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Working with SilverTech: The Role of a Project Manager

by: Carol Morse Account Manager

This is the first post in a new series on our blog, “Working With SilverTech.” In this series, we’ll profile each of the roles on a typical delivery team to give our clients and those considering SilverTech a sense of our process and how we work. We’ll hear from our crew, in their words, what they do day-to-day to ensure that we have happy clients.

We’ve been in this digital space since 1996, building websites and helping businesses grow. Think back to those early days for a minute. Can you hear the dial tone of your modem? Is your mailbox filled with AOL disks? Your digital mailbox is probably full – with 6 emails. But I digress, let’s move on before someone picks up the phone and kicks you offline. The point is, back then the World Wide Web was quaint, charming. My, how things have changed.

Today, the digital space is complex, disarming and only getting more so. To deal with the complexity and the voluminous data being created as customers interact with websites and vice versa, SilverTech has pioneered a Lead to Loyal™ approach that considers all digital touchpoints and the back-end ecosystem that supports them – CMS, CRM, and Marketing Automation. Once upon a time, our account managers could guide clients through a web project and have time to spare to actively seek out new clients. Now, to make the hard stuff easy and to continue to grow, our Lead to Loyal work needs, no, demands project managers. So, what do we do and what do we bring to a project? Let’s start with a glimpse into my Monday morning.

Our Day Revolves Around Communicating…It’s All About Communicating

First thing on Mondays, it’s status reports time. I review hours for the past week, deliverable statuses, timeline, and budget and put that together for the client. If there are red flags, I dive in, analyze, and bring my findings to the team. My team is not just my crew here at SilverTech, it’s also the client and our 3rd party vendors. Everyone on the team has a million things going on and it’s my responsibility as a project manager to help make their job easy. It’s all about communicating, and communicating options.

And, it’s good to have options, because, ultimately, something is going to change – people get sick, roadblocks come up, stakeholders want a new feature. I aggregate all of this information, evaluate it, and then present paths for proceeding. The answer is never “no,” it’s “let’s meet to look and see what the impact will be and decide together.” Yes, there’s lot of meetings, but the meetings are all structured, have purpose and agendas, and are designed to increase communication and collaboration – thus preventing further issues from arising down the road.

Problem Solving, Certification, and a Better End Result

Our role is to understand all the workings of a project – the goals, the budget, the timeline, and most importantly, the people. With that understanding in place, we become de facto problem solvers and advocates for everyone involved. We operate without bias to solve problems large and high level like “I need to connect better with my customers through my website,” or more granular like “I have run into a roadblock on this piece and it’s taking me longer than I thought, what should we do?”

Given the complexity of our Lead to Loyal projects, there are many voices to hear and issues to consider. Fortunately, there’s a method to all of this project management madness. I recently earned my Project Management Professional (PMP)® designation and the benefits to my company and our clients are significant.

From PMI – the organization that provides the 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.

Earning this designation is no easy feat. I had to demonstrate a considerable amount of project management experience to even apply. Then, there’s many hours of class time followed followed by a very intensive exam. And, it’s not a one and done affair either. To maintain my credentials, I need to earn Professional Development Units and continue to take trainings.

Since earning my designation, I feel I’ve learned to dedicate a lot more time to upfront planning and engaging the entire team in the process for buy in – a much more collaborative approach. It’s a lot of upfront work, but it creates better communication, collaboration, and ultimately, a better end result.

Certified Client Satisfaction

As a certified project manager at SilverTech, I feel my primary responsibility is client satisfaction. In fact, my teammates and I refer to our project management group as the Swiss. It’s our job to remain neutral, evenhanded as we consider all that goes into a successful project. We’re the primary point of contact between SilverTech and the client and the people responsible for building upon the relationship originally setup by the Account Manager. Project managers are communicators, assessors. We allow the team – client, crew, and 3rd parties – to focus on delivering in their areas of expertise by providing the facts and leading the discussion to solutions.

As SilverTech continues to evolve, it’s likely our projects will continue to grow in complexity. We’ll need more project managers and more certified project managers. I will continue to educate myself as a project management professional, and I’ll be ready – and so will my team – for whatever the future holds.