Let’s face it—there is no one-size-fits-all label when it comes to defining the golden ticket of project management philosophies for every digital agency on the planet.
Every agency is comprised of different people who often come from very, very different backgrounds. What works for the boutique digital agency tucked away in Portland might not necessarily align with what it takes to keep projects on track for that colossal agency with 250 staff members in Shanghai.
Though it’s not always easy to define what’s right for every agency where project management is concerned—it is, however, easier to define what is not (for the most part).
A prominent mistake various digital agencies often make is having production team members responsible for performing common managerial tasks rather than remaining focused on what they do best—producing solid designs and crafting wicked code. It takes an immense amount of concentration to delve deep, locate and solve a complex code issue or finely-craft a responsive homepage design with subtle parallax effects. Nothing destroys dedication, interrupts creative process and puts out passion for web designers and developers more than having to deal with web-project issues outside of their functioning roles.
Before you miss a deadline, keep these ideas in mind:
Another commonly forgotten project management must-have is having the ability to communicate to everyone involved on a web project both professionally and effectively. Yes, project managers should know how to speak with designers and developers knowledgeably and on their skill level, but they should also be able to speak along similar lines with prospective clients in addition to existing clients. Communication with each party will differ and you’ll often have to adapt the language, tone and subject matter accordingly.
Realistically, each staff member has their own way of communicating with the rest of the agency and project managers should adapt their communication philosophy accordingly:
Another important quality that various project managers tend to lack is hands-on experience dealing with design and development. It may have not been your major or you might not particularly love it, but knowing a little more than the average person when it comes to these areas can go a long way. As a web project manager your duty is to be the ultimate multi-tasking organizer and time tracker for a multitude of projects.
For example, in Google Chrome, one can right click a certain portion of a site and navigate to "inspect element" to bring up its code. From here, you can view all of the styling attached to that particular element and manipulate it for testing. If you’re able to determine which style is disrupting that exact portion of the site before handing the issue off to the designer—you can save the project and your design team valuable time.
Though project management philosophies will differ agency to agency, it helps to at least have an idea of what actions may not equate to a productive use of time when it comes to keeping web projects on time, task and budget.
Project Manager at Station Four