The world is digital now and your small business should be too. One thing 2020 taught us is that businesses that have not taken advantage of digital readiness are more susceptible to going out of business when faced with interruption – economic or otherwise. In 2020, more than 300,000 small businesses closed temporarily or permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 14% of the small businesses that remain open have reportedly put more investment into technology and digital marketing.
Digital readiness enables small businesses to transition a significant percentage of sales acquisition efforts online, while embracing emerging technologies for better business.
As the pandemic’s impact on small business survival demonstrated, many organizations were not digitally ready or prepared for unexpected shifts to normal operations. Hopefully, that is not the case for your small business now, but if it is, now is the time to start employing the right people to prepare for digital readiness.
So, here’s why you need a digital project manager…
What is a Digital Project Manager?
A digital project manager is an expert in organization and strategy. Their goal is to achieve project goals for individual projects of various size and scope. To do that, they use exceptional management skills to oversee several moving parts and communicate with project stakeholders.
As the title implies, a digital project manager is responsible for the management, planning, scheduling, budgeting, monitoring, execution, and closing of digital projects. In case you are wondering about the difference between your day-to-day activities and a project – it is just that! A project is only a project if it has a defined start and end point.
A digital project can involve anything from a full-scale website upgrade for a federal government agency to legacy product modernization to a brand awareness digital marketing campaign for a new start-up.
A digital project manager ensures the planned project is conducted and achieved as required within cost and schedule parameters. Your small business could always use exceptional results with less cost, right?
A Digital Consultant vs Digital Project Manager
Before you start seeking out your digital project manager, take some things into consideration. A digital consultant may be great at carrying out one area of a digital project but may not be skilled in overseeing the entire execution.
That is where a digital project manager comes in. A digital consultant provides specified support for a singular project nuance, while a digital project manager has general understanding of each aspect of the project for comprehensive support.
There are plenty of skill sets that are required for a digital project to be successful. Some of the talent you will likely leverage include:
Quality assurance analyst
Search engine optimization specialist
Digital projects are accomplished through phased work between specialized teams. The digital project manager helps keep the project deliverables flowing in the right direction – not to mention keeping the stakeholders happy and in sync.
Several tools and technologies are available for successful team collaboration depending on the scope of the project. Your digital project manager will use the best digital project management tools to help the team stay organized whether the project scope involves a short or long project timeline or specific project methodology such as Agile vs. Waterfall vs. Hybrid, and so on.
Digital Project Management Tools
Digital project management tools include, but are not limited to, the following:
Microsoft Project. Great for tech integration support.
Atlassian Jira. Great for product development projects.
ProjectManager. Great for time and expense tracking.
Monday.com. Great for Gantt chart visualizations.
Smartsheets. Great for portfolio management.
Ravetree. Great for Agile projects.
Proggio. Great for workflow streams.
Trello. Great for team organization.
Asana. Great for visualizations.
Wrike. Great for marketing projects.
Need a better idea of what a digital project manager does? A job description follows next.
DPM Job Description
PayScale.com defines a digital project manager as “the primary driver behind an organization's digitally based initiatives.” A digital project manager annual salary ranges between $46,000 for entry level roles with 1 year of experience to as high as $109,000+ for more than 10 years of experience.
Alternative titles or supporting titles for this role include associate digital project manager, digital marketing manager, and assistant project manager.
Here’s an associate-level digital project manager job description:
When is the best time to work with a Digital Project Manager?
You can see that a digital project manager offers a higher level of management skills for various types of simple and complex digital projects – projects with a handful to hundreds of stakeholders and millions of dollars in spend. A digital project manager can work with you as an independent consultant or as a full-time employee where your organization conducts several client-facing or internal projects.
Small businesses can seek the support of a digital project manager when you have discovered the need for digital readiness, digital innovation, or modernization. A digital project manager will work with you to understand the project’s business case, determine project specifications, and to begin planning project details and resource requirements.
It is time to start seeking support from a digital project manager when…
A project requires focused support for specific project outcomes
A project requires more than 20% of your current manpower
A project requires more than 10% of budgetary allowance
Your small business is interested in achieving digital readiness.
Your small business is ready to scale.
Working with a digital project manager has long-term and greater effects once the final project deliverables are complete and transitioned to the initiating stakeholders. Digital projects can place your small business ahead of the competition, as well as provide your customers with greater experiences.
A digital project manager is your secret to a thriving and scaled small business.