I’ve been managing website projects for the last few years. In those years, I’ve learned so much. Each project and each client are different, so each experience has been quite unique. There are some common themes to each project, however: common challenges, common questions, common expectations, etc. Knowing these things, I can then work with our team to predict and plan for these common challenges.
In all my projects, I cannot understate the importance of having the right person on the other side of a website project. What do I mean by that?
The point-person we work with is the gatekeeper between us and the key decision-makers (sometimes they are the decision-makers themselves, but oftentimes, they are reporting to a CEO or Board of some kind). A relationship you begin with a digital agency certainly places responsibility on the agency, but it’s almost as important to select the right person to manage your project internally as it is to select the right web design/digital agency.
I pulled some specific traits from some of the best points-of-contact I’ve had on various projects. Below, I’ll elaborate on a few of the things you should look for in a project manager to help manage your web agency and project.
A Website Project Manager Should Be Organized.
I never expected that being organized would be one of the top ways for me to do my job well. At any given moment, I can confidently tell you where a specific email is, where my meeting notes are, and where a certain file might be placed. In my 5 years at Atilus (almost 5 and a 1/2!), keeping my notes and emails organized has been my saving grace more than once.
On the client’s side, I can sense when our main point-of-contact is disorganized. They often can’t track down their approvals, they misread emails, etc. Disorganization has failed many projects large and small and it’s so important to ensure that your project manager can keep everything in its proper place.
A Website Project Manager Should Hold Themselves Accountable.
I once saw a slogan on a truck while driving to work and thought it reflects the way we are internally at Atilus:
“No one has higher standards for us than we do.”
(I’d link back to the company and give them a shout-out, but I can’t remember the company name for the life of me.)
This statement holds true for myself and I know my other team members feel the same. We hold ourselves accountable at every project, every deadline, and every meeting. When we say we’re going to do something, it gets done.
What I’ve found in working on projects is that clients are always the ones to delay a project. This typically happens at the approval/feedback stage. We create designs, we need feedback. We make changes, we expect approval. We hold ourselves accountable and we expect that our clients will do the same when it’s time for them to give feedback and approve things. Without that drive, the project inevitably stalls.
A Website Project Manager Should be Communicative.
Communication, communication, communication. Proper communication could solve a LOT of problems (personal and professional ones).
Keeping the lines of communication open between a project manager and a web agency will absolutely ensure success. Whether it’s phone calls or emails (or even texts!), communication is key and we require it on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.
When choosing to begin a website project, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen point-person has the time for it. If this person is constantly overwhelmed with other tasks and doesn’t have time to work with your web agency, it might be time to either offload some of their work or consider a different team member. We once had a project take 2+ YEARS because of lack of communication between us and the client.
At Atilus, we try our hardest to make sure we emulate the above traits in the work that we do. It’s important, too, that you – our client – do the same to ensure the success of your web design or digital marketing project.
What are top qualities you look for in a web design company/vendor? Let us know in the comments!