What does a project manager do?
A software project manager is the important link between 1902 Software and the client or other stakeholders who are part of the project.
We have three kinds of project managers:
- A technical project manager, who is responsible for all the technical aspects of the project, including the development and installation of the completed system;
- A design project manager, who is responsible for all graphic needs; and
- A testing project manager, who is responsible for quality assurance.
It is typically the technical project manager who is in-charge for the overall project, thus it will also be him or her that the client will communicate with the most throughout the project.
Aside from managing projects, it is also the project manager’s task to create price estimates and development specifications, as well as to keep track of current trends and developments in the market or industry.
Why should I have a project manager?
With some exceptions, the client typically does not have direct communication with developers or designers because this often leads to misunderstandings, poor service, and sour customers. And yes—we’ve tried it all before.
Talented programmers are often not that great at communication. They won’t respond to emails unless you follow up, especially when your email has something to do with a deadline or a programming error. And when they finally answer, it’s often hard to make head or tail of what they are saying—unless you’re a programmer yourself. This is of course a generalization, and you can definitely find programmers who are the opposite if you are lucky.
To avoid these problems, we have dedicated project managers that act as the in-between for the clients and our in-house programmers. Our project managers have been developers themselves, so they know the technology and are proficient in the technical aspects of your project—but at the same time, they know that a deadline is to be met, and they know not to speak “nerd” when talking to a non-technical person who just wants his or her website, webshop, or app to work.
Our project managers’ background
All our project managers have been working with us for a minimum of three years. They usually start out as programmers, designers, or testers before being promoted. In addition to managing projects, they also still develop/design/test for about 25-30% of their working hours, thus they stay up-to-date with their technical knowledge.
Our project managers have great interpersonal, technical, and communication skills. They know the techie stuff, but they can also explain these to the less technical people in a way that everyone understands.
Language and communication
All of our project managers speak and write English fluently. Prior to the project startup, communication with clients takes place through email or Skype. Once the project has been started, communication is moved away from email and into our own project management system so that everyone involved in the project (the client, the project managers, developers, designers, and testers) can access all communications.
This way, the client stays in the loop of what is happening with the project, and the problem of emails being overlooked is avoided.