At WebDevStudios (WDS) we work with a variety of clients, who all come to trust our amazingly talented team of engineers almost immediately. Clients equate the expertise of our engineers to the success of their project. Having been a project manager at WDS for three years now, I argue, however, that the success depends greatly on our clients embracing the role of project management. This might be challenging, especially if that client has never worked with a project manager.
Project management is critical as it is the practice of managing resources, time, and budget to deliver a set of requirements. Project managers effectively make sure there are the necessary resources in place to stay on budget and deliver an agreed upon scope within the agreed upon timeframe. So if you have never worked with a project manager what exactly does that mean? As I tell new clients, bear with me, and I will tell you just how to make the most of your relationship with your project manager.
Before we dive in, however, let’s tackle some common misconceptions.
Misconception #1: Project management is unnecessary.
The biggest misconception I have encountered when it comes to clients who have never worked with a project manager is that they assume project management is an unnecessary expense. Oftentimes clients think they can decrease their budget by asking to eliminate the role of the project manager.
What clients fail to realize is that if you remove the project manager you are removing the monitor of the aforementioned budget. They may think that they will be saving money, but they most likely will be spending a lot more in the end as nobody will be monitoring the spend daily.
Misconception #2: Project managers are just middle people.
Another misconception I have encountered is that project managers either collect information from the development team and relay that to the client or collect information from the client and relays the information to the development team throughout the entire life cycle of the project. Though that can be true, a good project manager is able to take ownership of the information before it is actually raised by either party. They aren’t just a go between; they are a translator, even a mind reader at times.
Now here’s what you should know if you have never worked with a project manager.
Project managers are your biggest allies.
Project managers (PM) are often seen as the naysayers in the project because they often have to tell you the hard truth when timelines and budgets are getting tight. Instead of seeing your PM as the negative Nelly, see them as your biggest ally since that is exactly what they are.
Nobody likes to be told that they are running out of money or time, but wouldn’t you rather have someone tell you your bank account is getting low before you bounce a check? PMs are just looking out for your dollars and cents and care for your budget more than they are given credit for.
Project managers are great listeners.
Project managers may talk a lot on calls as they provide what can seem like endless updates, but project managers are actually great listeners. By listening carefully, PMs are able to identify requirements, risks and dependencies sometimes without clients even being able to identify these themselves. Never feel like you say too much in front of your project manager. There are vital pieces of information in there, I promise.
Project managers believe in your success.
I have never met a client that I did not want to see succeed. Don’t get me wrong. I have met my fair share of folks who don’t quite see the value in a PM, but I never stopped wanting them to be successful nor did I stop managing the project in such a way where that would be the outcome. When you work with a project manager, know that your PM wants you to succeed just as much as you want to. Even better, they have the tools and resources to actually get you there.
In conclusion, trust your project manager.
Finally, trust your project manager and have faith in the process. Project managers offer so much more value than status updates and time reports. They truly do want what is best for the project and for you as a client. They will be your biggest ally throughout the life cycle of the project, listen thoughtfully to hear what success looks like for you, and identify potential risks that could get in the way. Project managers, especially the amazing team here at WDS, want you to be successful by carefully managing time, budget, and resources. When you trust your project manager, you can trust that your project will be a success.
Are you ready to work with a project manager to help build your next website and make it a success? Contact us!