In the late nineties, when many interactive Project Managers were beginning to find a place in the online world, the job requirements for success were very different. It was enough to have a handle on work process and technology - add some time management and organizational skills, and you were fairly certain you'd get through any given day. As the entire industry has evolved, so has the role of the interactive Project Manager.
With a much more savvy internet audience and better-versed clients, it is becoming increasingly important that a Project Manager is able to not only understand the components of development and execution, but the objectives, challenges and trends faced by each client and each business vertical they work within. In other words, a modern day interactive Project Manager must be able to offer strategic value to their internal and client teams. The ability to execute from production through to launch is a given. What separates the great Project Managers from the mediocre is the capacity to understand their client's business and offer solutions that achieve specific online goals. This requires adaptability and a broad base of business knowledge you may not learn at school. This type of know-how will come from on the job experience, for which there is simply no replacement.
The longer you work as a Project Manager, the more historical knowledge you will carry with you, which you will often be able to leverage from one client to the next. This will ensure your clients see you as a true subject matter expert who is able to offer value beyond a timeline and project plan. In no way does this minimize the importance of execution, but it draws a definitive line between the basics and the soft skills that can push a career in project management to the next level.