E168: Masterful project management and how to avoid scope creep with Ben Aston

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Ben Aston is a digital project manager and online entrepreneur. He’s the founder of Black and White Zebra, a media company on a mission to help people and organizations succeed. He’s also the founder of the largest and fastest-growing community of digital project managers called TheDigitalProjectManager.com, with over 500,000 visits per month and 4,000 members. He has more than 15 years of project management leadership experience. 

Episode highlights:

  • What makes a great project manager.
  • Skills you must develop to be a successful project manager.
  • On those two dreaded words…scope creep. What you should do in the midst of it, and how to avoid it.
  • Project management tools—picking them, trying them, and how they’re different.
  • How Ben’s path led him to where he is today.
  • Best advice ever received: Don’t worry about what other people think.
  • Habit that contributes to success: Being relentless and an initiator.
  • Recommended tools: BigMarker for webinars
  • Recommended book: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
  • Run time: 28:20



  • “Fundamentally I think it’s about really good communication.”
  • “It begins with understanding the project lifecycle.”
  • “It’s never too late to clarify.”
  • “We train our clients that it’s ok to change your mind about things.”
  • “Project management tools can look like a silver bullet.”
  • “It was kind of sucking the life out of me.”
  • “We could become better people at managing digital projects together.”


  • Strategic upfront work sets you up for success in a project.
  • Remember that every time you respond to a client you’re training them and setting expectations.