5 Important Skills for Digital Project Managers
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Today, I have decided to put on my digital project managers’ hat and talk about the key skills of this crucial role. Word of warning – I am full of analogies when it comes to explaining the complex world of Project Management, so continue at your peril!
When a new project comes in, those early stages can sometimes feel like a giant, ever-evolving jigsaw puzzle with lots of little pieces that are yet to come together. As digital project managers, we’re the puzzle solvers; the picture only comes together when we have the right skills and can see the full picture. Don’t forget to also check my 9 post series where we dive deeper into each key skill for digital project managers.
One of the most useful skills is technical empathy and know-how. I like to think of it as being a chef: you can’t cook without knowing your way around the kitchen. We need to understand the digital technologies we’re working with to spot potential challenges, foresee limitations and come up with solutions.
Having the right project management tools – like Jira, Asana or Trello– really helps! They’re our secret recipe for tracking progress and managing tasks. Knowing the type of chef you want to be will also help you along the way – familiarising yourself with Agile methodologies, for example, will give you an edge and catapult you to a more refined and effective management style, allowing you to adapt and evolve with the fast-paced digital world.
Another key skill to navigate the world of project management is your leadership skills – being the captain of the ship. As digital project managers, we need to steer the ship, making decisions about everything from which route to take – resource allocation – to who does what (task delegation). And when the sea gets rough (i.e. conflicts within the team or client), we need to step in and calm the waters.
Communication is our compass. Giving clear instructions, listening, and allowing the team to have a voice ensures that everyone is going in the same direction. And when it comes to presenting updates and reports to stakeholders, we need to use our storytelling skills to keep everyone engaged and on board.
As digital project managers, combining communication with transparency will ensure a winning combination that will keep you on the right track, avoid surprises and foster a relationship with your clients based on trust and respect.
Problem-solving skills are like lifeboats. If we spot a storm risk ahead, we need to be prepared, not panic, and sail it with confidence. Adapting to change and thinking critically can make the difference between sink or swim because as we all know change is constant and projects not always going according to plan.
And lastly but not least important, emotional intelligence is the heartbeat of the journey. Being empathetic, understanding, and addressing our team’s concerns make us not just captains but leaders.
Recognising our strengths and weaknesses through self-awareness keeps us humble, ready to learn and open to new ideas. Finally, let’s not forget to cheer! Keeping the team motivated, highlighting strengths and fostering positive team spirit will make the whole process way more enjoyable!
In a nutshell, as digital project managers, we’re chefs, captains, and navigators, all rolled into one.
We must focus on our technical leadership to ensure we make the best decisions for our clients, communication combined with transparency for a client relationship based on trust, problem-solving and adaptability to lead the team through rough seas, and emotional intelligence to ensure your team stays motivated and your client feels reassured. By doing so, we become better digital project managers as well as puzzle solvers, ready to tackle any digital project that comes our way.
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