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Why Project Managers Can (and Should) Be Your Best Friend

Jessica Lam.
By: Jessica Lam  |   March 13, 2014  |   View Comments

Recently, I read a two-part blog post from Central Desktop discussing the relationship between Account Management and Creative Teams. Part one takes a look at this relationship from the Account side while part two is from Creative Team’s viewpoint. The content of these blog posts got me thinking about my role here at Ignite Social Media as a Project Manager (PM) and what it means to the agency, as well as the different discipline teams.

Why Do We Need a Project Manager?

Within the digital agency setting, there are Account, Creative, Metrics, Strategy, Tech, Community Management teams, and sometimes more. Each team is full of experts in their fields that churn out work and it is the Project Manager’s role to navigate and bring order to all the work that is being produced. A Project Manager oversees the workflow of a project internally to ensure it stays on schedule to launch. Once the agency receives the project from the client, the Project Manager leads it every step of the way from strategy development to post-launch. To put it simply, Project Managers are the ones that keep projects moving within the agency.

How to Effectively Work with Project Managers

Even though each agency has a set process for workflow, there are always opportunities for process improvement. Here are some things to remember when working with a Project Manager.

  • Keep your Project Manager in the loop for all program-related correspondences. Project Managers can’t properly manage a project if they don’t have all the latest updates to the program.
  • The Project Manager and the Account Lead should have daily syncs to make sure the two of them are on the same page at all times. The internal team will go to these two teams for questions; there can’t be any discrepancies in responses.
  • When you think there might be an issue with project, alert the Project Manager and Account Manager immediately. Don’t wait until there’s a fire before addressing the issue with the team. A program on fire leads to more stress for the internal team and potential delays with client deliverables – neither are good things.
  • If there is a fire, still alert your Project Manager ASAP so they can step in to contain and resolve the issue.

  • Use your Project Manager as a resource. Project Managers are responsible for a variety of projects to know which deliverables goes with which project. Feel free to approach them with questions or even to help locate a file.

While clients interact with the Account Team they will see the deliverables from the other discipline teams. It’s the Project Managers who make sure work gets done in a timely manner. Project managers tend to work behind-the-scenes to keep the agency going and are occasional firefighters, putting out fires when issues arise.

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