What Can Project Managers Teach a UX Team
Project managers are an integral part of the User Experience(UX) design process. They plan and oversee the entire project to ensure the UX team delivers results in time and within the set budget. As a member of a UX team, there are numerous transferrable qualities you can learn from a project manager that can help you improve your efficiency. Read on to learn more about the importance of project managers in UX teams and what they can teach to UX designers such as agile UX.
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Why Does a UX Team Needs a Project Manager?
Project managers handle numerous tasks, ranging from planning finances and outsourcing teams to facilitating communication between the UX team and the client. They make it possible for UX designers, researchers, and strategists to focus on finding solutions to the problems at hand without losing sight of the bigger picture. To give you a clear scope of why UX teams need project managers, below are some of the crucial roles they play for the success of UX design.
1. They Have In-depth Knowledge of UX Design Projects and Clients.
Project managers work on numerous projects and interact with a lot of clients in the industry. As such, project managers garner knowledge and experience on the company’s best practices and industry trends. The exposure also means they gain proficiency in using collaboration tools, which comes in handy during UX design.
With in-depth knowledge, project managers can help UX teams solve problems strategically. They can also easily anticipate roadblocks and have the experience to deal with most possible situations effectively. With a project manager that clearly understands their line of work, UX teams become more efficient and deliver results within the given budget and timelines.
Every team requires a leader for direction and guidance. Project managers provide the leadership necessary for UX teams to remain motivated, grounded, and focused on the end goal. With a project manager, UX designers have no confusion about who is in charge during the project. Every member also has an understanding of their role as the project manager keeps everyone in line. As such, the presence of a project manager promotes accountability.
Since project managers act as team leaders, they are responsible for inspiring the team to do their best. They also deal with challenges that may jeopardize the project’s success. They also set clear objectives and goals and come up with risk management plans to ensure that the project doesn’t stall due to unforeseen events.
3. Facilitating Collaboration Between Client and the UX Team
As a member of a UX team, you don’t have to be an expert in setting up and using collaborative tools when you have a project manager. Project managers take up the role of ensuring communication between the team and the client.
They can competently set up collaborative tools and are always willing to learn new tools that clients prefer on behalf of the UX team. Doing so allows the clients to communicate with UX teams using systems and platforms they are comfortable with, saving everyone time.
Project managers tend to understand the company’s goals. Therefore, they can facilitate successful collaborations, within the team, by bringing together the right people for a specific task. A good project manager can balance daily and long-term logistics to help the team achieve its ultimate goal.
Before beginning a UX design project, it is crucial to bring a project manager on board for efficiency and overall project success.
What UX Teams Can Learn From Project Managers
UX teams can learn a lot from project managers. Below are some of the transferrable qualities that project managers can teach UX teams.
Regardless of the project, planning is necessary for success. Project managers are in charge of planning the entire project ranging from calculating the costs and budgeting to resource management. Project managers also set up meetings and document the progress. UX teams have the responsibility to create the best user experience within the budget and deadline.
UX teams can learn from project managers how to plan the essential aspects of the design process to ensure they deliver project requirements despite challenges like tight budgets or deadlines. By working with project managers, UX teams can learn to set realistic goals and schedule tasks to avoid compromising key design components.
The success of a UX design project highly depends on clear communication and teamwork among all parties involved. Sharing challenges, ideas, and progress keeps everyone on the same page and allows timely completion of project requirements. It also helps bring in new ideas and encourages innovation.Project management stimulates collaboration and transparency with the client, as well as workflow.
UX teams can achieve productive collaboration through tools that allow communication with each other, as well as with the client. By incorporating a prototyping tool in the design process, you can communicate live and easily organize the feedback to prevent loss of details. Doing so allows UX designers to consolidate work and keep everyone updated and on the same page.
Agile Project Management
Agile project management is an iterative approach that encourages clients and teams to work on various tasks simultaneously. It breaks down larger tasks into manageable problems, and teams can drop jobs and pick them up later. The approach maintains workflow momentum and reduces the possibility of conflicts and errors.
Project managers can teach UX teams to utilize the agile approach for better UX design. Implementing Agile UX offers UX teams a more comprehensive view of the development process. It combines the need for understanding user designs with the need for continuous testing of design ideas. Through Agile UX, UX teams can monitor and manage the design progress more effectively.
Working on UX design projects can be complex and require the input of various contributors for success. If you are a UX designer, having project management skills can help you take control of your project and find the best way to meet clients’ goals. If you want to learn the basics of UX, tech classes can help you pursue your passion.
Ananya Prisha is an enterprise level Agile coach working out of Hyderabad (India) and also founder of High Level PM Consultancy. Her goal has been to keep on learning and at the same time give back to the community that has given her so much.