This article is only available in Dutch 🇳🇱
The position of Project Manager at an agency like Move is quite varied and challenging. Since we often hear that the role of Project Manager is not the same everywhere, we want to give a picture of how our Project Managers work and what challenges they face. That's why this blog was written and Mike takes you through to give more insight into what the day-to-day work is like. This will give you an insight into Move's corporate culture and how we work with the team.
The workday of a Project Manager at Move
I arrive at the office. The day has started with a pleasant bike ride. The sun is shining and Amsterdam looks beautiful today. As I hop into the elevator I chat with one of the neighbors.
When I reach the top, I see through the large windows the cargo boat of YinPin corp siphoning its soybeans. Watching working people never gets boring. At our place, people are working hard, too. Our office manager refills the cappuccino milk. "Pleasebe patient!" she yells jollily.
There is much to do today so while I wait I unfold my MacBook and click on my Trello board. Once I set my priorities for the day, my fellow Project Managers are already waiting for me in the boardroom. We start the day with a brief daily stand-up to see what we'll be doing and if there's anything we can help each other with.
Time for the real thing. We are working on a discovery project for one of our clients and today we present the storymap to the client. Two weeks of intensive user researching, crazy 8ths and prototyping has led to this result. Together with my creative colleagues from the design department, I went through a cool process where we focused on the end-user. Or Charlotte, as we called her persona. During our presentation, the client became visibly excited and came up with many more ideas of their own. We struck the right chord. Great!
When I have discussed the next steps in the schedule with the client and the door clicks shut behind him again, I have to retreat behind my MacBook for a moment. I turn off my Slack and put on my concentration list(Spotify: 'Piano in the Background'). We are preparing a pitch for a potential client and my job is to describe the way of working. We work Scrum, but in practice every client expects something different from this. So it is important to have a good story in advance about why we choose our way of working.
Before I know it, it's lunchtime. A dancing chicken is posted in the "company lunch" Slack because we are having eggs at lunch today. A company-wide favorite combined with the butcher's ox sausage or filet Americain. The table is set and over lunch I spar a bit with a colleague about what used to be the most nonsensical MSN abbreviation. Good times.
Since my food-baby slurps the necessary energy from me, I decided it was time for an administrative job. That too is important as a Project Manager at Move. The month has just ended so I need to make the final balance of how many hours were worked. This way I give my clients even more insight into what we worked on last month and status of the budget.
In between, I have a weekly call with one of my clients. This will be a tricky call. Complications with the integration of a new functionality are putting considerable pressure on our schedule. We discussed this risk beforehand, but it's still a major setback and the customer clearly shows she's annoyed. One of our core values is "we always deliver" for a reason, so I made a plan on how we were going to overcome this hurdle. In the end, I put the phone down with a good feeling. We can move on again.
I roll up my sleeves, I grab an apples to oranges because I get to put on my Scrum master cap again. For one of my clients, everything is going according to the Scrum guide. Wonderful when there is such good agreement on the process. Via Zoom, the client's Product Owner calls in and we discuss what may be picked up in the next sprint. Or better, the developers discuss it with the customer. I ask sharp questions and make sure there is clarity on every item on the backlog.
The day is pretty much over. I invite a client to a call the next day and answer my latest Slack messages, shove some Sharpies and Post-its in my bag. Tomorrow I'll be in a client's office all day.
I hop back on my bike and let my thoughts go over the day. I met with several of "my" clients today. That requires flexibility and reflection. The most challenging part is hitting the right tone with each client. Some clients are very involved, others watch from a little more distance. Well, until just before the release. Then suddenly everything has to be different. In addition, every company I enter has a different political atmosphere. So I learn a lot about myself, but also about many corporates I enter. But in the end, we all have the same goal: Making great apps with satisfied users.
Key duties as a Project Manager at Move.
Just a quick overview of what I think are the main duties of a Project Manager at Move.
As a Project Manager at Move:
- Are you good at managing multiple projects simultaneously and are also great at keeping track of them;
- Are you communicatively strong so you don't shy away from even more difficult conversations with customers;
- Do you enjoy working with the client rather than for the client. In addition, you can sometimes be found at the client's location or office;
- Understand the need to follow the process and thereby carry out the associated administrative elements;
- Present progress to your clients on a regular basis and discuss together the next steps in the process;
- Do you speak English well, because among our customers are also international;
- Understand that you communicate differently with a developer than with a client; You adjust your communication accordingly so that you can do your job to the best of your ability.
- You are familiar with how to work Agile/Scrum or are open to learning this.
After reading this blog, do you think, I want to work there too?
Then apply to Move. You can find a list of vacancies here.