, which can be really frustrating, because if I don't have enough hours of sleep, I'm usually a mess. And so I really embraced essential oils lately, myself, I have a little diffuser next to my bed on the nightstand. And I'll put in a few drops of lavender or some other sort of relaxing blend. And it really helps calm my brain down so that I can have a restful sleep. The other thing I try to do is stay off my phone as much as I can. When I'm in bed. That's pretty difficult. I have to confess, I love playing some games on my phone before I go go to bed. But I have found that if I don't go on my phone, and I've got my little diffuser going, it just puts me into that restful sleep so much quicker. Another cool thing that I do is on my phone, I have this white noise app.
And I turn that on. And it's like the sound of like a worrying fan, or maybe the sound of submarine or an airplane sound. And it really helps kind of relax my mind and, and help me fall asleep.
Yeah, those are great tips. I mean, I I just have a rule. I don't. My phone does not enter the bedroom. Oh, just doesn't have permission.
So and if I want to I do play he sometimes I'll I don't use white noise. But you know, I'll have it. I actually bought an iPod because it doesn't have all those game. Yeah, notifications and all that stuff. But it can play any of those white white noise. Rain, right. Music I want or meditations or whatever. So that's one tip. And then I I have a tendency to read in bed, which is my life.
Oh, yeah. Well, you know, I've been so bad.
Yeah. So I made a an agreement myself. Okay. I can read on the sofa. But no reading in bed. And that when I follow that, I don't always follow it. But when I do follow it, that really helps. So um, and then my other little sleep Sleep secret is melatonin which you can just get Oh, I love middle supermarket. Yes. Yeah. And that, that helps me go to sleep quicker. And it helps me sleep deeper or not wake up in the middle of night. And then I feel great, you know, the next day. And
it's just in the vitamin section in the supermarket. So, you know,
but and so do you. Is that something that you discuss at work and help teammates with because a lot of developers have to issues with sleep? I know. So
Christine Ballisty 30:57
yeah, I have shared the whole diffuser with essential oils with some of my team. I am the only girl in my company. So no. Yeah. So they tend to find their own solutions. I think. I think they do love their video games. And for some of the guys that really does help them relax. So we're, you know, we're all different things work differently for each of us. But we do talk about, like I said, we're all friends when we hang out outside of work. So we do talk about all this kind of stuff. Yeah,
cool. Yeah. And do you think that helps the team to work better if the health is good? Oh, yeah. Better? I think me. Yeah, I mean, I want I I don't, I don't imagine you've necessarily done this. But I'm just imagining if you kind of tracked how if people self graded how healthy they were, on a scale of zero to 10, you know, and then you compared to how many bugs they created each day I wanted to, to would be correlated, you know, yeah,
Christine Ballisty 32:02
that's a really good point. Yeah, we're really fortunate at Blue River, where they promote working from home a lot, our bosses are extremely generous, and they really promote that whole work life balance thing. So if you're not feeling well, you have the total authority to stay home and work from home, you know, as long as you're online, on slack and reachable in some way you can, you don't have to be in the office. And for us, that has actually added a lot of flow for the team to be able to, you know, if I need to go heads down, I'll just stay at home. And, you know, it helps mitigate those distractions. And if I'm not feeling well, and I just want to be in my pajamas all day working, I can do that, too.
That is a great thing to have. Yeah, you know, I, I think the ability to any means if you've got responsibilities at home, like you've got a plumber coming, or your kids call, whatever the thing is, suddenly deal with that and still get a good day's work in. So plus, there's that whole commuting thing that you avoid.
So now, the next thing you you have is your, you know, seven keys stressful cold fusion teams is set and fake expectations. Tell us Yeah, why that Secretary blue?
