10.04.23 - Makeway Culture
Project Manager Q&A: Favorite Problems to Solve
Website redesigns and digital projects can get complex. And it’s not just the technical aspects.
From handling evolving goals and timelines to communicating across multiple channels and tracking deliverables, project management is a critical task in and of itself.
In this Project Manager Q&A, we ask three Makeway PMs…
As a project manager or account manager, what’s your favorite type of problem to solve?
Morgan Willie, Project Manager
I enjoy finding solutions with client communication. Everyone has a preference when it comes to how they like to receive information and how frequently. I believe in checking in with the client early and often, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them. When it comes to assigning a client tasks and due dates, I always try to make my requests easily actionable and concise, focusing primarily on steps that can immediately drive the project forward.
Working with the client to thoroughly define goals and objectives upfront will help set you up for long-term success with communication. When projects are highly complex, we can sometimes lose sight of the original goal or the desired end result. Knowing the end goal can help you craft more precise requests and prioritize what gets communicated to the client first, versus what can wait.
“I enjoy finding solutions with client communication. Working with the client to thoroughly define goals and objectives upfront will help set you up for long-term success.” – Morgan
Danielle Brooks, Project Manager
I’m passionate about solving problems related to bettering our processes and workflow. I enjoy big-picture thinking, reflection, and recognizing patterns, which makes me especially attuned to spotting areas of improvement within our project process.
I look at every project as a learning opportunity. If it went well, what worked and how can we turn that success into a repeatable process for future projects? If there were issues or it didn’t go as planned, where was the breakdown? Diagnosing the specific problems and the underlying causes is a good place to begin. It’s also valuable to check if the issue shows up as a pattern in other work. If it’s a pattern, chances are that something within the process isn’t working for everyone involved. The next step is solving that problem and finding ways to better the process the next time around. After identifying a potential solution it’s also important to test and monitor that solution. Did it work as expected? Can it be improved upon even more?
Process improvements can help with all sorts of issues: communication, efficiency, clarity, accuracy, profitability, quality, client satisfaction, etc. Solving process-related problems is especially rewarding to me because of the positive impact it can have across all projects and throughout our entire team.
“Solving process-related problems is especially rewarding to me because of the positive impact it can have across all projects and throughout our entire team.”
Andy Hellmuth, Account Manager
My favorite problem to solve is finding creative ways to plan a project on a limited schedule or budget.
For me, it’s a win for both sides—our team and our clients. Whenever we have a new opportunity to work with a client to build them something special, would I prefer unlimited time and budget? Of course! But, this is real life that is almost certainly never the case.
When we talk about being a true partner here at Makeway, this for me is at the root of what we mean. We understand that no matter what the project is—be it some quick maintenance support or a wholesale redesign of a website—there are going to be limitations on budget, timing, technology, or other factors.
I love helping to solve this type of problem because for me it’s all about collaboration, creativity, and compromise. It’s our job as digital experts to explain to our clients what we can achieve within their limitations, and to show them that we can still build something for them that elevates their brand, serves their clients, and looks good to boot.
“I love helping to solve problems with limited budgets or timelines because for me it’s all about collaboration, creativity, and compromise.”
In case you couldn’t tell by now, Project Managers are problem solvers.
They’re curious, organized, and communicative. They know how to identify and tackle problems while juggling a highly technical project for a client.
Interested in breaking into the field as a PM?
You can learn more about the valuable skills a PM needs for the role. And check out the Makeway careers page or reach [email protected].