Digital project management is a field that has only recently had a label put on it. For those of us that have been working on interactive projects for more than 5 years, the majority have fallen into it from some combination of traditional marketing, ad agency work, web development, or project management.
Drawing on skills like front-end development, information architecture, and system administration, we learned to balance the technology with the soft skills to push projects through: strategy, relationship management, emotional intelligence, and user experience. There weren't any books to tell us how to do this, we just combined our project management skill set with our technical abilities to get the job done.
Well, that's all changing as a new generation of PM's are defining Digital Project Management by creating guiding principles that mix waterfall, agile, and marketing practices to provide a systematic way to launch products successfully. Here are a few of the books that are shaking things up:
I discovered this book through a webinar by the author on ProjectManagement.com. The webinar, based on the book by Olson, is a disruption of the tools you learned from the PMBOK, streamlined to fit the complexities of technology projects. You'll recognize many of the steps and documentation if you're a PMP, only rearranged in a more agile fashion: stakeholder lists, statements of work, and risk management tools are still there, but new topics traditional PM's might not be familiar with appear as well: information architecture, development, and content. Whether you are working on web or mobile projects that are fully digital, or in a role that only dabbles in digital, this book will help you to plan and work efficiently. I recommend this book for anyone that has training in traditional project management, or is coming from a marketing background - it will help you transition with familiar language and context.
This is one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive books about digital project management out there. The authors deconstruct the ad agency process and apply it to the digital age in a detailed and visual layout, with breakdowns of each departments role in a project, the main players and how to deal with them, as well as tips for working across different functional groups effectively. The two authors have an extensive background in interactive media, and it shows in their grasp of the content, as well as traditional project management qualities like emotional intelligence, communication, risk management, and budgeting. Walker and Lyons, the two authors, sell their books under a series called the 'Geek Girls Guide.' This initially sounded cheesy to me (and still does) but I decided not to let that deter me and I'm very glad to have read this book, two thumbs up!
This book focuses more on managing projects based around website development, and not the broader digital and interactive environments, but that might be what makes it so great - it's focused and ideal for those looking to update or build a new website. To help you get your head around this process, Friedlein breaks it down into 8 stages. If you've done project management already, you'll recognize plenty of aspects to this approach, but the insiders look at the online world will connect the dots whether you're a web developer, content producer, ecommerce manager, or project manager. Many of the examples relate to online stores, so if you need to brush up on this, or educate the rest of your tea, this will give you an idea of what's important in developing a web presence. Great templates included in the print edition, or on the resource website if you go for the digital version.
Hope you enjoy these books, drop us a line and let us know if you do read any of them. Also, if you have any digital project management books that aren't on the list that we should check out, leave a comment so our readers can share in your knowledge.