When you are a project manager, you are in all the details.
You know the challenges of your client, the stresses of the team, where every penny is being spent… the list goes on.
A few years back, I used to be the ONLY Project Manager in an agency that was managing many larger ambitious projects. As a team, we often bit off more than we could chew, but it gave us the opportunity to work on a lot of cool and challenging projects.
Over time I found myself overwhelmed with a huge workload, stakeholders pulling me in all directions, leaving me feeling like I was doing a bad job. I was spinning plates rather than moving each project along how I wanted to.
However, the projects were still being completed on time, on budget, and our clients were happy. So why did I feel so uncomfortable?
Fast forward a few years, and I’m overseeing a much bigger portfolio of work as a Delivery Manager. I didn’t know all of the nitty-gritty of each project, but I’d still track the status, timelines and budgets with a team of project managers. I only need to zoom-in when there are issues, blockers or risks that need escalating, or on specific strategically important projects.
If a Project Manager is the captain of a ship, a Delivery Manager is the commander of the fleet. It’s a different role, with different responsibilities - and it’s easy to not notice you’ve slipped into it, especially if you are in a fast growing team.
Here are some of the things to be conscious of when you start overseeing delivery:
- Focus on the big picture: As a delivery manager, you need to focus on the overall success of a project, rather than getting bogged down in the details. You need to zoom-out to understand the entire process and take responsibility for it.
- Develop your leadership skills: You need to be able to lead and motivate your team, while also managing stakeholders and communicating with clients. Learn how to delegate, and be mindful of not becoming a micro-manager!
- Cultivate a culture of quality: Ensure that your team is committed to delivering high-quality work by encouraging them to take pride in their work. Hold them accountable for meeting high standards, but trust the details to them.
- Build strong relationships with clients: As a delivery manager, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that clients are happy with the work your team produces. Build strong relationships with clients by communicating effectively, being responsive to their needs, and addressing any issues promptly.
- Learn to manage risk: Web development projects can be unpredictable, with unexpected challenges and obstacles cropping up at any time. Learn how to manage risk effectively by identifying potential risks, developing contingency plans, and keeping stakeholders informed.
I’m dedicated to empowering web development teams to achieve their goals by improving their delivery processes to create exceptional client experiences.
If you’re ready to take your team’s delivery capabilities to the next level, don’t hesitate to contact me for guidance and support.