A proficient Web Project Manager possesses essential skills such as negotiation, composure during challenging times, effective team leadership, and a wealth of experience. