Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How To Hire A Great Digital Project Manager

Staffing a digital project management position with the right individual is a key factor in the success of any interactive project. Project management has become the most pivotal role on an interactive team.  It's also a very challenging and rewarding career choice, and as the profession receives more and more attention, individuals from many areas are making the migration into project management. If you are working to fill a position at your agency, or even for a single project, there are some important skills and attributes you need to look for in the ideal candidate. Here are two I'd rank highly on the list.

People skills: This is probably the single most important quality a digital project manager must have.  The PM will be working very closely with clients, vendors, project resources, and management on a daily basis.  They need to be able to motivate, inspire, and guide in a way that gets the best out of everyone.  If the individual in unable to earn the respect and trust of the all these team members, the project will suffer, and the entire experience will be one that's painful and difficult.

Master of process: The digital landscape has become incredibly complex, with new technologies, services, trends and tactics emerging daily.  A project manager must understand the basic process of digital development inside and out in order to adapt to these changes, while still delivering a quality product.  Mastering how a website is developed, as well as the skill-set and contribution of each resource, is an absolute must.  This knowledge allows a project manager to mitigate risks and problem solve if things go off-track.  Knowing how to achieve the same end result by altering process slightly is what saves many, many digital projects from disaster, but this kind of strategic thinking cannot happen if the project lead isn't intimate with the basic process.   

Every project manager needs a chance to prove themselves on the job.  Given the potential corporate process, client, team and project backgrounds they'll have to ramp up on, it will take time to get into the groove and really make a difference.  The skills described above, however, will be evident immediately.  Pay close attention, because a digital project manager will not succeed if either is lacking.

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