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The Value of a Project Manager: Communication, Collaboration, and a Better End Result

by: Carol Morse Former Project Manager

It is self-evident what SilverTech’s developers, designers, and strategists do; one codes, one designs, and the other strategizes. However, despite the directness of my title – I am a Project Manager – it can be elusive to some people what I actually do. In this post, I hope to clarify the value that I, and the rest of my project management team, bring to our clients and SilverTech. First, let’s define a project.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, a project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” Large, complex undertakings – the construction of a bridge, the launch of a rocket into space, an international response to a pandemic – must be approached as projects so that they can be managed, understood, and led to completion using established processes.

The world in which SilverTech operates is as dauntingly complex as launching a rocket. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day and trillions of devices, from wearables to household appliances, are expected to connect in the coming years. We don’t just build websites anymore as it’s not enough to solve today’s business problems. To truly facilitate digital transformation for our clients, we approach their problems from a Lead to Loyal™ perspective, implementing and integrating Content Management Systems (CMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Marketing Automation (MA) platforms to better manage and understand their data and map the entire journey of their customers.

Learning to Speak Process

Process is paramount to our ability to deliver our Lead to Loyal projects on time and on budget. To ensure that we maintain project management process standards, and to build upon our clients’ trust, our project management team not only adheres to the protocols established by the PMI, but each of us currently has, or are pursuing, the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification:

“The Project Management Professional (PMP)® signifies that you speak and understand the global language of project management and connects you to a community of professionals, organizations, and experts worldwide.”

Process is the grammar of that “global language” and every successful project, whether it’s a bridge, rocket, or Lead to Loyal solution, must follow the 5 project management process groups or “rules”: initiation, planning, execution, control, and close.

At SilverTech, though each project is unique, the process generally flows like this:

  • Initiation – In this phase, we work to understand our client’s goals and objectives and the problems that they are looking to solve. We confirm that we have a solution, the strategic know-how, and tactical capabilities.
  • Planning – This is where we build the team, and the team is not just within SilverTech, but also the client and any 3rd party partners. Then, we define how we will manage the project from meetings, to status reporting, to budget management.
  • Execution – In this phase, we – the team – build the solution efficiently and accurately, communicate our progress, and adhere to our schedule.
  • Control – Here, in the most critical phase, we create a robust testing strategy to optimize and innovate the solution and use iterative, agile, and test-driven development approaches to ensure the full functionality of each feature.
  • Close – Finally, we determine the solution’s launch date, create training and communication plans for internal and external adoption, and provide post-deployment support.

Project Completion and a Positive Client Experience

Project managers are the drivers of project completion and are responsible for creating a positive client experience. We are communicators, assessors, and we allow the team to focus on delivering in their areas of expertise by providing the facts and leading the discussion to solutions. We’re the primary point of contact between SilverTech and our clients and are responsible for building upon the great relationship originally set up by the Account Manager. Through tracking and monitoring, we contribute to better communication, collaboration, and ultimately, a better end result.

By staying on top of industry-accepted best practices and technology trends, my team and I ensure that we are following the right process for the project. With the right process, we ensure that everyone on the team – client, crew, and 3rd parties – know exactly where we stand in terms of progress and budget. As project managers, we are always looking ahead. By doing so, we can manage the project’s scope, ensure the right solution, and focus on building a great relationship as the bridge between SilverTech and the client.

As SilverTech continues to evolve, our projects will continue to grow in complexity. That is why we so revere the global language of the PMP. I am excited to continue to educate myself as a project management professional, and I’ll be ready – as will my team – for whatever complex challenges the future holds.