Five Reasons To Trust Your Digital Agency Project Manager

Written by Amy Stoker - 01 Nov 2018

When you’ve got an army of agency experts working hard on your project, you’d be forgiven for thinking a Project Manager is a ‘nice to have’ rather than necessity.  Even though our Project Managers are of course very nice to have, does your project really need the unique skills, expertise and hyper-organisation that they bring to the table?

After all, our developers, designers and digital experts all have their own set of unique skills that they’ve mastered for years. They’re more than equipped to follow the project brief, and can code, optimise, analyse, test and learn all day long – they don’t need a Project Manager to be able to do their job.  But in order for their project to succeed, they want one.

Of course, we do understand the conundrum, though. Sometimes the cost of a Project Manager is hard to justify, and anyway, what do they actually do that you can’t? Or rather, that you don’t have time for?

If you need convincing, let’s look at five reasons why you need a Project Manager …

1.    Project managers are a single point of contact and a fount of all project-related knowledge.

One main point of contact to manage your agency project? Why not have 23 instead? Everyone’s lovely here at Fresh Egg, and I know the team would love to talk to you, separately, with multiple requests filling your inbox …  

Let’s take a typical new website build project as an example. We will probably allocate six, or more, team members to your project. Two developers – one front end and one back end – a designer, Tech SEO, UX and Content specialists, not forgetting the Analytics expert who’ll be making sure all tagging and site tracking is set up properly for reporting.  

Each of these team members will have lots of questions, queries, access requests and progress updates to share with you, often daily, as they get to work on your project. They’ll need timelines to follow, deadlines to meet and milestones to aim for … (exhausted at the thought of it?) … Well, this is the job of the Project Manager, who acts as a filter between all of that noise and your probably-already-overflowing inbox.

Think of your PM as the ‘Project Oracle’ – the protector of your inbox and all the knowledge related to the project. They take full ownership, to manage our internal teams and act as a go-to point for both you and them. They know everything there is to know and then some – task status, timelines, milestones, progress reports and they are invested in your overall business goals too.

They keep on top of all this in detail, so you don’t have to, and come to you only with the consolidated requests of the team once internal meetings have taken place. No death by email allowed.

Much like ‘death by email’, ‘death by meeting’ is a headache your PM is happy to take on for you, only giving you the information, you need to know, and the finished task you expected to see.  

2.    Your project manager is your agency representative

We’re lovers, not fighters here at Fresh Egg, but sometimes we do need to fight the corner of our clients when it comes to scheduling and safeguarding the needs of the project.

Your Project Manager is your in-house representative. They work closely with you to have full visibility of your goals and dependencies of different project elements. Armed with this knowledge they push your priorities up the agenda within our internal teams to meet those critical deadlines.

If one of our teams overruns on a task,  the Project Manager will know the risk of this impacting other deadlines across the project – and what it means to the wider objectives across your business – and can put contingency plans in place to mitigate those risks and ensure deadlines are met.

From your side, you might only see the phone call that comes from your Project Manager to say ‘yes, we can meet that deadline’. But preceding that might have been nine rounds of negotiations, planning meetings and scheduling switch-ups to allocate and protect that resource. It’s a cocktail of problem-solving, risk management and contingency planning to ensure the smooth running of the project, always.

And the good bit? Your Project Manager will present you with the solution before you even knew there was a problem in the first place.

3.    Your Project Managers plans the project strategically

We like to keep all your ducks in a row. What we’re referring to here is the strategic alignment of all resource planning and tools to meet overall project objectives.

Basically, it’s the continued and efficient driving of the project in the right direction. Using their knowledge , the Project Manager takes care of all resource planning and has the foresight to provide the teams with everything they need for each stage of the work to just get on with it. That includes resource, access, assets and more, limiting delays for maximum efficiency.

This is even more important if multiple and concurrent projects are being managed for you. Your Project Manager makes sure all priorities are clear and objectives are met for each project to run concurrently without impacting each other. If there’s an overlap, it’s knowing what that is, which is the priority and having a plan in place to manage that, so all projects are completed on time, in budget and to the specification set out at the beginning.

It’s those project oracle vibes shining through again …

4.     Steering the ship – or more steering the ship so you can sit up on deck and enjoy the view.

A good Project Manager does more than just manage the project. They’re leaders too. They’re motivators and organisers, responsible and accountable to you, the client. The Project Manager will lead internal teams to maintain focus and ensure work is delivered on time and on budget.  

Our technicians, by nature, tend to be a very clever and curious bunch. It’s their passion, and they love to delve into data to find answers to problems.  The Project Manager’s role is to give the flexibility to explore whilst maintain focus and ensuring milestones are met to deliver against the overall project goals and objectives.

Breaking down silos for better collaborative working

For each team to be aware of how their work impacts the other, collaboration is key. Your Project Manager will facilitate daily and weekly huddles between different departments to break down silos and enable collaborative working on all phases of the project.

A balancing act

At the forefront of a Project Managers mind is the Time, Cost and Scope project management triangle. If one of these elements changes, another is affected. For example, if you change the scope of a project, this will likely impact the cost and timelines of the work being delivered.

It’s the job of the Project Manager to balance these three factors to deliver projects on time, to budget and to the agreed scope with maximum efficiency.

 

5.    Project managers ensure you’re kept in the loop

Ever wonder what your agency is up to, how they’re spending their time, and therefore your budget? A good agency will never let its clients wonder. The key to all of this is complete transparency and communication for the duration of the project – both across internal teams and you, the client.

When you hire a Project Manager, an important part of their role is to keep you updated with regular status updates in a format that suits you as the project progresses.

But don’t worry; no one likes an overflowing inbox, so you can rest easy as we consolidate everything in a simple, easy to digest way.  You’re welcome.

So, why do you need a Project Manager?

Because your life will be easier with one, it’s that simple. When you hire a Project Manager, you’re hiring a dedicated brain to do all of the planning, information gathering, organisation, risk management, consolidated communication, and management of teams for you. That means you're free to get on with running your business and able to relax knowing your business needs and your project are in good hands.

What you’re paying for is a hyper-organised, incredibly experienced brain with years of experience dedicated solely to the efficient running of your project. Thinking about all the things you don’t have time to think about, and that’s priceless.

We’ve done this before.

Want to find out more about what makes our approach to project management egg-cellent?  Feel free to get in touch and me, or one of the team will be more than happy to have a chat.