Earlier in my career, I was working for a small business, and as frequently happens in small business, I wore many hats. I found myself in a position where I had knowledge about initiatives the sales team was working towards with clients, while internally, the marketing team was focused on other long-term projects.
The role of liaison between the sales and marketing teams was a quick and natural fit for me, and I found myself prioritizing work for the copywriter, graphic designer, and marketing manager, while also managing the sales team’s expectations and working directly with their customers to create custom collateral.
When it came time to find my next role, I asked myself the question “What am I?” A mentor listened carefully to the work I had been doing and encouraged me to pursue project management (PM) roles. After fighting off a healthy dose of imposter syndrome, I put forward applications and have never looked back from the world of PM.
In this post, I’ll walk through the signs you might already be a PM and if you are, how to make the most of it!
What is a Project Manager?
Our mission statement at Seer for project management is to work as efficiently and effectively as possible, for the benefit of our clients, team, and bottom line.
We strive to support all divisions at Seer with scalable processes for quality and efficiency, and to staff our accounts with dedicated Project Managers.
While project managers are typically associated with building timelines and communication, there is a lot more to the story with the value of a PM. Project managers seek to improve processes wherever they are staffed. This includes examining the way things are currently done, creating new structures to delegate and document work, and implementing the new process with the team.
It is a unique role on a team – always balancing the long-term goals of the project with the very granular and detailed day-to-day tasks and needs.
A PM has skills that allow them to:
- Constantly zoom both very far out and very far in to keep a project on track
- Escalate risks and roadblocks to stakeholders internally and externally
- Be mindful of their team member’s workloads, and note when additional resources are needed to prevent burnout
At Seer, a common refrain these days is “Project Management For All!” As we introduce more project managers to teams and to clients that have not yet been staffed with a PM, we are constantly reviewing the benefits of project management internally and externally.
Am I a Project Manager?
If this blog post has described common situations in your work life, then most likely, yes! A project manager is much more than a note-taker and task-master and is certainly not limited to type-A personalities who live for timelines (although that trait is desirable in PMing!)
A project manager also needs to be analytical, observant, flexible, great at escalating concerns, and thinks just as much about the project’s health holistically as they do about the day-to-day.
If you are wondering if this is a good career fit for you, here are some questions to consider:
- Do you often find yourself thinking of the work coming in the months ahead and try to set yourself up for success?
- Do you observe inefficiencies and find yourself developing proccess to improve workflow in the future with your team?
- Do you frequently fill communication voids and find yourself often acting as a liaison between internal teams that work with different processes?
- With all this talk about process, are you willing to break existing processes and ‘the way things have always been done’ in order to do the right thing for the client and help your team grow?
If you constantly experience any of the following patterns, you may need a PM on your team or to support your project:
- Your team is frequently missing due dates, even when they have already been communicated to all involved
- Human errors or bugs pop up consistently (lack of process / ownership surrounding QA)
- You’re constantly reinventing the wheel on recurring projects and tasks
- Meetings tend to get too technical without a clear, strategic focus
- Your team is constantly in the weeds with ad-hoc requests — hindering completion of other work
- Your team is often confused about project timelines or deadlines
Should I be a Project Manager at Seer?
Seer’s project management team is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds who focus on unique projects and clients at Seer.
Before becoming PMs, members of the Seer PM team have also worked in non-profit program management, event management, small business operations, consumer goods, visual and UX design, and a variety of other agency roles.
If you are a process-oriented, big picture thinker, and are excited to build something new — explore Seer Careers or apply now (we’re hiring folks just like you!):