Christine Ballisty 33:26
Yeah, obviously, you want to make sure the expectations fall in line with reality, right? So let's say you have a client that comes to you, you know, I need this new website with all these integrations and API's and it's a new design and I'm going to give you all new content, and can you do that in six weeks for me, I mean, that's just crazy, right? So setting an expectation and shaping it throughout the lifecycle of a project is super important. It reduces miscommunications and misunderstandings, it just sets, it just sets a framework of how you want to communicate with people and how those people will end up communicating with you. So for me, I find it very beneficial. When I do a weekly status quo with my clients. I send them an Evernote recap of the meeting. And they have exactly what we went over, what are those open action items, what our next steps, obviously, we will have a timeline update in there as well, sometimes a budget update, and that's kind of our glue moving forward into the next week. And for me, when I send that out, and my clients love it, and sometimes all forget to send it out or it'll be a few hours until they send it out because I'm so busy and they email me, Hey, where's the Evernote? Can I get a copy of the Evernote and it's just really funny, because I've ended up training my clients in a way to expect this. But it's a good expectation because it has set the tone, there's no misunderstandings. Everything's right there, black and white. And it's just very clear. And so for me, that works very well. I'm starting off by listening can be so powerful. You know, we're all very smart people, developers are geniuses in their own ways. They create amazing things on a daily basis. But if you take a step back and listen and process what someone is telling you, you're able to then communicate back in an effective way to them, you know, if I understand you said this, and document that and understand what the shared goal is, you can continually, you know, shape the expectation of what the relationship is going to be like. And that creates flow for everyone, even your clients. So it's really powerful.
How do you see that creating flow for your clients? Well, in a way, it goes back to how I've trained them, right. So they now know that there's an Evernote coming that has everything they need to know in it. So for them, they can take that document and use that in their work if they need to escalate it to their manager with their status updates. Hey, john, our project is on track. It's, you know, X, Y, and Z. They have this, you know, living, breathing thing that contributes to their own, you know, efficiency and productivity and it works. It really works for us.
So they, then they and you are less anxious sounds like
Christine Ballisty 36:28
totally I have seen less frantic emails coming through because they know that Evernote is coming. And it's really great for us
is great. And the reason I mentioned anxiety is because that's something that will destroy flow. If people are anxious. It's so hard to focus on our work and get in that flow state. Yeah, yeah, so the final seventh keys, choose your battles.
Christine Ballisty 36:56
Yes, about bad. So yeah, choose your battles, because they do come up, there's no avoiding a battle or a fight. But you can choose which ones you respond to. And you should always again, go back to focusing on that and goals. So for me and my team, we try to focus on that end goal. We try to find solutions, we tried to not inject emotion and, you know, stress into the things that we're trying to accomplish for our company. Of course, that's easier said than done. For example, a few years back a colleague and I were, you know, lightly arguing about providing database access for a contractor who is going to be working on this major piece of a project for us and bottom line, he needed that access. But my developer was trying to put his foot down saying, No, I'm not going to give him that that's not what we do here. And there was pretty much no way he was going to change my mind. And he got so upset, he stormed out of our office kicking the door in the process, I'm breaking the door. And it was really awkward because we were an open floor plan. And all the other guys saw what happened. And it was a little uncomfortable, but, you know, I didn't inject any emotion. I didn't argue back, I just stayed stuck with the facts and told him, Look, this is what we need to do. You need to make it happen, you know. And so by focusing on the end goal, and choosing what you're going to respond to can, of course, create flow and, you know, again, mitigates stress and all that good stuff so you need to make sure that you're aware of what's going on around you and respond accordingly
we use still talking with fellow for the next day. Oh, yeah.
Christine Ballisty 38:45
Yeah, it was a like I said it was a light arguments because, you know, we were back to normal
next favorite thing that's a light on the arguments like,
Christine Ballisty 38:56
oh, man, I don't know if we've ever had a heavy argument we've had a couple of years matches were boss had to step in and say both of you guys be quiet. But that's about the extent of it. We all for the most part, get along really well here.
And then when you say choose your battles, that kind of implies that there are some battles, you just have to let go and not.
Christine Ballisty 39:18
Yeah, definitely. I mean, again, going back to banishing that ego, right, some things are just not worth fighting over. If your UX director, for example, really wants the menu designed in this way, and you're, you're not feeling it, just let it go. He's the expert. We can see what the client thinks, let's deal with something else to bigger and more important, you know, so, yeah, sometimes you just have to let stuff go. And I like to remind myself that it's just a website. It's not anyone's rocket going up into space, you know, so it'll be okay.
