We've not run one of our 'day in the life' features for a while, and with our newest Project Manager Becky Harrison having now been in post for six months, we thought it's the ideal time to pick this up. So without further ado, Becky shares with Browse, what an ever-busy Junior Project Manager here at Blueleaf gets up to all day.
Over to Becky...
06.30: My alarm goes off and I jump out of bed (I do today anyway). I somehow find 5 minutes to sit down with a coffee and some toast.
07.30: I leave home and drive into work, joyfully joining the motorway traffic en route!
08.00: I've made it in. First things first, I check my calendar to see what meetings I have and I review the schedule for our studio teams: designers, developers and testing. I then provide a breakdown of what tasks they need to achieve by the end of the day.
Once everyone's in, which is by 8.30am, I catch up with the teams at their desks to review the tasks I've sent them. It's a chance for them to raise any issues that could prevent them from meeting their day's deadlines and to raise where they're likely to need help from another team member.
09:00: Now to my email inbox. I run through all my new emails using a "star" priority system to manage and categorise them. As a PM, being able to prioritise work and see the bigger project picture is a must.
09.15: I'm writing this on a Friday so my morning tasks run a bit differently today. Each Friday every team member writes a ‘wrap’. It's a summary what we've been doing that week. Doing a weekly wrap is a great habit to get into. It encourages me to reflect on what I've done that week and perhaps more importantly what's outstanding. Our team lead, Verity Maybury, collates all our individual wraps to form one project management wrap. This is great as I can see what the other PMs are doing and I can shout up if I need support. The team are always happy to help!
10.00: Our Traffic Manager, Sarah Hughes, advises us that all timesheets are complete (and names and shames anyone that hasn't completed theirs by the 9.30am deadline!). This means I can complete my project reporting. The reporting involves working out how many hours have been "burned" (PM term for used) on each client.
10.30: I have a call with one of our client’s Ecommerce Managers, and two of their Front End Developers to provide more context to our latest project. On client calls I've learnt that it's crucial to layout your agenda at the beginning and to get the all relevant parties involved. I also summarise what we've discussed on email after the call. This gives us clear and transparent objectives and actions, and makes sure we're all on the same page.
11.15: Back to my reporting. I update my 'project tracker', Verity and Vicky (Walsh, another PM) have taught me that it's crucial to have this updated at all times so that I'm always clear on where a project is up to in terms of budget and progress.
12.00: Lunchtime, and a whole hour of it! On occasions, I do get away from the computer for a walk along the rural roads outside. But today, I'm scouring River Island (love their website) to find a present for my Mum as it's her birthday over the weekend. I soon find I'm get distracted by clothes for me, oops!
13.00: After a lovely lunch hour, my wallet a little lighter, I get back to it. This afternoon’s first meeting is with a Blueleaf Front End Developer, Tom Maddocks, to review Quality Assurance feedback for our latest client. We discuss what's needed and how long it's going to take. I then update the client - of course!
14.30: My next meeting is with Sarah and the other PM's. This is a standard Friday meeting, where we review next week’s schedule for the studio and discuss any updates or rearrangements needed.
15.00: My next few hours are meeting-free, so it's time to get through those emails. Today is slightly unusual because Verity's going away (don't panic, she'll be back by the time of press) so I'm writing a handover document. OK, so normally it's the person who goes that writes a handover, and Verity is writing one too, but here at Blueleaf, we always complete a handover when someone's off, so that all PMs get to grips with where each project is up to.
16:30: One of my clients emails to request an update. I discuss this with our Front End Developers and get back to them swiftly. Even half and hour until home time, clients can have requests and it's crucial that I get back to them as soon as I can.
16:45: Last but certainly not least, timesheets! A laborious but essential task to managing project budgets and time. I also don't want to get named and shamed!
17:00: I leave work. Usually it's back to greet that fabulous motorway traffic but thankfully, it's a team outing in Chester tonight. It's always a good night out with the Blueleaf lot!
Did a day in Becky's life inspire you to come and work as a Blueleaf PM? If so, and you're a skilled PM who loves to provide a first-rate service to clients, then your timing is perfect! We're recruiting for a PM right now, here's the job spec with details on how to apply.