Every job comes with its challenges, and the digital project management role is certainly no exception. If there’s one thing attendees of the Digital PM Summit find, it’s that they face similar challenges to one another. That’s what makes the event so valuable. It’s a place to not only learn from presentations, but a place to get together and discuss challenges and share solutions in groups, and leave feeling prepared to approach those issues in a new way. It’s pretty empowering.
This year, we’ve assembled an agenda that will address challenges and provide valuable solutions and tactics, because our speakers understand our attendees. In fact, our speakers all have project experience as DPMs and design and content specialists. So, we asked them, “What do you see as a big challenge for digital project managers?” Check out their responses below, and feel free to leave a comment with a challenge you are facing, and we’ll work it into our breakout sessions or ask a speaker to reply here.
“Adapting to the changing face of digital. We’re still a young industry relatively speaking, and I think things change more quickly than we can almost keep up with. Methodologies like Agile, which are ways of working that a lot of organisations are still trying to implement, are now being questioned. Role definitions are changing with the focus away from management to producing, project to product. I think we’re still in the infancy of our profession, which is challenging in terms of constantly needing to adapt – but also exciting!” - Suzanna Haworth
“Grappling with the tendency to feel like a jack of all trades, master of none, and recognizing that being a great Digital PM IS mastering a trade.” - Abby Fretz
“Being pushed and pulled in a million different directions on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Aside from having to somehow keep everyone happy despite them having directly opposing priorities at times, also a big challenge is simply keeping up with so many different trends and technologies when you barely have enough time to pick your nose.” - Sam Barnes
“The nature of the relationship with the client and the history of how they have evolved the way they work together presents specific challenges to any digital organization trying to adopt an Agile approach to client work.” - Dave Prior
“I feel that if you're doing your job well, the process should feel integrated and nearly invisible to the team and stakeholders. However, that's not only monumentally difficult, but if you achieve something close to it, others might breeze by your hard work. Quantifying the work of a PM is really important to me to show value!” - Amanda Costello
“The world of digital often comes with uncertain technical nuances and blurry areas of scope. We are often dealing with Designers, Marketing Managers, etc. on the stakeholder side who may not know or care what it really takes to produce a specific feature and function. The resulting challenge we regularly face is having to break down the complexity of what we are producing into simple, digestible, and easy to understand information that leads to a common understanding of the actual effort it takes to produce that result. They don’t know what they don’t know - and we have to educate them, and keep them informed them along they way.” - Greg Ryder
“One of the challenges I regularly see with digital project managers is that DPMs and organizations focus on the development of technical project management skills but without the same investment in leadership or strategic business skills. While hard project skills are necessary to our jobs, they themselves are insufficient to deliver truly amazing projects.” - Peta Kennett-Wilson
“They have to be able to effectively work with so many different communication styles. Designers and developers don't always speak the same as executives, and project managers.” - Gary Ware
For me, it feels like every day brings a new challenge: people, projects, technology. The list goes on. But balancing all of the issues and details of several projects can be mind boggling, and it's sometimes hard to know when you've just got too many projects on your plate. For me a barometer of too much work is when I realize I haven't gotten up from my desk for hours on end, because I'm responding to emails, IMs, updating plans, etc. If you don't have the time to walk around, relax your brain, and talk to your team, you're creating more challenges.
If you'd like help solving your digital project management challenges, grab your tickets now and join us in Vegas October 15-17.