Have you ever found yourself answering a million questions and providing information that you never thought would be necessary to produce something creative?
After finding the time to get all the decision-makers together (an achievement worthy of a medal on its own!) to discuss and agree on your next creative project, getting the budget approved, agreeing on a brief, and finding an agency that is truly creative and innovative, answering questions might be the last thing you want to do. Your entire organization is psyched to see what will come out of it, and in your mind you can already see the colors, the animations, and the new space for your brand to live in, a space that will do your organization and all the hard-working people behind it justice. And while the Project Manager you’re working with is amazing, professional, kind, assertive, and supportive, you can’t help but feel that the project is taking unnecessarily long, that simple things are getting over complicated, and that you’re being asked to share enough information to organize a coup d’état and take over your whole organization.
While a project can be very intense, especially at the beginning, let me reassure you. Your Project Manager is not out to get you. If anything, we Project Managers are the true friend you’ll need to take your project to the finish line.
Think I’m exaggerating? Here are our top Four advantages of working with a Project Manager.
1. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO STAY ONE STEP AHEAD
Why is it that your Project Manager is asking you about your planned vacations? Or any big internal events? That has nothing to do with the project!
Well, you see, it does. When you’re not around, we, the Project Management tribe, lose our primary liaison with your organization. So we need to plan the creative work around your schedule to help you stay one step ahead and make sure we don’t send a major deliverable immediately after you leave for a three-week vacation.
These questions and others like them might seem a bit silly at first and can make you feel we’re wasting precious time, but they’re are actually essential in building the strong project foundations on which we’ll build the final deliverable. So, indulge us and assume we know why we’re asking these questions. And if you’re not sure they’re necessary, say so. The Project Manager will be able to provide you with the reason behind every question in less than a minute.
2. YOU’LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON
You can always count on your Project Manager to know what’s going on. And I’m not only referring to the creative work. This includes things like how many rounds of adjustments are left as per the contract, when you can expect deliverables, and what information is needed to proceed. They anticipate — or at least do their very best to anticipate — any bottlenecks, and eat, sleep, and breathe with your project on their minds.
A simple email, Skype message, or Slack message should be enough to get you an update. And if they don’t have the complete answer or haven’t received their daily update, you can always count on them getting the information for you ASAP. Information and communication are our bread and butter. It’s what we excel at and we’ll do it extra well for you!
3. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SPEAK ‘DESIGNER’ OR ‘PROGRAMMER’
It’s not always easy to provide instructions or feedback when it comes to creative work. Verbalizing your expectations can be beyond complicated, and explaining why something looks just a little bit off is no easy task. (By the way, if you’d like to improve on providing feedback to your creative team, here’s a great article on how to go about it.)
The good thing about having a Project Manager around is that we’re excellent listeners and can serve as translator to make sure the creative team understands your expectations and concerns. We’ll ask more questions if needed (again with the questions; I know, I know) and make sure you as the client and the creative team are on the same page before proceeding with the work. This will ensure that you make good use of the rounds of adjustments and no one wastes time or resources.
4. FORGET POST-ITS OR CALENDAR ALERTS – THEY’LL KEEP YOU ON TRACK
Yes, you. Every creative project is a collaboration between the client and the creative team. The timeline, goals, deliverables, and all the nitty gritty details are agreed upon at the beginning of the project and shared internally and externally by the Project Manager, but what happens once the work starts? The Project Manager is expected to pull out the imaginary whip from time to time and make sure the team is on track and adhering to the brief and expectations, but there’s no way they’d do something like this to you too, right?
Wrong. The time you take to reply or provide feedback is crucial in keeping the project on track. You see, while the creative team’s full focus is on you, you might be concentrating on many of the other equally important tasks that flood your inbox on a daily basis. A good Project Manager will always let you know what is expected of you to keep on track with the project and gently, but firmly, notify you of what will happen if you can’t get around to whatever it is you need to do within the set timeframe.
WHAT ELSE IS LEFT TO SAY?
Honestly, the role of a Project Manager goes well beyond these four points, but that’s a story for another day. If anything, the takeaway from this blog post is that no matter the silliness of the questions, the quantity of the emails, and the number of friendly reminders, the Project Manager is on your side for whatever you need. They’re only an email away and can ease your project-related anxieties in a second. They truly are your best project friend and will do whatever is needed to make sure you’re happy and satisfied and the project is done to your expectations (and beyond). Always.