Your Project Manager
What do they do? What is their role?
For each app development and software project we take on at Essential Designs, we have an assigned Project Manager. The PM’s role is essentially intended to quarterback communication for the project to help keep the development team on the same page as our clients.
Developers are extremely good at project flow, coding, and development, and have a plethora of skills on the back-end of projects we take on, but typically communicating isn’t exactly their forte. For this reason, we have dedicated Project Managers to help troubleshoot, relay important information from developer to client (and vice versa), oversee project Sprints and Milestone deliveries, and QA test deliverables.
We employ Agile Software Development for all of our projects, whether they are mobile applications, web apps, or business software.
‘Agile’ is a widely employed philosophy of software & mobile/web app development that essentially means an organized team works together to create projects in an evolutionary manner.
General Agile principles include:
1- Satisfy client requirements and continually develop the software
2- Deliverables are frequent and broken up into ‘Sprints’ to give the shortest time span between deliveries
3- Collaborative development is necessary to produce the best results
Your Project Manager’s main role is to oversee the development process: confirming that questions from or to our development team get fully answered so that everyone is on the same page. “Logic” questions can have a myriad of answers and use case scenarios, so clarification is often needed if specific scenarios haven’t been fully vetted in your scope document or wireframe.
PM’s are available to respond to calls and emails with clients, relay delivery dates, update bug sheets and test progress. Our technical PMs also help set up hosting servers, publish finished apps to the App Store or Google Play, and can dive into setting up Secure Socket Layer URLs for web apps to protect users’ privacy.
Agency versus Freelancer (the Benefits)
> Multiple coders
At Essential Designs, we typically assign 2 back end developers to each project, who are overseen and assisted by a Technical Lead
> Enhanced customer service
Each project includes a dedicated Project Manager to liaise between the development team and the client
> Testing teams
Each project milestone has a QA team to verify builds, find bugs and communicate issues back to the development team
> In-house UI/UX design
Our in-house design team works on projects from wireframe through completion to expedite the design process and to assure design quality
Having been in business for over 10 years, we provide our customers with ongoing support
From the Sales department to the dedicated Project Manager, we deliver constant communication as the project evolves
Project Management Tools
Project Management is a big task, and some of the key tools we use help facilitate organization, and communication. Our most-relied upon software includes:
Basecamp is a SaaS platform that facilitates communication between all of our departments. Check out our more in-depth article to learn more about using Basecamp.
Loom is a quick & easy video creation service. We use Loom when walking through wireframes, testing software, and clarifying questions as it is a quick and easy way to make sure all parties involved in a project are on the same page – when they can’t be in the same room. You can learn more about Loom on our productivity apps article.
Joinme is a video conferencing tool similar to Skype that is accessible via your browser (no install required), and is quick, reliable and free. Easily communicate with one or multiple people, screen share, record meetings for later reference, and file share for collaborative online meetings.
Lightshot is a Chrome browser extension that takes screen capturing to a whole new level! No more ‘print screen’ and pasting/manipulating the image into an image-editing software, Lightshot allows the user to quickly capture a section of your screen and edit directly on it with drawing, arrows, and text.
By Mary MacPherson, Digital Marketing Manager @Essential Designs