We know digital marketing well. We started our careers in digital marketing, we’ve run digital marketing teams, we’ve been project managers, strategists and designers and now we recruit digital marketing talent for companies. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned over our 15+ years of experience, it’s that digital project management is tricky.
The combination of technology AND marketing is what makes it tricky. And to top that off, every company and agency defines digital project management and its processes differently.
Digital project management is…
Project managers are the glue that holds the projects and teams together. Project managers have to earn the trust of their teams. Project managers have to know what makes each team member tick. And project managers have to motivate their teams.
That description alone applies to any project manager. Here’s what sets digital project managers apart.
Digital project managers sit between the designers and the developers for digital projects. They coordinate the day-to-day of each and every project ensuring resources on the team are completing their assigned tasks on time and on budget. They recognize the risk for each task and they are able to adjust and flex accordingly when the plan goes off course.
“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”Unknown
This is the daily life of a digital project manager! It’s quick moving with frequent changes. You can’t get too comfortable because something is bound to change and being flexible is a requirement to problem solve and reach your ultimate goals. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart! Good digital project managers know how to reassess a situation and quickly get a plan back on track.
Digital project managers are a good mix of right brained and left brained. They understand the needs of the creative team and technical team enough to communicate needs with developers, designers and clients. They spec out and assign budgets and timelines to new projects. Projects can be large and complex and they are typically marketing focused ranging from website redesigns to social media, mobile, email, paid search/SEO and more.
Digital Project Management is not…
Digital project managers don’t own strategy or IT. They are more focused on the details and how to get from point A to point B. Since digital project management is more focused on marketing projects, they aren’t doing large-scale enterprise-level projects or system implementations.
Digital project managers are less technical in nature and their processes are not as rigid. They don’t have SCRUM certifications and only sometimes have PMP certifications. Their processes are less rigid than IT project managers. Digital projects are shorter in length than their IT counterparts. IT project managers may manage projects that last for a year or more.
The gray area
Every company and agency is different. Some companies have hybrid project managers where the project manager does strategy, account management and project management or some combination of those three. But generally, a digital project manager’s main responsibility is ensuring all digital projects are completed on time and on budget. And as always, there are exceptions to every rule based on the needs of the team and the organization.
If you are considering a job in digital project management or if you are trying to determine how your team should utilize digital project management as a way to keep projects running more smoothly, let us know. We can help you determine how a digital project manager fits in your team structure and how your processes should be defined to ensure digital project management success. Contact us to get started!