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Philosophy

An introspective on project management philosophy at Edgar Allan

Article
Philosophy

An introspective on project management philosophy at Edgar Allan

Katrina
December 14, 2022

With every new project — whether it’s brand strategy, content design, a full UX Webflow website build, or everything and the kitchen sink — have you thought as much about project management as you have about the rest?

If not, at Edgar Allan we think you should.

Why is project management important?

We believe in building relationships first — and websites second. Because at the end of the day, our goal is to create close client engagement throughout the entirety of your project.

When it comes down to it, project management is an underappreciated, but entirely critical part of project delivery. After all, managing a project and managing a client relationship go hand-in-hand. That may sound obvious, but we’ve found that project management is often looked at solely as a functional role with limited potential in the agency world – PMs are seen solely as organizers and administrators – and that’s where a lot of projects can fall down.

At Edgar Allan, we’re flipping the script on project management, elevating it to the same level of attention, power and growth potential as any other role. We know it’s one thing to be good at designing and skilled at using the tools; but project management is a rich skill set all its own that sets the tone and lays the foundation on which all of this good work is built.

What can you expect from project management services at Edgar Allan?

Here’s a brief overview of our unique approach that you’ll experience when you partner with us.

We treat project management as its own discipline, much like we do for UX or content design. Unconventional? Perhaps, but we want to evaluate your needs holistically. Essentially, we strive to connect with our clients’ needs and wants, both obvious and more implied. Sounds deep, right? That’s because it is.

In our very limited time together during an initial client meeting, we want to:

  • Learn as much as possible about you and your brand. (And since relationships go both ways, we want you to do the same for us! Read our story here.)
  • Gauge your team’s technical know-how.
  • Determine if your project is a mutual fit for both your project needs and our team. Selecting the right partner can either make or break an initiative. 
  • Strive to understand personality traits, team dynamics, and the level of involvement needed to be able to support you throughout the entire engagement.

How do we take project management further?

The next phase of project management after securing our working relationship is to ensure that you as the client are engaged in each stage of production. To accomplish this, you’ll have two main points of contact at Edgar Allan.

From project onset, you’ll work with your own project manager (or PM, in agency lingo). This person is detail-oriented, process-led, and responsible for all aspects of project coordination. Our project managers thrive on hitting milestones, staying focused, and making sure deliverables are on track.

Recently we’ve also started adding an engagement lead to the project management equation. As the title implies, an engagement lead leads an engagement (project) from start to finish and is accountable for its overall success from a creative and strategic standpoint. This focused leader understands your business needs, as well as the success parameters for the initiative, and is involved in day-to-day project activities.

We also give our PMs and engagement leads the power to shape their (and our) processes. We encourage their personal and professional growth: working to stay innovative, relevant, and directly involved with our clients day to day.

Our approach to defining these roles helps our team strategically think about how they do their jobs, evolve in their careers, and ultimately add value — real, honest-to-goodness value, beyond just being the “timekeeper” or “filing cabinet owner” — to our projects.

The best part? Our clients benefit from this approach, as well. An exceptional PM is one in a million; fortunately for you (and for us!), we’re thrilled to have some of the best on our team.

What’s our secret to successful project management?

It’s all about communication, communication, and yet more communication. 

Another way we strive to differentiate ourselves from other Webflow agencies is our consistent client communication. We really do work hard to be an extension of your team, as opposed to delivering a final product and signing off into the ether.

Our standing weekly meetings are for more than saying, “Here's your timeline and here's where we’re at.” Instead, they’re for presenting work and/or giving detailed updates. They’re an opportunity for you to play a role in what our team is actively working on at any given point. Your ongoing input is an essential piece of the project puzzle to keep us all moving forward.

What have we learned about project management in almost 10 years as a Webflow agency?

A little bit of empathy goes a (really) long way.

We speak from experience when we say that we can do everything in our power to create a really defined project plan with distinct milestones… but in reality, it’s never going to go exactly as planned.

Every project is going to have bumps in the road, and nothing is ever going to be perfect. As long as we bear this in mind and do a good job of keeping you in the loop, our partnership is still going to be successful.

Instead of allowing frustrations to rise, we take an objective step back. We never just wash our hands of an issue; instead we make every effort to identify the root of what’s going on, deciding how we can best pivot to keep our partnership strong and your project on track.

What happens at project wrap?

Even when we walk away feeling really good about your project, we still like to maintain that open channel of communication. In short, it’s never “goodbye.”

We love to stay in touch with our clients, and quite honestly there’s no higher compliment we can receive than your standing reference, or a referral to your industry peers.

We like to think it’s a testament to all these steps we’ve taken along the way on our project management journey — together.

All in all, there’s a lot to be said for the power of great project management. So if you’re looking to build an agency relationship above and beyond your project needs, reach out and say hello.

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