Digital Project Management From A New Perspective
I’m now a digital project manager for a web agency. An entire month in my new role has not yet passed and I already feel as though I’ve been a digital project manager forever. Though, this may be a slightly shortsighted statement because I probably unknowingly have been!
There are three key things that I’m working on.
- It is my responsibility to ensure that our quality projects are delivered on time, and on budget.
- It’s my job to make sure our team and our clients are happy while working on said project.
- And finally, it’s my purpose to grow and develop our fantastic project delivery team.
My previous digital experience lay in organic search marketing and social media, therefore understanding the people and the intricate processes behind UI/UX design and website development seemed like a daunting prospect.
Fast forward one month into the job, and I now understand that becoming a digital project manager is less about decoding technical lingo and more about understanding people.
And so the purpose of this piece is to share with you my view on digital project management as I see it today, a mere 4 weeks into the job.
What makes a good digital project manager?
By nature we’re pragmatic, organised people constantly looking for better ways to be more efficient. (Read: Control freaks?) We’re also naturally curious about people and what it is that makes them tick. After all, being a digital project manager is a completely humanistic role whether you’re communicating with the people in your team or the people of whom you’re delivering a product to — in my case it’s a website or marketing services.
Digital Project Management in a web agency
Speaking in layman’s terms, I was the missing cog in the machine that was functioning… but needed someone to oil it in order for it to work at its best. In this situation, see me as a bottle of WD40.
Over the last month, I have been gathering information from the team on what would make their jobs (and lives) easier. Off the back of that research, we’ve introduced daily morning scrums and a nifty (Yorkshire slang for ‘cool’) project management tool for making tickets and tasks dynamic, as well as improving communication. We’ve done SO MUCH, in such a short space of time and the reception has been great.
Working collaboratively is key…
But it wasn’t just down to me, I worked closely with the heads of departments and business directors, as well as calling upon all of the skills and experiences I had learned in both my marketing career and my personal life. As a collective, we started to implement positive new processes which would ultimately help the team to run like the well-lubricated machine they wanted to be. (More on the specific innovation we’ve achieved in another article, coming soon).
At such an early stage in the inception of the digital delivery team as it stands today (as well as my DPM career) I won’t pretend that I know every single facet of the job, but as I progress day by day, I recognise that the digital project manager is the leader, facilitator and advocate for the projects, team and business. There are a lot of plates to spin and a lot of moving parts to understand.
Many people wrongly assume that the project manager is a note-taker, a glorified PA, someone who is a little too post-it note happy. Luckily, at this agency, I didn’t need to sell my worth, the fantastic team already knew the need and the benefit of a good DPM within the business. Which brings me onto my last reflection, without the open-minded, realistic and fair team around me, there is no way I’d be able to do my job effectively (or enjoyably). It really is all about people!
I love to look back in retrospect so it’ll be interesting to revisit this article in 6 months time, to see just how far we’ve come…and where we’re still heading from a digital delivery point of view. But for now, cheers to the journey!