The importance of a Digital Project Manager within a development agency
At Elemental we take digital and development projects extremely seriously. We strive to ensure that each project is successfully planned, managed and executed in accordance with the scope of work and expectations of the client.
The role of a digital project manager is crucial to ensure this happens consistently for each and every project. A digital project manager is essentially the link between the client, the production / design and development team; and is forever present and involved in all aspects of these projects.
Before any project commences the project manager needs to fully understand the scope and specifications of the project. With this understanding they are able to allocate the appropriate resources to the project, whether it be designers, front-end or backend developers. This is obviously dependent on the type of project, the technology and the skillsets required.
Items such as content, assets, connection details and account settings are obtained prior to project kick off. All environments are setup, which include but not limited to staging and live servers, databases, GIT repos, project management tools.
Planning of the project is the next step whereby sprints and milestones are created and essentially the project is broken up into minor deliverables.
A kick off meeting takes place with the entire project team to walk them through the scope of work, expectations, milestones, time allocated to their tasks, deliverables and functionalities. The outcome is that each team member is aware of their tasks at hand and are clear on what is expected of them.
⢟ DURING THE PROJECT
During the project, the project manager’s involvement is to manage the progress of deliverables and ensures that these are in accordance with the planned milestones.
A key factor in digital projects is the measurement of time required to complete a task versus the actual time spent. As the project progresses, the measurement and analysis of these two timing variables constantly ensure that the project is on track and within the allocated hours.
Quality Assurance (QA) is a critical element and an integral part of the project, it is completed at key milestones throughout projects and feedback provided to the project team. Once QA is approved we then release to the client for review, do further testing and provide feedback. Once all milestones are completed, final QA takes place on the project, last updates are done and the latest release is sent to the client to test on the staging environment.
Should any issues or unforeseen items arise during the project, it is the duty of the project manager to deal with these swiftly to ensure a minimal impact on the project’s overall success and delivery.
If scope creep occurs during the project, either by way of client request or additional work needed to be done, necessary steps are taken to address this with the client. Depending on the scope of task, severity and volume of work, this will either be treated as a separate project and dealt with after the current project or it will be accommodated, with timings, deliverables being shifted if necessary.
When final approval is received from the client, the project then goes live which involves configuration and testing on the live environment.
Before or during the production phase of the project the necessary support and maintenance processes and systems are put in place to ensure that the necessary means are there to support the project once live.
Constant communication between the project manager and the client are part and parcel of each project to keep the client informed and involved where and when necessary to obtain client input. This allows the client to be aware of the status of the project at any given time and also to rest assured that the project is being managed effectively which ultimately results in the project being done within scope and delivered within deadline to the client’s expectations.
Close management of the design and development team ensure that possible issues are identified and dealt with urgently, it also results in the project staying on track and that milestones are delivered as per the planned sprint intervals. QA is vital to ensure that functionality, performance; look and feel is maintained throughout and delivers according to the project scope.
Ultimately the implementation of this key role ensures that projects are a success, that clients are informed throughout the process and enjoy a pleasant experience.
If you are serious about a digital project and looking for the successful delivery and pleasant customer experience, look no further, as we’ve been key in managing and delivering multiple successful projects for clients around the world, which to this day we continue to support and maintain.