A Day In The Life Of A Digital Project Manager

So just what exactly is digital project management? At its very core, It’s a streamlined process of managing online web development projects from the initial starting concept to completion, making sure the website is delivered within budget and utilising a team of resources – aka, web developers/engineers and UX designers in the main in the case of a digital agency such as Brave. It involves a focus on planning, delegating, tracking, reviewing, and measuring results, using a varied combination of project management software. The key objective of every project is different, but the overarching aim is to grow the business and see valuable ROI from the web build project. At Brave, the types of projects can range from website design and building to bespoke integrations and software development.

We asked Louise here at Brave to talk through a typical day in the life of a digital project manager…

I’m one of the Digital Project Managers at Brave Agency and sometimes it can be complicated to explain exactly what I do here. Due to the variety of tasks that I face every day and the types of projects that we as a predominantly eCommerce agency get involved in. Before I started here, I had no idea how many moving parts it typically takes to build websites, especially eCommerce ones. What I have now realised though is that speaking to some of the developers, most of them tell me we do it better here, we have great processes and protocols which makes it easier for them to focus on what they do best, which is the coding and web building. I do still find it difficult to find the right words to explain my role to family and friends.

To be a PM you have to be organised, efficient, methodical, a people person, a mediator, be able to explain things clearly to clients and colleagues, have a great memory and above all, be able to multi-task!.

I have to be extremely organised, and efficient, know how to prioritise my workload, be an effective communicator, have excellent time management skills and be able to multitask.

My role here at Brave as a Digital Project Manager involves working closely with our Technical Director and web development team to make sure they have all the information they need on a project to deliver a high standard of work.

Being a digital Project Manager there isn’t really such a thing as a ‘typical day’, every day is very different and I have a number of projects that I manage at the moment, so my day-to-day tasks will depend on where my project lifecycles are at however to give you an example of how a day may look….

 

Agency project manager

9:00 am:

My To-Do list is already done from the night before so I can remind myself of what needs to be done that day, with the most important tasks being at the top of the list! I will then check my emails to see if anything else needs adding or removing.

9:15 am:

We have the Development Team Daily Briefing to go through what’s in the schedule for the team and to catch up on progress from the day before. These short meetings are also a great way to bounce ideas off one another, particularly if a member of the team has come across something that might be a bit tricky! Or simply taking longer than anticipated.

9:30 am:

Next, I will most likely have an Internal Project Review meeting with the relevant developer to discuss a detailed update on how the project is progressing and might need to be addressed. The developer on the project will present the work that has been done since our last weekly meeting, the Technical Director is also present to assist me on most of these calls with making sure the nitty-gritty technical requirements are still continuing on the right path and as he says there are “no trickies”. I will then connect with the client and arrange a Progress Review meeting. My team and I always aim to give our clients regular updates that suit their busy schedules – this ensures that our clients are as happy and “in the loop” as possible.

10:30 am:

I then may have a Progress Review meeting with a client for another project. This is where we will recap what was discussed in the last meeting, present the progress to them and then inform them on what our next focus is. Open and transparent communication with our clients is at the heart of every project at Brave, it is vital and invaluable to the smooth running of a digital project. I will draft an email after the meeting summarising any important points and send them the up to date plan showing our progress and what is next. This ensures both sides have an audit trail and the client has the opportunity to check if we’re all on the same page.

11:30 am:

I’ll double-check that all the developers that are working on my projects have everything they need from me, whether that’s information from a client or an update from someone else on the team, the UX UI designers or the digital marketing department. I will make sure that we are still on track with scheduled work for the day and run through this with them.

12:15 pm:

Back to emails, responding to clients’ questions and queries. Because I have a number of projects running all at various stages of the project cycle I get a variety of emails and tickets on our support system too which can get extremely busy as you can imagine.

1:00 pm:

Lunchtime!

2:00 pm:

Project Admin. We use a cloud-based software called Teamwork internally, I make sure that the Project Boards are up to date, Gantt charts are created and updated, making sure that Teamwork is just generally nice and tidy. I will also make sure the Project Forecast is up to date and ensure any project documentation is filed correctly. These are only some of the admin tasks, the list is endless and would probably take another 500 words to elaborate in more detail!

4:00 pm:

On certain regular days each week, we also have a management meeting where all departments (Marketing, Design, Development and Projects) come together to discuss where each department is at. Each department will be involved in a project at some point to integrate a wide variety of pieces of work, each making a web project complete. These can contain; Technical SEO, Google Adwords, Content Marketing, UX UI Design, Advertising, email marketing, API integration, you name it, the list is endless! So from a project’s perspective, it is really important to have these meetings to make sure we are all aligned on each project.

5:00 pm:

Final check of emails and to check in with the developers to see how their day has gone.

5:30 pm:

Time to write up my To-Do list for tomorrow! This helps me to catch any tasks that popped up during the day and haven’t been completed yet, this also helps me wind down from work mode.

My Conclusion:

I do enjoy my role here as a digital project manager, I really enjoy working with developers, and the other sides of the business, working with the designers and marketers too. It’s a really diverse role and I get to work alongside a great bunch of people who each know their specialisms. It’s also an amazing feeling being a lynchpin between the dev team and the client, managing the variety of needs and expectations of each.

I’ve learned so much in a short amount of time and every day I learn something new about the digital world I work in. I totally underestimated what happens behind the scenes of an eCommerce website – I’ve always taken it for granted, but never again!

Louise McGuirke

Digital Project Manager – Brave Agency

Project manager for digital agency

Written byJamie Flett

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