Being a project manager is no easy task. It’s akin to conducting an orchestra: you have to ensure that all elements of the project work well together. You’re responsible for organizing your teammates, gathering the appropriate assets, managing client expectations (if it’s an external project) and handling any road bumps the project faces.
Clearly Define the Role of Project Manager
When designating a person to a project it must be clear exactly which tasks they manage. Do they need to relay information about client billing or will that stay with accounting? Will they manage upsells or changes to the retainer or does that stay with the client strategist? These questions should be answered before any project manager leads a project and should be housed in a document. This information should also be communicated with the client so there isn’t any confusion.
Have a Strategy For Onboarding Projects
Why reinvent the wheel every time you start a new project? Rather, have a clear process in place. It’s likely that there are similar elements that are needed for each project you do, so create a list of what needs to be completed before a project begins. For example:
-Collect all necessary assets (design templates, branding guides, logos, etc) from clients or teammates
-Create a timeline that details the manner in which the project will be completed
-Collect all login information for digital marketing channels, websites, etc
-Create a detailed list that includes the names of everyone involved in the project and their contact information
-Ensure that you have a place to house all assets so they can be easily found (DropBox, Google Drive, etc)
Checklists like these are invaluable!
Communicate Efficiently with All Members of a Project
In this age of email communication, this is often the hardest part of project management: intentions get misconstrued, information gets lost and people get frustrated. Being a project manager isn’t just about the ability to actually do the work at hand, it’s about being able to organize the moving parts – you have to know how to herd those cats! Make sure everyone on the project has the information they need and that they’re aware of the timeline. Additionally, have a clear process in place for communication with the client/customer. For example, each teammate can email the client directly with questions or updates related to their part of the campaign, but if the client has questions, they can simply send it to the project manager who will then filter the questions to the appropriate team member(s).
Project Managers Should Hone the Following Skills
Project managers need a number of skills that may not come naturally to everyone. It’s important that project managers are able to sift quickly through information to determine the priority of tasks. Project managers also need to be able to skillfully delegate without bossing everyone around (because an unhappy team doesn’t work well together). Perhaps the biggest trait a project manager should work on developing is confidence. It takes confidence to let a client or customer know that a project needs to be delayed or to push back when unrealistic expectations are expressed.
Learn More About This Topic
We discussed this topic during our #OrganikChat on May 21. The discussion featured insight from digital marketing pros, consultants, students and more! Read the transcript here and join us every week for #OrganikChat, Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. PT. Tweet to the hashtag #OrganikChat and follow @SamHosenkamp, @Nicole_Barbato and @OrganikSEO for questions.
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