To be a successful digital project manager typically requires a mix of marketing and account management skills. You also need an ability to think on your feet, pay attention to details, and interact productively with others to fulfill the role, along with the ability to think long term and act strategically to bring projects to fruition.
A digital project manager (DPM) is tasked with making sure things get done in the digital world. He or she may work on one or multiple projects and is assigned the objective of making sure everything is finished on time and fits the bill quality-wise. The role generally involves managing the efforts of a variety of team members and making sure redundancy of effort is avoided and the project’s end result meets all required output specifications. A DPM takes the digital input associated with a project and refines it into discrete tasks for each team member to work on.
Activities DPMs typically perform include:
- Handle the scheduling and running of project-related meetings
- Organize overall project efforts
- Provide scheduling resources and direction for individual team members
- Coordinate project timetables
- Interface with customers and other interested parties
- Take responsibility for project deliverables
- Perform quality assurance (QA) monitoring
- Manage the project budget
- Handle project reporting tasks
- Prepare customer quotes
- Analyze project success and lessons learned
Practicing the following skills is crucial to becoming the perfect project manager (or as close to perfect as you can!):
Writing and Editing
Digital project management often involves managing or assisting marketing campaigns. Projects of this nature typically require a fair amount of written content. This content not only needs to be grammatically correct, but it also has to be able to motivate readers to want to learn more about or purchase the product being marketed. Even if you’re not the person writing this content, you will likely need to be able to vet it to ensure that it is fit for the task from a quality standpoint. In some cases, you may be expected to perform a certain amount of copywriting or editing yourself.
Given the amount of communication the job of a DPM entails, being able to write clearly and efficiently is likely to benefit you when communicating with customers, fellow team members, and other relevant project stakeholders. If you understand the principles of good writing, it will be beneficial to you as a digital project manager on many levels.
Social Media Messaging
Modern marketing campaigns often rely heavily on social media platforms. As a result, a DPM should be intimately familiar with the use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to name three of the most popular platforms. You should understand how to get your company’s message out on these platforms as well as how to use various efficiency apps which make it easier for you to schedule message delivery over social media and to analyze the results your company achieves on them. Services such as Hootsuite and Simply Measured can help in this process.
Report Preparation and Analysis
As a DPM, one of your most important tasks is likely to be preparing and analyzing data relevant to a project. Learning how to produce reports in Excel or project management software to help track a project’s progress is a key skill for a DPM. You will often need to provide company management with written or verbal explanations of the data in the reports. As a result, you should try to familiarize yourself with a variety of project reporting methodologies and apps that enable you to optimize your performance in such situations.
Digital project management is a job where you can’t afford to not sweat the small stuff. From the wording in a scope of work to using the proper font in a document and many more such situations, having an eye for details is essential to delivering an acceptable project.
Ranking highly on the search engine results pages (SERPs) is a goal of most companies. As a DPM, your duties will often include improving your company’s position in the SERPs. SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of taking steps both on-page and off-page to improve your SERPs rating. Learning best practices for using SEO techniques so you can help direct your content writers and media outreach team members in targeting their efforts is a valuable skill for a DPM to acquire. There are several software packages you can use to help boost your company’s SEO efforts, including:
Project Management Strategy Know-How
Digital project management often uses many of the same approaches found in traditional project management, including methodologies like Lean, Waterfall, and Agile. Understanding how at least some of these strategies are implemented gives you the flexibility to decide which approach would be best for project. This will not only improve your ability to successfully complete projects but will also increase the scope of projects you could work on, boosting your value as a DPM to potential employers.
Interacting with people inside and outside of your company is essential to managing a digital project. This includes communication across a variety of platforms, including email, telephone, work management apps, video chat, etc. A DPM often deals with a variety of project stakeholders, including your team members, management, and the customer and any outside partners. To get the most out of interpersonal interaction, it helps to project a positive attitude and to get to know your coworkers as people, not just project resources. If a team member is not working productively, make sure you deliver any criticism in a constructive manner. If you build robust relationships with your team members it will be much easier to deliver proactive messages to get them back on course when necessary.
Ability to Use Content Management Systems
Content management systems such as Drupal and ExpressionEngine are commonly used to prepare content for delivery in various formats. These systems enable you to combine words, images, and videos within a piece of content and then publish that content over a variety of mediums. By mastering one or more of these systems you improve your ability to handle all aspects of the DPM role.
An effective digital project manager needs to be able to juggle a multitude of tasks without dropping the ball on any one of them, sometimes across multiple projects. A key skill to successfully accomplishing this is to possess sufficient flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances when necessary. While establishing project plans and milestones is an important part of project management in general, if the situation changes a good DPM will be able to adapt to these changes to enable the project to proceed successfully.
The ability to stick to a budget is a vital component of being a good DPM. Completing a project on time that meets all completion metrics is commendable, but if you do so at a cost that far exceeds the project budget management is unlikely to be pleased. To ensure a project sticks to its budget, digital product managers should pay close attention to costs at all levels of the project. Track costs on a daily or weekly basis as well as monthly to ensure that they don’t get out of hand before you can take remedial action.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps every DPM stay on task. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…