That is a good way to think about it. Have some perspective, you know, yeah, totally. So, I really appreciate you sharing all about your seven keys to project management success, and how to have your cold fusion team find flow. I want to switch to some different questions now. Um, first one is, why are you proud to work with me? era and cold fusion? Yeah,
Christine Ballisty 40:22
great question. Um, mirror is a consistent and flexible application. Obviously, I have a little bias being that Blue River created Mira. So, you know, don't tell biased, but I think it's a great content management system. Our clients love it, they rave about how friendly it is, an easy it is. And so for us, it's always the foundation of whatever it is that we're building, we start with Mira and we extend it as we need to, for our clients. And because it's so powerful and flexible, it's very easy for the dev team to to do so. So for, for me, that's what I really love about it. And cool fusion in general. I mean, it's a very reliable framework. It's been around for a long time, you know, as a markup language, and our team is all very well versed in cold fusion. And so for us, it's just kind of like breathing the air. You know, that's just what we do here. We write in cold fusion, and we use Mira.
So as you probably know, some people have been under the impression that cold fusion is dying, which actually the statistics from Adobe and and other things right show is not true. But right. My question to you is, what would it take to make cold fusion even more alive this year? Yeah, that's
Christine Ballisty 41:44
a great question. I actually had the pleasure of attending a few cold fusion conferences, given that my team goes to them. And I'm able to kind of tag along sometimes, for example, I went to see if objective last year as well as the Adobe fusion summit. And it's really powerful, seeing how many people are there. And how many people love cool fusion. And in my opinion, I mean, I'm not a developer, I'm just a project manager. But seeing the visibility of cold fusion within the community is just so great. And for me, I would love to see more of that, you know, it was a little bit of a bummer to see that see if objectives taking this year off. But they're doing such a great job of promoting into the box and mirror con. And so there's this really great sense of community and I would personally love this, even more conferences pop up. I know, my team loves going to them, they learned so much. And we even have a rule that when you go to a conference, you have to come back and present what you've learned. And so it's great seeing those presentations, and, you know, seeing the passion comes through. So
I love that rule. Because not only does that share the enthusiasm and knowledge, it also helps people growing their presentation skills. So definitely,
and I noticed that mirror con you probably a half the speakers are Blue River staff. So obviously, it's working.
Christine Ballisty 43:11
Yeah. Yeah, they love presenting. Yeah,
and one of the reasons I started the CFO Live podcast was just to, like, show people how long I've and modern cold fusion can be as a language. So if anyone listening can't make it to a conference, please just listen to the podcast. least you'll learn a whole bunch of cool stuff. Yeah. If you don't get to travel to exotic locations.
Cool. Washington, DC, exotic
Sacramento? Yes. In the case of your icon, so Oh, speaking of miracle, and what are you looking forward to this year? miracle? Yeah. So
Christine Ballisty 43:50
as always, I love seeing my developers, my team doing their presentations, there's this, you know, ramp up these first couple of weeks where they're getting their presentations ready, and they want to practice so I get to hear all about it. But actually seeing them up on stage with the mic and you know, their deck up behind them. It's really exciting. Like you said, it's great professional growth, and having that visibility for our company is a wonderful thing. I love that our clients come to me or con and I get to hang out with them and see them. You know, it's really exciting that a few of my clients that have been on Mira for a long time are still coming to our conference because they just want to see what's something new that's coming out, and how can I do this, and it's just really refreshing to see people actually using the tool that we built and the applications that we've created for them. And finally, we are we have just launched a new website for our company at Blue River dot com. So we'll be showing that off and quite a few people have presentations about the website and how it was created. And so it's going to be really cool to see that and I and hopefully get some good positive feedback about our new site.
Fabulous. Well, I'll look forward to seeing that and also I'm excited that you've got two tracks on the record as the tech track and then it's also a digital experience track that
Christine Ballisty 45:18
I will be presenting at the digital experience track on Friday so it's really exciting. Well, great luck with your presentation. If people want to find you online. What are the best ways to do that? Um, yeah, so you can find me on Twitter at sea ballasts. D and I'm also on LinkedIn and if you search for Christine policy, so I love to connect with people online. And if you're interested in seeing some of my photography, I'm on Instagram as well so you can find me there
fabulous. Well, we'll put all those links together with the resources that we and tools that we mentioned during the episode in the show notes, which can be found at terror attacks website and thanks so much for coming on the CF Live podcast. Kristin.
Thank you so much. This was really fun.