What do I do as a project manager ?
Hi, so you are wondering what is my role of a Digital Project Manager, and what is the value I can bring to your project?
In few words I help « create stuff »… More precisely, I manage any project that involves a digital product. I like to separate the projects in 2 categories. Technical or creative projects, and very often, both will overlap.
• Technical project management I can develop a website an e-commerce or an application.
• Creative project management I can create a branding, a packaging, a marketing strategy.
In both cases, the workflow is the same, I will apply the same overall methodology to achieve the end goals.
- Define the vision
- Do the research
- Know who are the stakeholders*
- Make some Planning
- Produce something
- Test it
- Release it
- Check the quality
All projects will have this overall structure, but some projects will focus more on certain areas.
For example, if you are creating a new phone, a lot of time will be placed on research and testing. If you are creating a brand, a lot of time will be spent or research.
If you are creating an e-commerce website, a lot of time will be spent on quality check after release, to see how you can improve the sales.
“Individuals and organizations who are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or successful project completion.”
In other words, your project’s stakeholders are the people or groups who have something to gain (or lose) from your project’s outcome.
The key is the vision
For a project to be successful, the vision need to be stated at the very beginning. The vision is inspirational and motivational but also provides direction for the project. It will be the guide for decision to be made now and in the future.
« An effective vision should be concise, futuristic and realistic. »
For example, if your goal is to climb a mountain, there might be many different ways to reach the top. And at the start, you will have a plan to get there, but along the route, you might need to make some changes and corrections.
You might as well realise you took complexity wrong route, and you need to start from the bottom. But it does not matter, the top of the mountain is still the goal.
An Agile Project Manager
All this process is what we call the « Agile methodology ». In simple words, it is a flexible, iterative design and build process.
I find Agile to be my preferred methodology because it relies on a high level of customer involvement and so the end product is much more likely to be in tune with what the market wants.
As an Agile Project Manager I will have some key tasks that will be recurring during the duration of the project:
- Hold meetings and stay in constant contact with all the stakeholders of the project
- Use feedback by testing and prototyping
- Ensuring technical specifications are met and in line with the needs of the project
- Evaluation and implementation of product optimisations
- Keep track of deadlines and budget
How to Agile ?
In Agile, the purpose is to break down large projects into more manageable tasks, which are completed in short iterations throughout the project life cycle.
There are 2 main methodologies that I could use in a project. The scrum or the Kanban methods.
- Scrum will be ideal for larger projects, where more people are involved, and there is a clear hierarchy established. It relies heavily on team work, good planning and collaboration. One of the cons is that it takes more management and is only really advantageous for larger projects.
- Kanban is a more straight forward way of managing a product development. The whole team uses only one board, with 3 columns, to-do, doing and done. This very simple and effective approach and is great for smaller projects, but can be more difficult to implement on large teams or complex projects.
What are my qualities as a Digital Project Manager?
- Problem solver
- Able to Communicate with all types of stakeholders
But as well, let’s be honest, what are my (little) defaults:
- Get carried away by the project and too involved
- Taking on too much responsibilities or not delegating enough
- Being too details oriented or perfecionnsit
My key projects
In my career as a project manager, I have worked on many projects. Here are some I’m really proud of. They illustrate perfectly my wide range of skills and experience.
The vision: create a marketplace for wellbeing services and educate people about preventive health.
The stakeholders: the professionals, the users
The solution: with no budget at all fr the development of the MVP, we used WordPress, woocommerce and other plugins to create an online platform that would allow to achieve our end goals rapidly and at no cost. The MV was actually so stable and functional that we built more features on it to test the idea for longer.
Find our more here: www.olistique.be
The vision: Digital signage made easy for everyone. The idea was to provide a cheap and easy Digital Signage CMS.
The stakeholders: Retailers, schools, institutions,… sales people
The solution: to reduce cost to the maximum, we used an existing open source solution and android clients. This made the solution available directly for sales, and we focused on building an e-commerce, Seo and the creation of educational videos.
Find out more here: www.myeasycms.com
The vision: The easiest way to sell LED displays. The main purpose was to create an online configurator for sales items with little technical knowledge. LED Displays are complex technological products that are built on measuring for each project, so a configurator was needed to help sales teams.
The stakeholders: sales teams, LED manufacturers (in china) Led distributors (across the world)
The solution: We developed easyLED with a very good knowledge of the needs of the stakeholders. We focused on how to input easily all the database of products and components to be able to calculate a price for any configuration. Then we created a “wizard” that would guide sales persons to quickly calculate the price of any projects and then send a PDF to the end customers with all the details and pricing for his project.
Find our more here: www.myeasyled.com
04. HTV CMS
The vision: A secured on permises Content Management System for Digital Signage. The main purpose was to play a movie related to airport security inspection. This movie would play on 40 TVs across the airport.
The stakeholders: Airport IT management, travellers, developers and project managers.
The solution: We developed a CMS that could be installed on a main central server, inside the airport without need for internet connection. There was 2 parts, the server and the clients. The clients are computers connecting the the main server via their fixed IP address. Once connected they can download the movie to play and show it on the TV via HDMi connection. To reduce cost and improve stability clients and server were developed on Ubuntu.
Find out more here: www.htvled.com