January 26

What is digital project management?

Project management has taken a new life in the world of digital transformation. What is involved in digital project management? Read on for more.


With organizations delivering only 25% of projects successfully and 50% of stakeholders satisfied with the results, understanding project management is crucial, especially in the digital experience arena.

Let’s start by defining digital project management.

Key takeaways:

  • Digital project management uses innovations in technology to enhance the project management process.

  • The project manager should evaluate modern project management tools and software for their relevance, simplicity of implementation and ease in learning.

  • Communication at regular intervals allows for quick course corrections if you notice a deviation from the goal.

Digital project management defined

Is digital project management 

A) the use of digital tools to complete project goals?  

B) supervising a project with a digital asset as a deliverable? 

The answer is A. 

Project management methodologies are comprised of a short-term effort to produce a unique product, service or result. There is a team, a budget, a timeframe and an objective. A project differs from the day-to-day operations of a company because, once it achieves the goal, the collaboration ends. 

The goal could be anything, including a digital product. Some examples include:

  • New software to streamline business processes

  • Relief work following a disaster, whether it be natural or manufactured

  • An explainer video

  • A building remodel

  • The revamp of a website

  • A new clothing line

Digital project management, on the other hand, makes use of innovations in technology to enhance the project management process. The process includes collaborations, communication and meeting target dates. 

5 aspects of digital project management

Let’s study five aspects of digital project management, namely when creating digital experiences. The company already performed a proof of concept, and there’s a business case for pursuing this project.

1. The project manager

Before any work starts on a project, the organization needs to select a project manager. This role is pivotal since managing projects typically involves:

  • Outlining the scope of the project

  • Planning and managing the project’s timeline, resources and budget

  • Delegating assignments or tasks within the project lifecycle

  • Maintaining continuous communication between the project team and the client

  • Assessing the state of a project's critical path at any point in time

  • Ensuring that the client is satisfied with the end product or service

Given the many facets that the responsibility entails, there are particular skills that an effective project manager should have or quickly learn. The manager should have good communication and time management skills, be open to suggestions to improve the process or the product without sacrificing time and know the balance between micromanaging and not providing enough direction. In this respect, characteristics of traditional project management still apply to DPM.

In the digital space, the project manager should evaluate modern project management software for its relevance to the project and ease of implementation and learning. Word and Excel no longer make the cut in this arena.

Finally, the manager must decide on the project’s approach, such as the agile method or scrum.

2. Project planning

To kick off the project, the team needs to establish a workflow with deliverables, methodology, tools, potential challenges and timeline. 

When creating a digital experience, knowing the customer is vital. After gaining the customer insights, ask:

  • How will this product or service enhance a customer’s digital experience? Will it solve a pain point?

  • Do we clearly understand what the stakeholders expect from the project?

  • Do we have members from all needed departments involved (e.g., IT, marketing, sales, customer support)?

  • What methodology and documentation process will we use?

  • Do we have the timeline for each stage of the project and the deadline?

  • Did we select the appropriate digital platform (e.g., content management system, digital experience platform, web experience management system)?

  • Is our work process, tool or final product modular or scalable?

The last question is essential for two reasons. First, if the methodology or tool is rigid, it can frustrate the team members throughout the project, failing the digital project management’s purpose. Second, if the final product isn’t scalable, it renders the whole project meaningless since it involves completely reworking the product.

3. Resource management

The team (but especially the project manager) must manage the various resources throughout the project. Those resources are:

  • Time – Splitting the project into small deliverables helps keep the team on course for the target completion date. The project management software should provide notifications of tasks due.

  • People – The workers may not all be in the office. Today’s workforce can be in the office, telecommuting from home or in a completely different country. Ensure that they have the collaboration tools needed for their joint assignments. 

  • Budget – Aside from having a precise accounting of time, tools and people at the outset of a project, include unexpected roadblocks in the budget. 

4. Communication

Communication is arguably the most crucial factor for a successful project, yet it is a struggle for all organizations. While there have never been so many communication methods (e.g., email, phone, text, video chat, face-to-face), there continue to be disconnects throughout a project. While perfection in this area may not be realistic, there are several steps team members can take to improve communication:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially for more complex projects

  • Don’t hesitate to offer clarification on a certain phase of the project

  • Provide frequent updates to each other, the team lead and the stakeholders

The last bullet point is valuable since it provides risk management and allows for quick course corrections if you notice a deviation from the goal. Software exists to facilitate progress review with stakeholders and clients.

Image source: https://sourceessay.com/role-of-effective-communication-in-business/

5. Testing and deployment

The final stage in the project’s timeline is deployment. Before delivering the finished product, the team has thoroughly tested it. Here is another moment where development and quality assurance groups need the right digital tools. 

Before handing the deliverable to the stakeholders or client, ask one final question: Did we meet all the project requirements and satisfy the scope?

Finally, when delivering a digital experience, your software should be capable of deploying across all digital channels.

Digitize project management with Optimizely

Optimizely provides robust project management software that simplifies your organization’s digital experience project from start to finish. Features include maintaining your content in a central location, evaluating the work in progress against brand guidelines and sharing with stakeholders and clients.

Curious to learn more? Contact us today.