With The Upsurge of Digital Marketing Projects, Effective Management Becomes the First Port of Call.
Do you think managing the expectations of both clients and stakeholders is easy? Probably not! Sometimes I wonder if there could be a PM watching over my shoulder as I work to get through the day with my ongoing digital projects in one piece. Stakes are incredibly high, and there needs a lot of work to be done.
Table of Contents
Focus on Your Main Duties
Develop the Right Skills
Set Clear Expectations
Let Your Voice be Heard
Adhere to All Predetermined Deadlines
Give Power to Your Team
Be Accepting of Your Successes and Failures
Communicate With Your Team
Pull Your Client a Bit Closer
In the present scenario managing production processes, sales performance strategy, and communication logistics takes vision and skill. Now, I have recently come across this term Digital Project management that seems to have been thrown around; but have you ever wondered what exactly is it?
If simply put, it's making stuff happen in the digital world. The term digital can be understood in quite a broad scenario. Regarding digital project management, it is way beyond planning, organizing and motivating of resources and procedures to deliver a project. Delivering online involves pixels, megabytes, data; basically, it's all about delivering everything in context with the web from websites to mobile apps, video to games, e-commerce, social media campaigns, and the list goes on.
However, being a digital project manager requires a unique skill set. He or she must be able to:
- Understand things from a strategic perspective
- What technology could be used?
- How will things work?
- How can it be delivered?
So, isn't digital project management just the same as any other IT project management? No! Further below I would like to mention certain pointers emphasizing what it means to be a digital project manager. Also, I would like to propose certain tips to think of when it comes to creating an effective digital project management project.
As a digital project manager whether the project you are working on is related to web, mobile, videos, games, events, content, e-commerce, social media, advertising, search engine optimization, you have to get things done in a pre-determined time.
But, a good digital Project Manager isn't just good at organizing or working wonders as a delegator of tasks or even an expert in strategic thinking who tends to make the hard calls. No, a good digital Project Manager is capable of more than that. Therefore, as a DPM you must never forget your general duties, which include:
- Draft meeting agendas and meeting notes
- Assign and schedule project tasks
- Schedule & lead project meetings
- Lead and direct project team members
- Prepare and monitor project schedules and budgets
- Manage project scope
- QA all project deliverables
- Contribute to client proposals & quotes
- Build project reports
- Assess and evaluate project success
Experience and collaboration are the two ways through which most of the skills of a project manager are acquired. Skills such as time management, resource management, planning, organizing, delegating are required in almost every role of management. However, there are a plethora of books and considerable resources available on the web. As a DPM it is essential to develop skills that are not only required but ones that will help you become great at your job. Therefore, I propose to focus on the development of skills that you need.
- Copywriting and editing
- Negotiation Skills
- Reporting & Analytics
- SEO know-how
- Attention to detail
- Flexibility & Adaptability
- Presentation skills
- Tech & Marketing Lingo
Everyone wants to get the most of their investments, and your clients are no exception. There might be times when their goals may turn out to be too ambitious. Being a project manager, one must require to set clear expectations upfront. There are times when you might feel the temptation to over-promise to keep everyone happy. However, there's nothing worse for a client than expectations not being met. Remember, you are the expert! So try keeping achievable goals and agree on them with your client beforehand.
No two clients are the same – some might be having a clearer picture of what they'd like you to do for them whereas for others they just expect you to solve their problems. In my experience, the first group seems quite easy to work with, while the second one seems to be much more complicated. Some clients carry certain perceptions about what "worked in the past" and expect you to do the same. All I am saying is to not be afraid to say "NO" if demands are unreasonable. Initially, they may not agree, so what you can do is stick to their initial plan. But fret not, keeping your thought in front of them will show them that you have initiative and, in cases when their plan does not prove fruitful in the end, they can revert to yours.
Managing a digital project involves running in an integrated amount of time and tasks. Set up clear goals for each of them and assigning very specific tasks for each person with clear delivery deadlines. And since many of the tasks depend on one another being previously completed as a foundation for it. This also means you and your team must stick to those deadlines or delays will start accumulating which will result in targets not being met. To evade such happenings, all you need to do is to follow up on those deadlines daily and spot any hold-ups before there a problem arises.
One of the key differentiators is to bring out the best in each team member and to do that you will need to empower them to make their own decisions and give their input on all aspects of the project. Make them feel confident, and the flow of good ideas is bound to follow. Of course, it doesn't mean your team should be exercising their free will on the project, or the whole thing will collapse due to lack of cohesion, but rather that by giving each of them the trust they deserve, they will be able to contribute to improving the final result.
In addition to this, "Transparency is the Key", so be honest with your clientele no matter what! You have to show clients always know where their budget is going and that they get the best bang for their buck – if you and your team deliver results, they will invest in you.
As humans, we always love to be right and hit the nail right on the head, but there are times when things can go wrong and not according to plan.
Let's face it; the world is full of surprises - don't you think?
So, as a digital project manager, one should know how to embrace both the successes and failures and learn from them. At the end of every project you manage, make a point of discussing with your team about what worked and what didn't. Do this regularly, and never repeat the same mistake.
Another common yet interesting point is that as a PM you need to address and ensure that everyone has as much information as possible at the beginning of a project, that both the team and client's objectives are aligned and that everyone is on the same page. If we take a close look at the ever-evolving digital landscape, it seems things can change in an instant, rendering previous plans useless and creating the need for a quick response to stay on track.
In addition to this, you need to ensure that your team communicates with you and between themselves regularly and that all of them are up to date with what's happening on the client-side.
Have you thought about hugging your client? Well, you don't need to be physical to that extent. But you can pull them a bit closer by showcasing how you prefer working on your ongoing projects. Consider them as a team member and not just offer them "we-collaborate-with-our-client-verbal service". By doing this, you will be able to provide open communication, joint decision making, mutual concern and so forth. After all, success has to be two-ways, right!
Choose the Right Software
Do you think that project management has to be a complicated thing? Probably not, especially when you have a variety of apps designed to make these procedures a whole lot simpler. With top-notch project management tools, professionals can keep everyone productive- regardless of where they roam.
WorkflowMax- Mainly used in industries like including marketing, architecture, construction, engineering, consulting, and tech, the tool must be taken into account due to its best feature-rich, scalable project management and job management solution. The tool offers all-in-one-cloud –based job management from lead generation to quotes, time-tracking, and invoicing.
Wrike- This robust online project management and task collaboration tool help companies of all sizes improve communication, transparency, and accountability for faster results. It comprises several features including budget management, bug tracking, collaboration, file sharing, Gantt charts, issue management, milestone tracking, percent-complete tracking, portfolio management, project planning, resource management, status tracking, task management, and time and expense tracking.
Trello- Mainly available on Android, IOS, MacOS, Windows and web platforms, the tool highly accommodates individuals as well as small and medium-sized businesses. It also comprises of drag and drop interface which consists of agile project management, budgeting, collaboration, customization, issue tracking, learning and support training, notifications, task management, and traditional project management functionality.
In the end, it is up to you and your efforts. I hope that you now know where to precisely stake your digital flag.