The most successful websites are a marvel of simplicity. Well considered design and a focus on user experience yield powerful results. But there’s a lot more beneath the surface.
When you build a complex website, a lot of people are involved. Different sets of software engineers focus on coding the backend and frontend, and in the typical team, there are junior developers and senior developers. The marketing and content team manage the content strategy and execution. Designers are responsible for the look and feel of the site. The quality assurance team reviews the build. So how do all these people work together?
From site maintenance to full website redesign and support after launch, project managers are the connectors for the web development team and the client. Project managers ensure that clients are informed and empowered to manage their digital properties.
Emails, phone calls, chat, and in person meetings are the currency of software project management. Email helps keep track of all communication via conversation threads and categories.
For the clients who prefer to speak over the phone, a follow up with a short email outlining what was discussed ensures that a paper trail exists. You can also make the most of instant messages, video chats, conference calls, and screen sharing.
In addition to general project communication, project managers may create monthly financial tracking reports for clients to offer granular insight into how much time developers spend on individual tasks. Clients can keep track of the pulse of each project from discovery to launch.
The level of engagement with each client varies. In some cases project managers touch base daily or weekly, depending on the lifecycle stage of the project. In other cases, a project manager might be in touch on an hourly basis when a site is going through Quality Assurance testing.
Communication often depends on the number of stakeholders involved in a project and whether or not there is a technical lead on the client side. When your company is doing a site overhaul, it’s a good idea to have a point person on your team who can discuss the technical aspects of a project. You demystify the development process and build consensus.
When considering vendors best suited to achieve your project’s goals, find a team with inquisitive and good natured project managers. Although telepathy is a cool superpower, humans have yet to master this skill. Communication is key, and the more information a client can convey at the outset, the better the team will be able to respond.
Project managers are translators, interpreting the needs of clients into actionable steps for developers and designers. The mission of great project management is to position clients for success.
A great project manager makes sure you have a grasp of the terminologies, processes, and metrics for success for every project. Ideally, you’ll walk away with a product that is elegant and functional, AND you are happy.
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