Dear Digital Project Managers,
Here’s the situation; before our clients hire us, they’ve often invested a lot of time, energy, and money into having custom web applications developed to help them solve some of their business challenges. They come to us looking for a team to provide dependable support and maintenance of their existing software. We take care of feature updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, tackling technical debt, and helping them to experiment as they navigate forward as a business.
What do we rarely do? Spin up brand new web applications for them. Years ago, we learned that there is rarely a long-term client relationship established with startups (as they tend to flop in 1-2 years). So, we stopped competing on those projects. Occasionally, we’ll find ourselves working with an established company who are looking for a new application to help them with a specific initiative but most of our project work is iterating on existing web apps.
The tradeoff? We get to build lasting partnerships with our clients and have some influence on how they’re planning for the life of their web applications. So, if you’re the type of Project Manager that really enjoys bringing brand new software projects and MVPs to life, this probably isn’t the position for you. If you’re the type of Project Manager that enjoys helping your team dive into the deep end of complex projects, helping iterate and improve the software, and likes to foster healthy long-term client/account relationships, then we should talk.
Why are we hiring a Digital Project Manager right now? Our most recent full-time PM pivoted toward a Product Owner career path at another organization so we are needing to recruit someone new to this seat. This year, we began experimenting with hiring an external Agile coach who took over the PM role on a few client projects, too.
How many clients are you currently working with? ~9 clients
How many engineers are on the team? We currently have 8 full-time engineers and ~2 part-time contractors on the team. We also have a few interns join us most quarters for about six-to-eight weeks.
Are you considering remote candidates for this position? Yes, we are considering remote candidates (within the USA).
What are some challenges that the team currently faces? As we work in client-services, every team member is often resourced to a few different clients each week. This can result in quite a bit of context-switching. There are also challenges of needing assistance from a peer who might be deeply focused on another project.
What are some traits that you’re looking for in this role? We would like to find an empathetic, goal-oriented, and organized person who is able to inspire our team to make our clients successful.
Besides clients and developers, who else would this role be working with? You would collaborate with our Engineering Manager to establish which team members might be best suited for each client project. Additionally, you would be collaborating with our Client Experience Director to ensure that we’re continuously improving how we’re delivering value to our clients.
Who does the person in this role report to? Our COO.
Our Core Values
🙋 PROACTIVE – We actively seek opportunities to improve our client’s products, our processes, and our abilities.
🐒 CURIOUS – A natural curiosity for the undiscovered results in remarkable work for our clients – and stronger connections for our team. We ask questions, learn, and aren’t afraid to fail.
🤝 DEPENDABLE – We are invested in our work. We manage expectations. We support our clients and teammates. We hold ourselves, our teammates, and our clients accountable.
🕺 VERSATILE – We readily adapt to change and encourage innovation because our team and work are transparent and flexible.
🙃. DELIGHTFUL – We choose to set a mindful, positive tone that allows everyone to flourish.
We are a small team and wear many hats. In addition to the list of responsibilities below we also expect all of our team members to participate in our marketing efforts, whether that’s you writing blog posts, offering to speak at a conference, or coming up with ideas for new initiatives.
What you’ll typically be focused on
- Leading: Inspire and motivate the development team to achieve deliverables for our valued clients. You will help them plan, scope, and execute according to schedule and client budgets:
- Take part in daily stand up to hear and address engineering team issues to keep workflow going.
- Ensure that our client JIRA boards are up to date and in priority order.
- Check that new client requests and requirements are clear and identify risks and gaps so that they are ready for development.
- Forecast the work ahead so the team knows where they should be working and when.
- Help the team to be accountable for the backlog using a weekly scorecard.
- Partnering up with our clients: Establish rock-solid relationships with our clients and ensure their requirements and timelines are properly accounted for in our planning. They should feel like you and your engineering team are an extension of their businesses:
- Provide weekly updates on budget, project status, and Planet Argon news.
- Develop a steady working relationship through regular video chats & status calls, keep the clients informed on where their future investments need to be.
- Document and share client news and updates back to the team and internal stakeholders.
- Continuously growing and improving: Apply and adapt tools and processes to ensure delivery standards:
- Consider the tools in current use, identify efficiencies in how they could be used to simplify workflow
- Be willing to try new things and introduce best practices.
- Staying ahead of the curve: Proactively manage project issues, risks, and change, keeping team on-task, projecting milestones & deliverables to spec. Be able to easily quantify the impact of changing requirements and timelines
- Communicating internally: Represent the team’s project plan and timelines to the leadership team and effectively escalate when blockers or resource demands require more set of eyes.
- Develop clear status updates and dashboards that can be consumed easily and updated regularly.
- Provide perspective on the team’s workload, the client’s needs, and satisfaction.
- Communicate leadership decisions clearly to the team and client when required.
- A little this and that:
- Participating in short daily standups to outline what you completed yesterday and are aiming to accomplish today.
- Helping pick out music to play on the studio stereo system (and/or during COVID..help collaborate on Spotify playlists).
- Sharing praise when someone on the team does something amazing.
- Taking advantage of our flextime scheduling to swing by the gym, go for a run before the rain starts, or maybe sitting in the park with a book.
- Capturing your “lesson learned” to share with the team this next Monday morning.
- Petting the dog that swings by your desk to say hi (if local and should we return to studio after COVID).
- Tracking time for our client work so that we can pay our bills.
- Appreciating when your teammates share their failures with you.
- Thanking clients when they provide great requirements that help our team out.
- Sharing your hard lessons/failures with your peers.
- Noticing inefficiencies in our existing processes and taking note to raise it at our next team meeting.
- …and most importantly… Helping us become a better version of ourselves than we were yesterday.
We will perform background checks and request professional references from finalist candidates.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
Unfortunately, there continues to be an underrepresentation of women and people of color in the tech industry. At Planet Argon, we have found ourselves at an equal ratio of men and women. However, there is still an imbalance that must be improved upon as we strive to contribute towards a more equitable society.
In 2015, we signed the diversity pledge published by Prosper Portland and several local tech organizations. As part of the pledge, we’ve committed to participating in efforts to create and implement strategies to increase the hiring of women and people of color. We’re looking forward to sharing what has worked, and also learning from our peers.
- 5+ years of Digital Project Management experience
- Experience working with external clients and vendors
- Familiar with Agile-based methodologies + tools (SCRUM, Kanban, etc.)
- Persuasive written and verbal communication skills
- History of managing multiple web projects simultaneously
- Organized. Very organized. Did we say organized?
- Ability to have both a 1k foot and 30k foot view
- Ability to multi-task and context-switch with calm
- Analytical thinker who thrives at reporting and statistics
- Experience with JIRA, Confluence, Google Docs, CRMs, Slack…
- Medical & dental insurance (Planet Argon pays 80% of premium)
- Paid vacation time that increases with your length of employment (15 days accrued the first year, 20 days after the first year, and 25 days after three years)
- Five days of sick time each calendar year
- Six paid company holidays each calendar year
- Periodic bonuses dependent upon company and employee performance
- Participation in our flexible work time policies
- Creative, dog-friendly, relaxed-professional work environment
- After 90 days of employment:
- SIMPLE IRA with 3% of employee salary match