Not everyone is cut out to be a project manager. The job requires meticulous attention to detail and organization, spot-on time management skills, and an ability to work well with clients, designers, developers, and anyone else involved in a project. Luckily, our Project Manager, Kellye Call, ticks all those boxes and more.
As part of Southern Web’s “Meet the Team” interview series, Kellye shares her must-have project management tools and highlights some of her favorite website projects in 2018.
As a Project Manager, what do you do at Southern Web?
I manage our development projects from start to finish — from the initial kickoff call, all the way through the site launch. Throughout the course of our project timelines, you’ll find me coordinating discovery and asset collection, communicating regularly with clients, conducting quality assurance (QA) checks of site design and functionality, and working closely with our content strategist, designers, and developers at every step of the project.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There are a lot of moving parts. One minute I’m QA’ing a site, and the next minute I’m hopping on a client call. And because most of our projects are six months or less, we always have multiple projects running at once, all of which are at different points in our multi-phase process. That means I often have to move from one project to the next quickly. Luckily, I have a lot of great tools and systems that help me keep everything in line.
What are some of the tools that are indispensable to your work?
At Southern Web, we use a lot of tools to keep us accountable to our clients and fellow team members, but the three major ones for me are:
- Teamwork serves as the primary internal project management tool for the Southern Web team. We use it for project status documentation, project-related team communication, task assignment, time logging, and storage of all project assets.
- Trello is our primary client-facing project management tool that we use throughout the timeline of a project. It plays an especially critical role during our discovery and asset collection phases. It serves as a centralized hub for our clients to share branding guidelines, photography, social media links, design inspiration, and any other assets required for the project.
- ResourceGuru is a tool we’ve adopted in the past year that has been a total game changer. We use it in tandem with Teamwork to manage our team’s schedules and keep up with our project timeline expectations. Without ResourceGuru, I’d have too many people’s schedules to manage manually. It’s pretty great.
What are some projects you’ve managed recently that you’re especially proud of?
I really love the way Trufast.com turned out. Compared to the previous site design, our team did an incredible job of creating a professional industrial website that is clean, modern, and more logically organized to meet the client’s unique user needs.
Another recent custom development project I’m proud of is WQSCert.com. The previous design was not at all optimized for mobile devices and had some serious information architecture issues. We worked closely with the client to pare down their sitemap and channel their aesthetic vision into something that was cleaner and simpler for their users.
What advice do you have for project managers or people looking to break into this type of work?
Stay humble. There’s always a lot to take in and absorb. If anything goes wrong, you can’t dwell too much on conflict — it’s your responsibility to seek out solutions that move the project forward. Because of this, you must prepare to sometimes serve as a shield for your developers and other team members since you’re the direct line of contact for the client.
What do you do to unwind on the weekends?
I regularly volunteer with a rescue organization, so you’ll probably find me at various dog adoption events on the weekends. I also enjoy watching Bravo TV shows!
Which would you choose: Invisibility, Flight or Telepathy?
Oh, telepathy, for sure. There are so many times that I wish people could just tell me what they meant, but they have trouble verbalizing it. You could probably make perfect websites if you had telepathy because you’d know exactly what the client wanted.