Monday, July 14, 2008

She works hard for the money

I don't typically talk about work on this here piece of cyber real estate.

However, quite a few of you have asked what I do for a living. I shall now explain.

Real World Example
See that image to the right? If you click on it, you shall be directed (in a separate window) to a brand new, just posted web page for the Rock Band 2 video game release. My company made that site.

What's my role? I'm not a designer nor a coder; I didn't create the art or fiddle with the code under the hood. I. am. a. project. manager. In short, it's my job the keep all the plates spinning.

A Visual Reference
Imagine a wheel; I'm the hub that connects the spokes. A project manager (me) keeps tabs on the designers, the coders, the strategists, the client, the account managers, the budget, the timeline, the launch date, the hours, the materials, and a host of other things. It's my job to make sure everyone is happy. And work gets done. On time. On budget. Sometimes I tell people I'm a professional hassler.

The Process
Project managers are involved at every stage in site development. The Rock Band 2 page was relatively small; I was involved from the initial kick-off meeting through launch (and ultimately the postmortem). The process goes something like this: internal meetings, client meetings, emails, emails, internal meetings, comp review, emails, emails, phone call, emails, client meetings, emails, internal meetings, emails, emails, phone call, emails, push back, emails, emails, review, emails, meetings... x25. It's a good thing I can multi-task. (Please note I'm working on 5 projects for 5 different clients. This is why some days I think my head is maybe going to explode.)

All in all, I really like my job. When it's moving, it's moving. Some parts are more difficult than others (the 11PM-3AM emails to make sure we launch on time, pushing back on client needs) -- but this IM conversation at 2:30am on Sunday pretty much sums it up:

Will: we don't have time to do x, y, and z before our code drop.
Nat: already writing an email to the client.
Will: pm ftw!
Nat: that's why they give me a business card.


Whits said...

You are kick-a.

Jake said...

As a web application developer, I can say that project managers most definitely are professional hasslers. And having known you for quite a few years, I can say that you're very good at it.

Alaina said...

I am actually really glad to see what you do! Thanks for dumbing down the explanation for laymen like me.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!