Wednesday, 11 February 2015

‘Searching for unicorns’: good Digital Project Managers

I liked this description although it seems to suggest that good digital project managers are elusive!

As the role expands with the number of electronic communication channels increasing, the basics of good project management don’t change although the emphasis on what the flavour of the month is does.

What is happening to the role? Well, the number of jobs for digital project managers is increasing as are their salaries. That’s the good news. Defining the specialities within the role that are needed for emerging social media, marketing, e-learning, platforms, and so on, is challenging for those seeking ‘the unicorn’. Many digital project managers have just dealt with an expanding role as it happened not realising that they were specialising. Many and varied channels were just part of the job. This expansion of the role explains why the search for new people often gets divided into Senior, Middleweight and Junior Digital Project Managers. The quote about unicorns comes from Adam Edgerton’s The Successful Digital PM Part 1 (6 May 2013) and is part of a 5 part analysis of the role.

There’s no better way of keeping up-to-date on what’s happening than getting other people to define and collate trends. Now DPM UK 2015 was a recent two day conference just for Digital PMs. Did you miss it? Keep an eye out for next year’s. They don’t give a summary yet although they say it’s coming, but Sarah Clarke gives a succinct account of the conference in the White October blog (6 February 2015). It appears that the current flavour for digital project management emphasises people management. And why not? So the snippet of advice from Sarah learnt from the conference is: ‘We’re all humans trying to do our best. Sometimes we mess up. Admit it, deal with it, move on.’

Luckily for us, someone is finally analysing strategic trends in the UK digital sector. These types of reports are good news for us because they show we are beginning to be taken seriously enough to influence UK performance. The Tech Nation Report looks at cluster growth of technology firms and how they affect a region. Scroll down the page to reach some highlights out of the report. Danny Palmer in Computing, The technology sector is thriving across the UK (6 February 2015), extracts some facts from the report. He cites 1.46 million people working in the digital industries with 74% outside London. There are some conflicting opinions about whether there is a skills shortage in the sector or not in and accompanying this article, but the report itself states one million jobs were advertised last year and by 2020 there will be a 5.4% growth (above average) in the sector.

Seen any unicorns recently?