With more organizations embracing digital transformation, the importance of digital project management cannot be overstated.
However, some myths can trip you up in this digital realm and hinder your progress. These myths can lead to confusion, making it crucial to set the record straight and reveal the truth about effective digital project management.
To further enhance our knowledge, we’ve conducted interviews with 5 industry experts in the field of digital project management to gather their perspectives on this subject. Welcome to the world of digital project management, where we’re about to clear up five common myths that can hinder your success.
What is digital project management?
Digital project management is all about making things happen in the digital world. It’s about planning, coordinating, and delivering web-based projects using the internet and devices, whether it’s launching a website, developing a mobile app, or implementing an e-commerce platform. It involves defining project objectives, scoping out the necessary resources, setting realistic timelines, and establishing key performance indicators (KPIs).
Now, let’s debunk some common myths about digital project management:
5 Myths about digital project management
Myth 1: It’s Just About Using Tools:
A prevailing misconception often assumes that digital project management is predominantly centered around the utilization of project management software and various tools. While this notion does contain a grain of truth, it’s important to recognize that digital project management encompasses a far broader and more dynamic landscape than this simplification suggests. They represent just one facet of the broader discipline.
Project management software tools enable project managers to enhance their methodical approach and improve organization in planning, scheduling, progress tracking, document maintenance, budget management, resource allocation, and overseeing risks and changes.
But, as Simon Bacher, CEO and Co-Founder of Ling App notes, effective digital project management covers more than just software and tools.
It’s crucial to recognize that success is not solely dependent on one factor but rather the harmonious interplay of various elements. Tools are just one component of the broader process. Other important factors to consider include your team’s quality, what the client expects, and how big the project is.
That said, using the right project management software is crucial. We always recommend Teamhood as a sophisticated tool for managing your projects and team.
Myth 2: It Eliminates the Need for Human Interaction
Many think digital project management replaces face-to-face or verbal communication, and recent trends seem to support this view.
According to the data, the use of virtual tools for project management is becoming a permanent fixture, as 91% of teams currently employ them, and this trend is expected to gain even more traction in the foreseeable future. But how does that affect human interaction, and is it still necessary?
There’s an irreplaceable value in direct conversations and human interaction within the project management process. We asked Mike Chappell, CEO of FormsPal to share his opinion:
Mike Chappell CEO of FormsPal
Direct human interaction? Absolutely essential. Digital means are convenient, but nothing beats a direct conversation for aligning visions, clearing doubts, or simply for that human touch that builds trust.
Direct conversations and human interaction are invaluable in project management. They:
- Enhance communication clarity
- Build relationships
- Resolve conflicts
- Enable real-time decisions
- Convey non-verbal cues
- Fuel creativity
- Establish trust
- Personalize interactions
Digital tools are undoubtedly vital for project management, but they should work alongside, not supplant, human interactions.
Tools such as Teamhood are particularly well-suited for businesses managing multiple client projects simultaneously. These applications eliminate room for inefficient communication, ensuring that project team members and clients remain fully aligned.
Having said that, the irreplaceable aspects of in-person communication, such as trust-building, conflict resolution, and creativity, remain essential for project success.
Myth 3: One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Another myth is that there is a universal, one-size-fits-all approach to digital project management.
Consider two different digital projects: one is a website redesign for a well-established brand, and the other is the development of a cutting-edge mobile app start-up. These two projects have vastly different objectives, timelines, and target audiences.
In the case of the website redesign, a more traditional project management approach might be suitable, with well-defined milestones and a linear progression of tasks. However, an agile project management methodology might be more appropriate for the mobile app start-up, where rapid iterations and continuous user feedback are critical.
- Different industries, like e-commerce and healthcare, require tailored project management approaches to address their unique challenges and goals.
- Start-ups may focus on lean and agile methodologies, while established corporations prioritize risk management and integration with existing systems.
- Creative design projects emphasize collaboration and aesthetics, while IT infrastructure projects demand technical expertise and compliance.
- Client collaboration projects often require flexible project management to accommodate diverse client needs and preferences.
The digital space is much faster than traditional project management, with many questions, answers, and quick decisions. On top of that, no project or team is the same. The same can be said for the number of approaches used to manage digital projects.
Here is what Jessica Shee, the Marketing Manager of iBoysoft, had to say:
Jessica Shee, the Marketing Manager of iBoysoft
It does not suit every project. Projects should be adaptable to the project’s unique requirements, scope, and constraints. They should be highly flexible and suitable due to evolving requirements.
Using the same template or methodology for every project can lead to inefficiencies and suboptimal results. Jessica Shee’s insights underscore the importance of flexibility and adaptability in digital project management, emphasizing that the right approach should be chosen based on the project’s characteristics and evolving requirements rather than a rigid, one-size-fits-all mindset.
You should always consult your team to agree and gather input from all members. A methodology becomes significantly less effective when none of the team members use it.
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Myth 4: Digital Project Managers Must Be Tech Gurus:
It’s a common misconception that digital project managers must be tech experts.
In reality, they require a diverse skill set, focusing on leadership, communication, and project coordination.
While some technical knowledge is valuable, their primary role is facilitating collaboration among technical experts, bridging communication gaps, and ensuring projects align with strategic goals.
Being adaptable and open to learning about emerging technologies is more crucial than being a tech guru.
Justyna Dzikowska, Head of Marketing at Brand24
I constantly strive to stay updated with the latest technologies, ensuring our strategies remain innovative.
Successful digital project management is about outcomes and effective team coordination rather than individual technical expertise. Instead, their role is to bring together diverse skill sets and guide the project to completion efficiently.
On the other hand, technical expertise can be delegated to subject matter experts within the project team. While technical knowledge can be beneficial, it’s not the sole determinant of their success in this aspect.
Digital project managers must possess strong organizational, communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills to manage projects and ensure their successful completion effectively.
Lastly, a project manager should be equipped to address unforeseen challenges, pivot when necessary, and make informed decisions.
These skills and the ability to learn and adapt quickly often matter more than the number of years spent in the field.
Myth 5: It’s Only for Large Projects:
Last but not least in our list, some believe that digital project management is only necessary for large, complex projects.
Project management principles, including digital project management, are beneficial for projects of all sizes. The worldwide digital transformation market is projected to increase from $469.8 billion in 2020 to $1,009.8 billion by 2025, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5%.
Digital transformation is no longer optional; it has become a vital component of achieving business success.
To succeed, businesses must embrace digital transformation, focusing on customer-centricity, fostering innovation, collaborating, prioritizing agility, and investing in talent. Start-ups and SMEs, in particular, have opportunities to excel by adapting quickly to the digital landscape.
Smaller companies and start-ups find niches and innovative ways to participate in the digital transformation ecosystem.
Kamil Rejent, CEO at Survicate
Our agenda at Survicate is diverse, but we often find ourselves immersed in medium to large-scale projects that demand intricate planning and execution.
Even small-scale projects can gain advantages from well-organized management practices to ensure the efficient achievement of objectives. As technology becomes more accessible to everyone and scalable solutions abound, businesses of any size can utilize digital transformation to enhance their operations, boost efficiency, and stimulate growth.
We hope that this information has helped clarify these common myths. In digital project management, several misconceptions can obscure the path to success. The goal is to maintain an open mentality while avoiding misconceptions such as those mentioned above.
With the digital transformation market on the rise, businesses, regardless of their size, can leverage digital project management to enhance operations, boost efficiency, and stimulate growth.
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Innovative content marketeer with MSc in International Communication, Mindaugas brings fresh ideas and inspiration about project management and beyond.