February 1, 2018

What To Expect from Your Project Manager

How to plan your next website

The role of a Project Manager (PM) varies widely between organizations, industries, and budgets. Even if you’ve worked with a PM before, it’s likely that your next experience will be different. The Project Management role extends far beyond scheduling and reminding people to get things done. Knowing what to expect – and how to collaborate with your PM – best sets your team and your new project on the path to success.

A Guide
Project Managers not only hold the map – we chart the course. We create the project cadence, timeline, and process (in collaboration with our team members and you, the client). With complex and creative projects, it’s not always immediately clear what’s happening, when, or why.

Project Managers are there to illuminate and demystify the process, timing, and anything else you need to know. Your PM is there to tell you what just happened, how it impacts the here and now, and what it will mean moving forward, ensuring that you know what to expect from the team.

Bumps in the road can be inevitable. When they arise, your Project Manager is there to assess the best way to overcome obstacles. Often, this comes in the form of identifying possible next steps, scenarios, and illustrating the tradeoffs between them to your team, enabling you to make the best decision towards achieving your goals.

A Translator
Unfamiliar with writing meta tags? Don’t have Aaker’s Five Dimensions of Brand Personality memorized by heart? Ask your Project Manager; we include time in our projects for client education. We not only translate the seemingly technical or obscure, but illustrate why certain frameworks and tools are in the best interest of your website, brand, or marketing plan.

The Project Manager’s strongest weapon is communication – it’s how we get things done. When working on creative projects (which are by nature subjective), providing feedback on deliverables like logos can be challenging without experience in branding and design language.

For instance, if you, as the client, say that you’d like to see the logo become bolder – do you mean that you’d like a bolder color palette? A heavier mark? Something daring and unusual for your industry? Your PM will work closely with you and our Creative Director to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation, resulting in close collaboration, actionable feedback, and beautiful design aligned with your organization’s goals.

An Advocate and Advisor
Your Project Manager is the member of the Push10 team that will be with you from project inception to completion; suffice to say, we’ll get to know each other pretty well. We’ve also worked on a huge variety of projects, have experienced the common pitfalls and bottlenecks, and engage in best practices on how to avoid them. Along the way, we’ll share our knowledge with you and collaborate directly on the best ways to avoid drawbacks and delays while keeping your goals alive and achievable.

This goes for the Push10 team as well; we’ll collaborate with our strategists, designers, and developers to make sure that the scoped deliverables arrive on time and within your budget, and that your voice and goals are always present, even in internal meetings.

Advice from a PM
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – no matter your knowledge level. No question is too small or too large when it comes to your understanding of the project.
If your company is somewhat (or very) entrenched in marketing or tech, asking questions is still just as important; our teams may use different language for the same concept, or the same language for different concepts. Asking questions and unearthing assumptions is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

If you’re new to creative or technical projects, asking questions is the first step on the road to understanding. Sometimes clients can feel intimidated by branding frameworks or technical specs that aren’t immediately intuitive. And that’s ok – remember that we at Push10 work with all sorts of clients, and at the end of the day, we’re here for you.

In Conclusion
Our unique process has been specifically designed to make things as smooth as possible for our clients and our team. Get in touch to see how we can help tackle your challenges.