So what really is Digital Project Management or #DPM as I like to refer to it (and use this hashtag on Twitter)?
What is Project Management?
Project management itself is a controlled and very often standarized approach (with its principles, processes, techniques) aimed at delivering expected outcomes: physical or non-physical products or services delivered on time, within agreed cost margins (budget), with a defined quality and within a scope agreed upon with the client or project sponsor.
Projects are a mean to introduce change into organizations and as such they are not the business-as-usual approach.
Digital Projects and Digital Project Managers
Digital Project Managers often called Website Project Developers or even Web Project Coordinators are specialized managers who deliver projects in the digital environment.
Among most common digital projects we distinguish projects and products such as:
- website development and design, which includes user interface (UI) and user experience design (UX);
- e-commerce, web-store design, interactive user journey analysis;
- multi-channel marketing;
- e-mail marketing campaign design;
- content management and optimization, copywriting;
- mobile apps development and responsive design, application functionality;
- social media management - campaigns and marketing in social channels;
- SEM (Search Engine Metrics) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
OK, so why is this Digital Project Management term used so occasionally?
Why is Digital Project Management term so confusing? Is it the lack of standards? #DPM
A word about DPM Approaches and Methodologies
Digital Project approaches are still not standarized nor well documented. It's probably because the digital project environment is so dynamic and prone to changes. Also the set of projects I have listed above is so complex and varied that it's difficult to put them all in one single "bag", unless you want to use a very universal process description.
So what standards could be applied?
There is one general framework, a conceptual model called the Software Development LifeCycle (SDLC) which is used to describe the stages involved in an information software development.
The SDLC process can be stripped down to 8 key phases, which are:
- Requirements definition,
- Operation and maintenance phase,
The figure below from Wikia describes all the phases.
This is a more traditional approach where one builds a final solution sequentially, phase by phase, The phases can be seen as flowing steadily downwards like a waterfall., hence its name.
A more adaptive approach where the final result is achieved by constant iteration phases during which the requirements and solutions evolve as a result of collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.
I'd say that on top of that there are universal methodologies such as Prince2 or PMI (PMBOK).
If one wants to choose a complex methodology to manage a digital project, they should remember that these should be tailored to the projects' size and complexity, otherwise more effort will be put in sustaining a work system and the less value gained from it.
So what's next?
That's pretty much about it for today. Digital Project Management is still a quite fresh domain and on my blog I will share with you some frameworks and propose techniques and tools which shall make a life of a DPM easier and more "aligned" and focused on the achivement of the projects' final goal.
I'll also cover more of the various methodologies and try to answer the question - How to adapt them to the needs of digital project management?
So let's stay in touch and if you liked this post, please feel free to share it in social media and leave a comment below.