Its international project management day (IPM day), and here at Fifteen, we aren’t turning down the chance to celebrate, and give a shout out to our team of project managers!
Managing and coordinating projects is no easy task, it involves a lot of organisation and making sure that both parties are aware of milestones to meet in order to keep the project on track, and meet all the necessary deadlines.
What is Project Management?
“Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale and budget.
A key factor that distinguishes project management from just ‘management’ is that it has this final deliverable and a finite timespan, unlike management which is an ongoing process. Because of this, a project professional needs a wide range of skills; often technical skills, and certainly people management skills and good business awareness.”https://www.apm.org.uk/resources/what-is-project-management/
Meet the Project Team
Let’s take the opportunity to meet Sophie, Aleks and James, who are Fifteen’s project team.
Sophie is our Operations Manager, one of the Fifteen veterans, she has been with the company for over 5 years. Over the years Sophie has managed many of the projects that have come through Fifteen’s doors and has put the processes, tools and procedures in place that the company follows today. Sophie works closely on the projects that run through the studio and helps the other members of the team with the projects if needed to get the projects over the line and complete.
James is our Project Delivery Manager, who joined the company in January 2020 as part of our acquisition of Frost Digital. He works with the Cambridge team to deliver the projects they work on, training clients on their CMS systems and taking down client briefs and requirements.
Aleks is our Project Co-Ordinator, joining Fifteen in August 2019 after she graduated from University, she has quickly become a great asset to the team. Aleks assists the team with gathering all the important information required for projects, managing projects through the studio, and populating and testing websites.
The project team at Fifteen are versatile and work across the range of services. The team communicate to clients about these services regularly and explain complex technical elements in ways clients can understand.
Our team manage the web and design projects through the studio and work with the digital team to offer continuous digital growth after launch.
Project Management & Fifteen
At Fifteen we feel that it’s important to help the world understand the importance of project management. Project managers make sure that your project runs as smooth as possible, and is delivered on time and budget.
Project management involves several processes from writing the project scope and technical documentation of what the project will consist of, to getting content from the client, keeping the client up to date, populating the website, testing the website and finally making sure that the launch process is as smooth as possible.
Each member of Fifteen has had some experience with managing a project through the Fifteen studio, from print projects to digital projects. Each one has their own set of challenges that need to be addressed and overcome, and praise is due to each team member who works so hard to make sure that projects run smoothly, the client is happy, and the work that we produce as a team is at an award-winning standard!
Project Management Tools
Using a range of different project management tools in the office, we make sure that everyone knows what they are doing and have regular catch-ups to make sure that everyone is happy, and have faced no development issues that might cause a delay in the project.
Basecamp is a great tool. Within Basecamp we have a list of to-do items, which follow our standard processes for the various projects, folders for files, chat channels specific for projects and message boards for important information.
What’s great about Basecamp is, we can get clients on board with it too, meaning that clients can log in to their Basecamp and be presented with a client-friendly version of their project. They can upload content and images, create to-do lists and communicate with the wider team via the application.
We use Float to schedule the team’s time across the studio, giving them a place to look to view their workload for the week, the software allows to have a visual overview of the workload for the entire company, and we can slot in and create new jobs as and when needed.
Harvest is our CRM tool, where we keep time logs for all of the projects that we work on within the studio, this is also how we manage our forecasting and invoices.
Using Harvest, we can report on time for all the projects that come into the studio, giving us an indication about how the project is progressing, and whether the project is going to come within budget. We can break down the time log into departments, and report on a team and individual level, allowing us to play on team members strengths.
Not forgetting using good old spreadsheets to produce a range of things, such as Gantt charts for clients to view the entire timeline for a project, creating checklists and content calendars.
Spreadsheets are a super useful tool for project managers, and we just love them!
Emails & Phone Calls
And of course, emails. Constant communication whether that is written or verbal throughout a project is vital.
We are always either speaking to a client or sending across information via email. Guiding clients through each stage of the project and keeping them informed is key for any project.
Thinking of a Project Management Career?
If you are reading this, thinking that you fancy a career in project management, there are loads of online courses you can do, or look into a junior role within a company, where you can learn from project managers with years of experience!
We are also always on the lookout for upcoming project management stars, SO if you think you’ve got the skills and the drive to become part of the project management team here at Fifteen, feel free to send your CV over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, here is a toast, to all the project managers out there, and it’s time to celebrate our work, and what we do as the unsung heroes of the web world!
“I’m a project manager, I solve problems you don’t know you have, in ways you can’t understand!”