The web project manager is often described as an orchestra conductor, leading several groups of people to work together during various project phases in order to achieve the objectives set while complying with the constraints of costs and deadlines. He or she will ensure the supervision and coordination of the various tasks to be performed during the web project, lead the teams, talk to the client and provide regular progress reports of his or her hierarchy.
Role of the web project manager
The web project manager will arbitrate the project priorities and determine which resources to assign to the different tasks as the project progresses.
He or she will also ensure that sometimes heterogeneous teams can work together. He or she is the focal point of a horizontal organisation that includes development, marketing, webdesign or even operating teams. The project manager will coordinate all actions to be implemented during the project and ensure good communication between participants.
The web project manager therefore intervenes in the early phases of the project, at the time of the expression of the requirements and the drafting of the specifications with the client, defining the schedule of implementation and the delivery dates. He or she will also have to handle throughout the project the various problems encountered (unidentified technical constraints, human resources management, conflict resolution, need for material resources, etc.) in order to solve them and allow the continuity of the project.
Ideally, the web project manager has strong technical knowledge that will allow him or her to speak effectively with both the technical team and the client, but he or she will also have management skills, in order to communicate regularly with the project manager on progress, compliance with costs and deadlines and possible problems encountered.
The role of the project manager is not limited to the realisation of the application or the website and does not end with its delivery. Beyond that, he or she can also provide the maintenance in operational condition (French acronym MCO) of the web application and manage any possible needs both in terms of correction of anomalies (corrective maintenance) and development of new features (progressive maintenance).
Qualities of the web project manager
The web project manager must have leadership qualities. He or she must be able to gather around him or her different teams from different worlds and ensure that all work effectively for the sole purpose of the project’s success. He or she will have to be able to listen as well as to make proposals, to be a good communicator in order to be able to resolve potential conflicts. Even if he or she must be a good negotiator, he or she must be able to arbitrate and make decisions.
The project manager must also possess managerial qualities and have the commercial fiber, in order to be able to dialogue and negotiate with the client. He or she will have to listen to the client and be attentive to his or her needs, such as being able to convince him or her that the proposed solution is solid and coherent.
Skills of the web project manager
Autonomy, rigour and organisation
Project management requires a more or less long-term vision and being able to supervise actions.
Sense of contact, communications, teamwork
Having to coordinate multiple actors from different worlds, the web project manager must be able to adapt to his or her interlocutors.
Administration / management
The web project manager needs to manage budgets as well as the performance time for each task and the persons responsible for carrying them out.
Project management tools
The web project manager is naturally familiar with the tools to ensure the organisation and monitoring of the project, such as Nutcache.
Web project manager curriculum
The web project manager usually comes from training involving a combination of courses related to web development techniques, marketing, communications and management.
If it is possible to access the position of web project manager by having a diploma of Bac level + 3 (BTS or DUT, License Pro), a diploma of level Bac + 5 (engineering school or university training of the Master or Master Pro type) is the most often required.
The web project manager may also have previously held a position as a web developer, consultant or analyst and put emphasis on his or her experience in the field of the web domain.
After several years of experience, the web project manager may wish to sit for professional qualifications. The two main ones are “Project Management Professional” or “PMP” issued by the “Project Management Institute” or “PMI” and the “International Project Management Association” or “IPMA”.
Web project manager salary
The order of magnitude of a web project manager’s salary is in the following ranges:
• Junior (1-2 years of experience) : from 28 to 40 k USD
• Confirmed (3-5 years of experience) : from 40 to 50 k USD
• Senior (more than 5 years of experience) : from 50 to 75 k USD
Employment and career development
Most web project managers are employed by DSCs (Digital Service Companies), web agencies or sometimes publishers. They are attached to a project manager or operations manager. A web project manager, depending on his or her skills and experience, may have to manage several web projects at the same time, for the same client or for different clients, or even take charge of larger projects.
After several years of experience, the web project manager may evolve towards a position as project director (he or she will then have several project managers under his or her responsibility), responsible for operations or even operations manager or consultant in support of project management.