The value of a good Project Manager
Good project managers have the ability to translate your business vision into actionable outcomes to ensure your project is delivered on time and within budget.
Your company might be growing and you have an amazing idea for a website or web/mobile app that will attract the market to your products and services. You have probably planned everything your new system needs to do and are so pumped you have not been able to sleep. Your big idea keeps growing and before you know it you have an amazing set of design plans and your small project (and budget), has doubled in size.
Having invested an enormous amount of passion in your vision and countless hours planning the project, it can be difficult to justify further costs. You have documented the project requirements and surely paying someone to 'manage the project' now is an unnecessary cost. So you decide you can manage the project yourself, after all, how could a digital project manager possibly be of any value?
For any development effort worthy of being called project, a Project Manager will reduce your risk and overall cost of implementation.
The confidence you have in managing a digital project can quickly unravel with the reality of developing a complex system. The simple fact is, developers are not required to understand business needs. They have spent a lot of time learning technology and very little learning business processes and the reality is, they care more about ease of implementation and building *something* than uncovering your business needs.
Like any other skilled labourer, technical teams need good direction, they need the requirements to be clear and someone to make technical implementation decisions. This is where the real value of a project manager is realised.
A digital project manager will have full understanding of both the project vision and the technical constraints faced by the development team. They know what resources are needed and how to manage those resources to deliver your vision. For anyone considering managing a project themselves, consider the following questions:
1. Do you have the time to pull together the low level details, put the work instructions together, recruit resources with the skills you need, speak technically with developers, and ensure the quality of their work?
2. Can you make yourself available at short notice to make a decision on an urgent problem encountered by the development team? One thing is certain, problems will be encountered. A good PM will work with the team immediately to resolve the problem and maintain momentum on the project.
3. Can you manage the development team to make sure your best interests (rather than what they want to develop) come first?
A good project manager will ensure you get maximum value from the development team
Developers are a resource that need to be firmly managed, and are charged out hourly. Unless you have invested an exceptional amount of time and effort into your design brief there will be assumptions and undocumented requirements. Things that might be seem 'obvious' to you are often misinterpreted.
Without a project manager, developers on your project will need to spend valuable time coming to terms with the intricacies of your business strategy and specification. To be frank, you will get more value from each dollar invested in developers if they are left to do what they are good at, and that is, write code!
The project manager is the person you can turn to, who is ultimately responsible for the big picture and for driving the work forward. It is their job to translate your vision into actionable outcomes, to direct, give guidance and influence the development team towards those intended outcomes. In essence, the project manager creates your vision, by proxy.
Can you afford to not have a project manager on your website or web/mobile app build?
Speedwell is a full-service digital development and integration agency. Our specialist areas include business analysis, user experience (UX) research, design and technical development. We work closely with clients to design, build and maintain secure digital solutions and applications that align with their business processes and strategy, and integrate with existing systems.