14 Key Skills You Need to be a Successful Digital Project Manager (DPM)
Guest Blogger Ekaterina Zelenkova: “With an economics background and over 12 years’ experience in the fields of finance, financial online journalism and management, Ekaterina has an exhaustive ground for passionate work in new market development, financial content writing and analysis. During the last 8 years, she has worked on digital projects too, and more recently with interpreting and translation services, web design, financial content writing and digital consultancy.”
When you decide to start a career as a Digital Project Manager (DPM), you must consider the fact that you will need some additional skills which may not be required if you work in the field of classical project management.
If you research a job description for the role of DPM, you may find that there is no strict specification of skills needed for the job. However, the more you read, you’ll soon realise, the longer the list of skills that are required to be a successful digital project manager becomes.
The main reason for this is that each digital project is unique and has different priorities, target audiences, budgets, timescales and final products to offer. In such diverse circumstances, the project manager needs to deliver, always.
There are various talents and skills which a successful DPM must possess; I have distributed these talents into four main groups:
– Digital skills
– Character and leadership
– Skills needed to deal with the inside project environment
– Abilities to manage all processes outside of the project
Compared to classical project management the digital manager needs to possess some extra skills too. As you can guess, these are the digital skills, referenced above. If you want to be a successful DPM, it will not be enough for you to be a good manager only.
The digital knowledge helps the leader to be more flexible, to react in time and to lead teams with confidence, in a professional manner; it helps them to communicate about the new project with an assertion.
Below is a list of fourteen most commonly demanded competences, with special accent on digital skills:
Digital Skills (Competence in)
1. Copywriting and Editing
2. HTML/CSS and FTP
3. Social media
4. Content Management Systems
5. Reporting and Analytics, SEO
6. Project management methodologies- Agile, Scrum and Waterfall
7. Knowledge of platforms and programmes needed for the product development
Character and leadership
8. Leadership and work organisation
10. Negotiation skills
11. Presentation skills
Skills needed to deal with the inside project environment
12. Tech and Marketing Lingo
Skills to manage all processes outside of the project
13. Fiscal and formal (shareholders) responsibility
14. Commercial awareness.
To avoid being boring, I will not review each skill from the list above separately. The list here is not exhaustive; there are more skills which can always be added. The team would love you share your views in comments below, and feel free to add your own skills which you feel are needed to be a successful Digital Project Manager too!