The job of a project manager is to act as a mediator between an agency and its clients and keep the agency on track with tasks. Building a reserve of useful tools and skills is important in project management because it can be fast-paced and overwhelming at times. These are a few of the project management tools and skills we find particularly useful here at Boxcar.
At least once a week, the entire Boxcar team gets together to go over responsibilities and timing of each and every project our agency is responsible for. We have a giant whiteboard that outlines clients, projects, and who is responsible for each project. Having regular regroups allows the entire team to be on the same page and hold each other accountable. Plus, it keeps our agency running efficiently.
Boxcar uses a server that holds all project assets. This is a great way to make sure the whole team has access to materials they may need. It’s also helpful for storing old assets that might need to be referenced in later projects with clients we frequently work with.
Basecamp is another crucial project management tool we use at Boxcar. This is essentially a digital version of our giant whiteboard. It includes a calendar, to-do lists, and agency-wide messages. Using Basecamp helps us keep the entire team accountable and on-task.
One of the biggest perks of using Basecamp is the ability to easily share information with clients without having to create lengthy and complicated email threads. Since project managers spend most of their time communicating with clients or team members, Basecamp is particularly helpful.
Attention to Detail
Project managers need to know every detail about the projects they’re responsible for, and they also need to be capable of clearly communicating these details in fast-paced or high-stress situations. Boxcar’s project management team constantly works to better our ability to assess details and see all aspects of a project. We also double check and proofread completed work with more than one member of the project management team so nothing slips through the cracks.
Calendar and To-Do List
While often overlooked in favor of high-tech solutions, a calendar and to-do list are incredibly helpful tools for project managers. In addition to their own deadlines, project managers keep track of other team members’ deadlines. Keeping a calendar and detailed to-do lists make all of these responsibilities manageable.
Being a project manager is fulfilling and fun, if challenging at times. Being equipped with a well-stocked toolkit and valuable skills, however, keeps the agency running smoothly and decreases stress and unnecessary challenges.