In the past, I have written about how a Project Manager (PM) has to become more than just IT PMs. As PMs, we have to be knowledgeable about the products we are implementing. They have to be aware of the products benefits to the organization and why the product is being implemented. Especially as a strategic PM, we have to know the benefits, the cost savings, what problem the product solves, etc. What I see more often are digital projects that PMs are being tasked to implement. Once again, the PM has to be aware of this growing space and acquire new skills or bring to the project skills that the PM once had and has to “dust off.” In digital projects, I have seen many additional skills that a PM has to be familiar with. For this blog, I will address a few. Not that these skills are the most important, but they are something a PM needs to be good at for the project.
Analytics and Reporting
Similar to what is important in real-estate, for digital projects it is data, data, data. The PM has to be familiar with the data mining process. How to collect data, decipher it and provide meaningful reports to the organization and especially to executive management. Obviously Google Analytics is a good first place to begin, but the PM should be working with the Subject Matter Expert (SME) on the project and Business Analyst (BA) to understand the deliverables for the project and what the benefits are when the product is implemented. As with IT projects, Digital projects are usually costly and have a long execution phase and monitor and control phase. Keeping the project team focused and on track will be the PMs hardest job. Second will be the communication and reporting progress to management. Also, the PM has to provide management with samples of what the analytics will be like during these phases so that the project team receives valuable feedback from executive management.
Classifying and auditing information will be paramount to the digital project. So the PM has to have the correct team members that have experience in these tasks on the project. If there is a lack of this experience in the organization, it is critical that the PM communicates this to management so as to be able to acquire this in a vendor or consultant organization. Yes, a team member can get trained on this and it may not be a stretch for a team member who has had similar tasks in auditing to be trained in the digital product. However, the PM has to be able to assess the competency of the team member and report their findings to management. If the team member needs a lot of training, this may be a risk to the project since these are critical path tasks. The PM must be able to show management that these tasks need more experience for the implementation and that hiring a third party is money well spent.
In these days of Face book, Twitter and LinkedIn, the PM has to knowledgeable how the organization will be leveraging these sites for the digital project implementation. The organization has to have a strategic purpose on these sites. Just being on them is not good enough. The organization must have a direct connection between how to leverage these sites to the organizations strategic vision. In other words, the PM should demand for their project that the organization provide the strategic objectives in using these sites and how they benefit the organization. Which tool is better suited for the organization and why? Are there resources in the marketing department that are dedicated to the messaging on these sites? These resources should be on the project and provide insight on the product implementation mainly because these resources should see the benefits of implementing the product.
The PM will be tasked with a successful implementation of the product and the measuring stick for the success will be the usage of the product after the implementation. Executive management will need to know that the budget, which includes the time of the project resources, was time and money well spent. If that can be proven, the PM will have delivered a successful project.
I am open to discussion at any time on these blogs or anything else related to project management you would like to explore. If you would like to comment about this blog, please do so by posting on this blog or by responding in an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may inspire a blog article. I look forward to your comments.