Our Project Management Consultant Andrew Barnett brings you all the facts and advice you need to know for being a successful project manager.
As we have seen an upturn in the state of the economy and the digital space continuing to grow, there are more and more opportunities available to digital project managers and producers. With this in mind it is now more important than ever to make the right decision in your next move, should you decide to look now or even next year.
Big Vs Small…
The difference between large and small agencies is fairly obvious although sometimes it's hard to really understand which would suit you more. From experience, a smaller agency will often give you more responsibilities outside of just pure delivery which can be great for junior candidates to learn their trade. You may not be exposed to the 'office politics' that can come in larger environments and your voice is more likely to be heard with many having flat management structures.
Smaller agencies have the freedom to push the boundaries and can deliver some really interesting work. If you are the type of person who is full of ideas and wants to be hands on, then it is definitely worth exploring the independents.
However, just be careful you ask the right questions during the interview as sometimes all is not as it seems. I met a PM from a small independent agency last year who was looking to leave. On the surface, this agency looked very impressive and specialised in mobile applications for their clients. Speaking with the candidate, it became apparent that over the course of 12 months, not one mobile app had been delivered as the agency, so concerned not to lose its main client, were only delivering campaigns and web designs. I am sure this can happen in a number of places but do remember to ask them what they have recently delivered and who it is for because if their largest client decides to end its relationship, redundancies are inevitable.
A larger agency can often give you the opportunity to work with some very well-known brands with a chance for faster career progression. If an agency has positions running right up to programme directors, you know there is room for progression. Benefit packages can be more appealing and you will get a chance to work with a variety of teams from QA to Strategy.
Agile, Agile and more Agile…
More and more, agencies are looking to an Agile methodology to deliver projects so if you do get the chance to go on a training course or work through an Agile project, grab it with both hands.
A large number of requirements that come through are looking for a mixture of Agile and Waterfall and while we don't really come across many agencies who claim to have a solid agile approach in place, they will tailor an agile process that is often flexible according to their clients and the way their agency operates.
If you decide to look around this year, London is one of the most innovative and exciting digital hubs in the world. Digital is a market that keeps growing and there will always be a need for project managers to ensure the developers don't get carried away and there is some margin of profit at the end of the project! Just make sure you keep your eyes open if you do look and the 4 points below are the most common questions we have been asked from candidates over the last 12 months.
- What training will be on offer to you in your next role and how relevant will it be for your career as a whole?
- How much room for progression is there and what will you need to do to climb the ladder?
- How much reliance is there on one client and would there be a detrimental effect on the agency should they lose the client?
- What methodologies are you most likely to get exposure to?
I only work in the digital project management and production space and currently have 25 lives roles across London so would love to work with you should you decide to move on or alternatively meet for a coffee should you wish to discuss the current state of the market in more detail.