What Is Digital Project Management? (With Skills and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As technology advances, it leads to more career opportunities for professionals interested in creating digital content, like mobile applications and websites. A digital project manager is responsible for managing, coordinating and organizing digital projects to a standard that ensures users have a positive user experience. If you're interested in technology and have strong leadership skills, consider a career in digital project management. In this article, we discuss what digital project management is, explain what a digital project manager does, share some helpful skills and offer some tips.

What is digital project management?

Digital project management involves creating a plan, executing it, and managing various digital projects, focusing on creating a positive experience for customers or end users. Some examples of digital projects include:

  • Conversion rate optimization

  • Digital marketing campaigns

  • Mobile app development

  • Social media campaigns

  • Software development

  • UI/UX designs

  • Website design

  • Website development

The aim of digital project management is to finish projects by predetermined deadlines and within budget constrictions while maximising its return on investment (ROI). Project management professionals use ROI to ensure that the profits earned from the project exceed the costs to complete it. Digital project managers are professionals who work in digital project management.

Related: What is ROI? Understanding the Meaning and Calculation

What does a digital project manager do?

A digital project manager's responsibility may vary depending on the company they work for and the type of digital projects they manage. A digital project manager organises, coordinates, and manages digital projects to ensure that users have a positive experience. In their leadership role, digital project managers:

  • Define the project scope and create a project plan, which includes determining the timeline and budget.

  • Assign tasks to team members and update them regularly about their progress.

  • Assess potential project risks, such as an update to a mobile operating system.

  • Analyze potential solutions to potential project risks.

  • Manage project resources and evaluate costs to ensure that they don't exceed the project's budget.

  • Provide progress updates to stakeholders and clients.

  • Evaluate the project deliverables for user experience and quality assurance.

  • Ensure the final project meets the preset requirements and works properly for users.

Related: How to Become a Project Manager (With Salary Expectations)

Helpful skills for digital project management

Some skills that you may want to gain and refine if you're working on digital projects include:

Business acumen

Digital project managers with strong business acumen skills can effectively oversee the delivery of outcomes, aligning with a client's goals and vision for the project. Using strategic planning can help them ensure their team fulfills all expectations on time and within budget. Digital project managers use their financial skills, such as budgeting and analysis, to determine the expected costs of a project and manage these costs to ensure that they stay within the project's budget. They find solutions to problems by using their business judgment to analyse the circumstance and find an appropriate solution.

Related: How to Improve Your Management Skills

Communication

Having strong communication skills can help digital project managers excel in various parts of their work. They typically work closely with clients, listening and understanding their expectations for the digital project. Digital project managers communicate regularly with their team members, explaining their tasks, offering guidance and setting expectations for their performances. Occasionally, these professionals benefit from having strong written communication skills because they prepare reports for stakeholders and clients, updating them on the project. They can also use digital tools like email and various messaging platforms to provide feedback or offer suggestions to their team members.

Leadership

As digital project managers hold leadership positions on their project teams, having strong leadership skills can help them excel in this role. If a problem occurs during the project, they use their decision-making skills to evaluate issues, analyze information and make quick decisions to continue working towards their goals. Developing their relationship-building skills helps them create connections with their team members, which can help establish trust. This trust helps digital project managers motivate their teams to meet the project requirements and expectations.

Organization

Digital project managers use organization skills to manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks and plan projects from conception to completion. As project managers often have various responsibilities, having strong time management skills can help them determine what tasks they want to complete during their workday. These professionals can effectively prioritize their tasks based on the project's goals and allocate work to their team members based on their unique skill sets and the order of importance. Digital project managers use their planning skills to establish a project timeline, including deadlines for all phases, to ensure that the project remains on schedule.

Technical

The technical skills that are helpful for a digital project manager can vary based on their role. For example, a digital project manager who works on digital marketing campaigns can benefit from having search engine optimization (SEO) and social media skills. Some common technical skills that are helpful for digital project managers include content management systems, which allow them to create and post content, and HTML and CSS, which help them format online content. Many digital project managers also use project management software to plan projects, allocate resources and manage budgets.

Related: Essential Project Manager Technical Skills

Tips for digital project management

Here are some tips that can help you successfully manage digital projects:

Earn a certification

It's important for digital project managers to continue learning new techniques to help them effectively lead digital projects. Getting a certification can be an excellent way of expanding your technical knowledge and gaining new project management skills. Some certifications you may pursue as a digital project manager include:

  • Professional Certification in Digital Project Management: This certification from Boston College helps professionals gain skills in digital project management, including digital project design, hardware and software platforms and cross-functional collaboration. Anyone with a high school diploma can apply for the certification, which applicants earn after completing a 16-week online course.

  • Project Management Professional: This highly recognized project management credential from the Project Management Institute shows a professional has the skills to manage projects, including leadership, technical processes and business environment. Applicants can take the exam to earn this certification if they meet the requirements for education, work experience and project management training.

  • Certified Scrum Master: This certification from the Scrum Alliance shows that a professional has advanced knowledge of Scrum, a framework commonly used for technical projects where teams complete tasks in a series of sprints. There are no requirements for the credential, and applicants become certified after completing a two-day course and passing the exam.

Learn different methodologies

As a digital project manager, you can use various methodologies to help you plan projects and delegate tasks to team members. The type of method you choose to implement may depend on the project or the size of your team. Here are a few of the different methodologies you can use as a digital project manager:

  • Waterfall: This process divides projects into a series of phases, where teams complete one phase before moving on to the next one. This can be a practical method for projects with linear phases that teams can complete in a logical order.

  • Agile: In this method, teams complete various parts of the project incrementally while they continue to review and revise previous phases simultaneously. This process works well for projects that may require frequent changes or continual testing, such as software development.

  • Kanban: This process is a type of Agile method where teams visualize the various phases of a project by using cards attached to boards. Kanban works well for smaller projects where teams can use visual tools to identify potential problems and find effective solutions.

  • Scrum: This method is another form of the Agile framework that divides projects into a series of sprints that teams complete quickly. Scrum can work well for smaller teams working on complex projects because it helps them prioritize the various phases to complete the most important tasks first.

Related: What Is a Project Management Plan? With Tips and Examples

Set realistic expectations

As a digital project manager, it's important to establish and communicate expectations for your team members. When assigning tasks for a digital project, explain to your team members how you plan to measure their success. Ensure you're setting expectations for the team that are realistic and attainable. You can do this by having regular discussions with your team about their skills and capabilities.

Remind your team members that if they feel you're giving them too much work or they're struggling to complete certain tasks, they can ask you for guidance. This can help promote a team-oriented mindset. Setting realistic expectations for the team can also motivate them to work diligently on their tasks and encourage them to strive to meet the project goals.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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