Brad Curtright, IT Project Manager

Thanks for joining us on WhatcomWorkflow, Brad! Tell us about your IT Project Management work.

I recently launched a project management consulting company called NW Project Management to help businesses and individuals learn how to manage projects and make project management a part of their culture.

How long have you been doing what you’re doing?

15+ years managing marketing and IT projects.

What’s a unique word or phrase that describes how you work?

Get things done.

As a 21st century IT Project Manager, how have you observed businesses and individuals changing since the Millennium?

15 years ago, a small business didn’t really need a website. Today, if you have a business it is expected you have a website. The mass adoption of social media has had a major impact on businesses. Small businesses are still trying to understand how to leverage social media. Social media takes time to figure out what works and what doesn’t for you business. The “cloud” movement and how you purchase software is also very different’ Graphic designers would purchase the Adobe creative applications and not upgrade for 4 or years – even longer. Today, you have a subscription to the products. So what once was an expense every 4-5 years has become a monthly expense. 

What trends or directions do you see businesses heading towards as we approach the year 2020?

I see small businesses really getting behind technology and using technology to conduct business.  For example, data analytics and business intelligence was once only something larger companies would do but I see many smaller companies beginning to leverage this technology. The technology and tools will become less expensive and more available to all businesses. Machine learning is also something that will impact how businesses operate. I am interested to see how AI and VR impact business in the next next 5 years.

Well said! Now let’s get down to business. Tell us about your desktop computer.

I do have a desktop but that is primarily only used for my freelance photography. It is an aging Dell computer that needs to be replaced.

What software applications do you use to get your work done and why?

I use several software solutions for project management including Asana, Smartsheet, Microsoft Project and Project Server, SharePoint, Insightly (CRM) and Wrike and Harvest. I personally use Asana and Harvest for the majority of my project management needs but the others are used due to needing to understand and be able to introduce my clients to the right tool for their business. Other tools I use are Adobe CS, Microsoft Office suite of products including Word, Outlook, Excel, OneNote – I absolutely love OneNote.

What mobile phone and/or tablet do you own?

iPhone, iPad, Surface.

What apps on your phone can’t you live without?

Asana and Harvest – they are my project management apps that allow me to capture time against a task and manage work. I really like Insightly and am beginning to rely heavily on that for lead and opportunity tracking.

Pop quiz: Describe your dream workspace and technology. No budget limitations. Sky is the limit!

Wow… I have no idea where to begin. I am pretty simple especially since I work onsite mostly. I would love to get my hands on the Surface Hub and have that around the office. The office would have a nice view of the water and would include collaboration ready meeting spaces. If I had the space, I would probably have a photo studio onsite to support my photography work.

Where is your favorite place to get work done in Whatcom County?

Any coffee shop around town or at my client’s office. I love working onsite.

Where do you go to relax in Whatcom County?

I like to go on walks with the family – around Lake Padden, Chuckanut Bay, etc.

What are some struggles you currently face with your technology?

Finding software that integrates with other solutions can be difficult. Some great products only integrate with a handful of other products – maybe not the one you use. The other issue is that while technology allows us to work smarter and efficient, also makes it hard to disconnect as it is always at our finger tips.

What is your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

For me, it is all about priority. I recently read that if you ask someone what their top priorities are and then compare what they say to the actual work they are doing, the lists often do not align. By working on a Task A over Task B, you are making Task A the higher priority. Select the two or three tasks that are going to make the biggest difference and work on focus on those – make those tasks/projects your priority. If it is a priority, it should be getting your attention.

Besides your phone and computer, what else (analog or digital) can’t you live without?

My family but in terms of technology I have to go with my DSLR. I love photography and the photography process.

What are you the best in the world at? Something that no one can take your crown away from you?

I am really good at helping small businesses leverage technology to run their business.

What artists do you listen to while working, and what music source do you use?

I probably should listen to music while I work more often but tend not too. If I did, I like anything form classic rock to modern rock. I have used Pandora and Spotify.

What books or magazines are you currently reading?

PMBOK, Digital Photo Pro.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Plan for several possible futures” – You don’t know what the future holds so position yourself to be agile so when the future arrives, you are ready to tackle it.

Fill in the blank: I think ____________ should be a featured professional on Whatcom Workflow.

Chuckanut Bay Distillery

Thank for a great in-depth look into your work, Brad! You can learn more about Brad Curtright’s work at NWProjectManagement.com, Twitter, or on Facebook


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