A Good Project Manager is Key to a Project’s Success

#Ashley Welcome to Brand Know, a video series where we talk all things e-commerce with the Brand Labs team. We’re headquartered out of Metro Detroit with a fully remote staff that specializes in custom web development, UX, UI design, SEO and system architecture. Today, I’m really excited because I’m here with our Head of projects, Lisa Westbrook, I like to think of Lisa as our symphony conductor guiding the team on when to crescendo and decrescendo. It’s a little analogy for my music lovers out there. Lisa oversees each project that is handled at Brand Labs, working directly with clients on the development and design teams to make sure projects stay on track, within budget and delivered on time. She also manages other project managers at Brand Labs to ensure that their projects are also going smoothly and that they have the tools and support that they need. So, Lisa, thanks for being here. I want to ask you, can you tell me, so what someone might expect working with a project manager at Brand Labs? #Lisa Yeah. Thanks for that wonderful introduction Ashley. Our clients can expect to always have a dedicated project manager and we try to make sure they get the same project manager through their entire engagement with us. We believe that establishing relationships with our clients is so important as it really provides the best experience for all parties involved, and ensures that the team that is dedicated to the project really knows the details of the project and the client best. We know our clients are busy running their businesses so we take pride in getting to take something off their plate, and we try not to overwhelm them with constant communication. So we really try to set the tone at the start of each project to ensure we’re using the preferred method of communication, whether it be email, project management software, phone calls. The frequency of communication, as well as when they should expect to receive weekly project updates from us, as well as what those updates include. Clear communication is so important to the success of any project, and so it’s something that we really strive to provide for our clients. #Ashley Yeah. I know our project managers really focus on great communication to take that pressure, like you said, off of our clients so that they can focus on the business and we can work on the website. Something we talk a lot about at Brand Labs is transparency. Not only do our clients get to work with their dedicated project manager. We also make sure that they have direct access to our team of subject matter experts. Can you tell me why you feel this is important for our clients? #Lisa Yeah, we do really complex work at Brand Labs and as a project manager, I have found that allowing our talented and knowledgeable team members to just speak directly with our clients, when necessary not only provides them the most value, but it also creates space for collaboration, which we are all about here at Brand Labs. It allows our subject matter experts to hear directly from the client, what their needs are and ask questions in real time. This can help with minimizing assumptions and unknowns as well as reduce some of the back and forth communications, which in turn saves our clients both time and and money. It also helps ensure they get the solution they’re looking for while also getting to know those who are working behind the scenes on their project. My area of expertise is keeping projects organized and on track. So being able to engage our design and development team and lean on them for their knowledge really allows for the success of every project. #Ashley Yeah. I really love that about Brand Labs. No one is behind curtains here. Everyone is available to our clients and in a lot of instances, it’s more efficient to speak directly to that subject matter, whether that’s a developer to ask questions and gain insight right from the source. It’s very helpful. So another thing I wanted to touch on is we have a very unique approach at Brand Labs that starts with a solution blueprint. We don’t jump right into design and development like some other agencies might do. Can you provide some insight on this from a project manager’s point of view on what the perks are for the client? #Lisa Laying out the blueprint upfront really allows the client to see what they are getting and for our team to be able to better strategize the approach, which in turn, saves our clients a lot of time and money. We often compare web development to building a house. When you build a house, the blueprint for the house comes first, which is crucial for a builder or product manager to more accurately quote both cost and timeline. And also the homeowner knows what they’re getting before they start picking out those finishes and furnishings. Similarly, our approach is to lay that blueprint before jumping into the designs and building, because it really alleviates those frustrations that occur later in the project due to all of the revisions and unexpected costs that weren’t accounted for upfront. It really allows us to lay that foundation of what the client is trying to achieve. And this is so important because it really is easy to get swept up and excited in the designs and building of a project which can potentially take a project in a direction that might not support the client’s end goal or could take them way over their budget. Another thing I think this approach does for our clients is it really allows them to focus on what is most important now and what can be phased in later, especially for clients that may have a tight timeline or budget restrictions. If you go back to our house analogy, similar to picking out finishes for a kitchen, we know we’ll need to pick out countertops, but maybe the granite countertop isn’t in our budget right now. So we go with something else that’s a little more affordable as a placeholder, knowing we can upgrade at a later date. Our approach, I think really allows for that flexibility. And I feel like it really allows our clients to get a clear picture of the costs through each phase of their project. #Ashley Yeah, definitely. It’s all about being strategic in the beginning to have project success. Well, thank you so much for all the great information on project management here at Brand Labs. I know our team puts a lot of effort into making sure that there is clear communication from the start to benefit everyone involved in the project. So if you’re looking to update your e-commerce store with custom development, new designs focused on the user journey, SEO, platform migration, or have questions about how to improve your online store, feel free to send us a message at hello@brandlabs.us. Thanks for watching, from all of us at Brand Labs.

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