You know that a website or social media project needs skilled hands and heads to get the job done, but don’t forget the supporting shoulder that helps everyone reach the finish line! That would be the project manager, whose job it is to translate between client and creator, manage meetings, and make sure all the boxes get checked on the way to a beautiful website or an effective social media run.
While there are several flavors of project management for different industries, we’re going to discuss what a project manager at this particular outfit does to keep the Upswept engine running.
Start with Digital Matchmaking
At Upswept, the project manager’s work begins before a contract is signed, with evaluating inquiries that come in from our customer maybe-matches. It requires preparing questions and notes for consultations that help determine whether what the customer has in mind is a project that we can slam-dunk. When everyone can say, “Yes, absolutely!” the next step is to put together a proposal that lists out exactly what the customer will get out of the project, what the process will look like, the estimated timeline, and the price. Once everyone signs off, we’re clear for take-off!
Gather the Necessities
You can’t deliver awesome results if you don’t have the tools or components. That means collecting information that will give our craftspeople the strongest start—passwords, relevant links, visual assets, and bits of inspiration. At Upswept, we have a Client Portal that gives clients a single place to fill out Discovery forms, drop files in shared Google Folders, provide passwords, and schedule face-time with us. It’s the project manager’s responsibility that this portal is easy to use and that all the information that’s entered in it gets back to the people who can act on it.
Plot the Steps
For the creative folks who are about to make digital dreams come true, a systematized approach avoids time-wasting confusion. We have internal project management software that comes with a series of task lists for each of our projects—the client onboarding process, the discovery process, roadmap creation and delivery, website builds, the works! It’s the project manager’s job to set up that series of steps that lead from beginning to end, assign dates, and update with relevant information as it comes.
Keep Things Clean and Clear
There’s nothing like dead air to kill a creative project. It’s the project manager’s job to make sure questions get to the people who can answer them, and check in frequently until they get answered. This is where an organized approach to email becomes a must to maintain one’s grasp on the timeline. You can read more about this in one of my earlier blog posts about the Email Processing Ecosystem.
Tie It Up in a Beautiful Bow
When a project comes to an end, it’s no time to leave clients hanging! The project manager is responsible for reviewing everything that has been done and making sure the client has suggested next steps to use their new website or continue on with a successful social media presence. They also document the process internally, analyzing what happened over the course of the project and what can be done better in the future.
A good project manager must be proactive while keeping an eye on the details as well as how those details come together to create a bigger picture. Most of all, they’re responsible for ensuring everyone is moving in the same direction and reaching a destination that’s satisfying for both the client and their team. So if you’re feeling lost, reach out to your friendly project manager with your questions. It’s literally what they’re there for.