The value of a good PM | UpTop Health

The value of a good PM

3m 30s

In their UX Roundtable video series, the UpTop Health UX team discuss the value of a good project manager (PM).

Moderator: Michael Woo (Director of UX)
Interviewees: Abbey Smith (UX Designer), Deborah Roberts (UX Designer), Michael Woo (Director of UX)

Episode Transcript

Moderator/Michael:  Welcome to an episode of the UX Roundtable, where we glean insights and stories from the UpTop Health UX design team. Today’s topic is the value of a good PM. Describe what a good project manager can bring to the table, and if you can recall a recent project where a PM has helped you in a significant way. And Deborah, how about you start?

Deborah: Yeah, I think one great thing about having a PM is that they’re focused on the big picture. They help to keep the project on schedule. They’re focusing on the key milestones and staying within scope or budget, because I know as a designer, we could just iterate on design forever. So it’s really great to have someone dedicated to that role. And it’s also great just for communication with the client. It helps us keep straight what’s in scope, what’s in budget, what’s happening in this sprint versus later down the road.

In a recent meeting where the client had feedback, they wanted us to continue iterating on this one section of the design, and our PM spoke up, “Oh, we actually have this whole section dedicated to that particular feature, so it would make more sense to do that there.” So they helped organize the time and schedule so that things are happening really efficiently. I think that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve seen.

Moderator/Michael:  Cool. Abbey, what about you?

Abbey: Yeah, ditto to everything Deborah said, and I think I’ll add too, they are really good at speaking both to the business side of a client and the design side of working at their company. So having the ability to be multilingual in that kind of sense really helps to bridge the gap and be a little bit of a middleman. They can also use that expertise to help prioritize. I know an example for me, it’s pretty simple, but sometimes client communication doesn’t happen as fast as you need it to, or as much as you want it to. So the PM helps the designers on my team figure out and prioritize how to run through different kinds of sprints to get everything done in the most efficient way possible. So in that sense, they acted like business just because they had that kind of cross-language knowledge, which I think was really helpful in creating a really impactful relationship with the client too.

Moderator/Michael:  Yeah. I agree with the both of you. I think generally the greatest value that a PM has added for me, personally, includes the subject matter expertise that they bring when it comes to certain domains. Specifically, I’ve noticed as the years have gone by, I’ve become more inept when it comes to technology. So having that complimentary person there, even coming out of meetings that may have been very technical in nature, a lot of technical jargon, just having someone to decompress with and see things through a different lens, the logistics lens, the workflow, all that you guys have talked about, that mindset has been super valuable for me. So again, thank you all for sharing today. See you next time.