Search Google for ‘DPM’ and you’re likely to see results ranging from damp proof membranes right through to disruptive pattern material. All exciting stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. There is probably an ample opportunity to include some of these DPM puns in this article, however we’re here to discuss arguably the most important type of DPM: Digital Project Management.
So what exactly is a Digital Project Manager? The term “project manager” often comes with some associated connotations such as “gantt chart”, “scope”, “budget” etc. Looking beyond a typical project manager role, and honing in on the term “digital” completely alters the expectations for this role.
The role of Digital Project Manager varies from company to company, and agency to agency, but in essence, a DPM is someone who makes things happen. Here are Fast Web Media, we operate in a digital agency environment, and having a DPM is integral for ensuring our broad range of projects run smoothly and seamlessly.
Working as a Digital Project Manager at Fast Web Media requires a broad skillset, often encompassing elements and skills from a multitude of roles to ensure DPMs are geared up and confident for whatever project comes their way.
Here, you’ll find some of the “sub-roles” that come together to make one confident, innovative and talented Digital Project Manager:
Project Manager: No surprises here. As a Digital Project Manager at Fast Web Media, time is spent predominantly managing projects – everything from requirement gathering to delivery and handover. With large projects and multiple agencies often involved, the DPM needs to be able to find a balance between process and flexibility. The DPM leads, facilitates, empowers and communicates to keep a project moving on schedule and to budget. It is the DPM that is the “project hub”; they see the big picture and anticipate issues.
Account Manager: Here at Fast Web Media, our DPMs work consistently with the same clients whenever possible. Digital Project Managers know how to work with and get the best out of each client as they guide them through the project lifecycle. This consistency also means the DPM has a deep understanding of the client’s business and is best placed to advise should an issue arise. Projects can be long and sometimes stressful for a client, so it’s important that the Digital Project Manager in charge leaves a positive lasting impression.
Business Analyst: It’s quite rare for a client to know their exact needs to a T. At Fast Web Media, it is up to the Digital Project Manager to help the client through the discovery and design process to define a specification from which developers can work to. This means asking the right questions to get the crucial information required to make a project a success. With many facets to be considered, Digital Project Managers at Fast Web Media require a knowledge of web architecture, user experience, design, content, SEO/search, social media and analytics.
Business Development: Digital Project Managers at Fast Web Media are closely connected with clients, their projects, their businesses and their business aspirations. DPMs are in a unique position and their knowledge is invaluable when it comes to discussing future projects with a client. This creates a reciprocal relationship whereby the client benefits from the DPM’s knowledge and experience whilst Fast Web Media retains a happy client.
Quality Assurance: Developers and the QA team can test and re-test. However, it is the Digital Project Manager that is immersed in the project and is closest to the client’s vision. It is therefore the Digital Project Manager that has final sign-off for a deliverable to be demoed, go to user acceptance testing or go live. This sign-off is only given once the Digital Project Manager is satisfied the quality of the deliverable meets the client’s expectations, and final checks have been made for edge cases only a DPM may consider.
A combination of the above skills, in our opinion, creates the ‘fool-proof’ Digital Project Manager; someone who is able to thrive in a digital agency environment and build up an impressive portfolio of clients and completed projects.