What Is Digital Project Management? (With Skills And Tips)
Updated 3 March 2023
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The advancement of technology has provided many opportunities for professionals who want to create digital products, such as websites or mobile applications. Digital project managers organise, coordinate and manage digital projects to deliver outcomes that ensure a quality user experience. If you have leadership skills and an interest in technology, you may benefit from knowing more about digital project management. In this article, we define digital project management, describe the duties of a digital project manager, list some key skills, share a few tips to manage a project effectively and share answers to some frequently asked questions.
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What Is Digital Project Management?
Digital project management refers to the process of managing digital projects from conceptualisation to execution. Effective management helps deliver digital products using web technologies with an end-user or consumer in mind. Digital projects may be of various types, such as websites, mobile applications, videos or social media campaigns. To produce successful project outputs, digital project managers coordinate resources, analyse workflows, consult with customers and stakeholders and lead teams. Such project management aims to execute the project while maximising return on investment within the expected budget and timetable.
Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master
What Does A Digital Project Manager Do?
Depending on the firm they work for and the digital projects they manage, a digital project manager's responsibilities may vary. These experts typically have a leadership position in the entire project and interact with other teams to assist them in taking the project to a successful outcome. Following are some key duties for this role:
Creating a project plan that specifies the timetable and budget and defines the project scope
Determining potential project risks, such as the requirement to update a mobile operating system and researching suitable alternatives
Assigning responsibilities to team members and informing them regularly of their progress
Managing the project's resources and monitoring costs to keep it on schedule
Providing clients or stakeholders with progress updates
Assessing project deliverables for quality assurance and user experience
Ensuring that the project's outcome matches the anticipated requirements and works properly for the end user
Related: 11 Important Aspects Of Project Management (And 5 Stages)
Skills For Digital Project Managers
Many hard and soft skills can be helpful for professionals in this role. Some of such key skills are:
Depending on the project and organisation, a digital project manager may require distinct technical abilities. For instance, a digital project manager that manages digital marketing initiatives can benefit from knowing social media and search engine optimisation (SEO). A content management system (CMS), which allows to produce and post content easily, is a technical skill that can be useful for many digital project managers. Most of these experts also employ project management software for project planning, resource allocation and budget management.
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Business acumen abilities can be useful for digital project managers to assist them in supervising the delivery of results that align with the project's objectives and the client's vision. Strategic planning is a technique that digital project managers use to ensure that the team delivers the desired project outcomes. They estimate project expenses and manage those expenditures to stay within the overall budget using financial abilities like budgeting and analysis. Digital project managers can also fix issues by analysing the scenario and developing potential solutions using their business knowledge.
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Leadership skills can assist digital project managers to succeed in their job, as they often have a leading role in the project. They can use their decision-making abilities to assess a situation, examine data and make quick conclusions to support a team's progress towards project objectives. They also use relationship-building skills to form connections with their team members and foster trust. Trust can enable digital project managers to inspire their employees to meet project goals and requirements.
Related: How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills At Work: A Guide
Digital project managers use organisational skills to manage their time, prioritise diverse activities and plan projects from start to finish. These project managers utilise time management skills to schedule the tasks they wish to do during their workday as they have various duties, including managing budgets and ensuring quality assurance. They require awareness of how to assign tasks to team members in accordance with significance and prioritise tasks based on the project objectives. To keep a project on track, they also utilise planning abilities to develop a project timeline and establish completion dates for different phases.
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Digital project managers extensively use communication skills in their work. They often collaborate with clients to learn and comprehend their expectations for a digital project. These experts regularly speak with the team members to explain various tasks and establish expectations for team members' performance. Writing abilities are also important for digital project managers, as they frequently inform customers or stakeholders on project updates with progress reports. They also require communicating with team members using digital tools like email or messaging services to provide comments or share feedback.
Related: Communication Skills In Leadership: Importance And Benefits
Tips For Digital Project Management
Here are some tips you may consider which can help you manage digital projects easily:
Earn a certification
It is crucial for digital project managers to keep learning new skills that may improve their ability to manage digital projects. Obtaining a certification can be a great approach to improving your project management abilities and technical knowledge. As a digital project manager, you may consider acquiring the following or similar certifications:
Project Management Professional: This widely respected project management certification from the Project Management Institute demonstrates a professional possesses the requisite leadership, technical process and business environment skills to manage projects. If candidates complete the prerequisites for education, work experience and project management training, they may appear for the exam to obtain this certification.
Certified Scrum Master: With this certification from the Scrum Alliance, a professional can show that they have advanced knowledge of the Scrum framework, which is useful for technical projects. This credential has no prerequisites and candidates become certified after finishing a two-day program and passing the test.
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Learn different methodologies
You can organise projects and assign responsibilities to team members using various approaches as a digital project manager. Your team size or the type of project you are working on may influence the methodology you choose. As a digital project manager, you can employ a variety of approaches, some of which are:
Waterfall: The waterfall method breaks the projects into several phases and allows teams to finish each stage before moving on to the next. Projects with linear stages that teams can complete in a sequence may benefit from using this method.
Agile: Teams may use this approach to incrementally complete different project components while concurrently reviewing and revising earlier phases. This method works effectively for projects like software development that may require frequent changes or ongoing testing.
Kanban: With Kanban, teams can use cards linked to boards to show the various project stages and tasks at each stage. Kanban is an effective technique for smaller projects as it allows teams to use visual tools to identify issues and develop potential solutions.
Scrum: This method breaks projects into several sprints that teams may quickly finish. It can assist smaller teams in collaborating on complex projects and prioritising the different stages so they can complete the crucial tasks first.
Related: Agile Vs. Scrum: What Is The Difference? (With FAQs)
Set realistic expectations
As a digital project manager, it is crucial to set and convey expectations to your team members. To help team members understand how they might achieve the expected outcome, ensure to communicate how you plan to measure their success. Make sure you allocate the team achievable goals as you set expectations for them. You can accomplish this by regularly discussing the team's strengths and skills with them. Setting reasonable expectations for the team may inspire them to work on their assignments and assist them in achieving the project's objectives.
Related: Importance Of A Project Manager In An Organisation
Frequently Asked Questions About Managing A Digital Project
Following are a few frequently asked questions on managing a digital project:
Is project management purely a management role?
Managing a digital project requires considerable technological aptitude depending upon the organisation and type of project. Digital project managers often help the team with technical challenges. They also require knowledge of the technological tool and their limitation to develop a practical project plan.
What kind of association does a digital project manager have with the pre-sales function?
Pre-sale involves tasks such as qualifying a lead, bidding and finalising a contract which are responsibilities of a sales team. Usually, a project manager manages the project after client onboarding. In many cases, a digital project manager is better equipped to communicate with a potential client about the detailed technical aspects of their requirement. In small and medium organisations, they may also be involved in pre-sale activities, such as meetings with potential clients.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
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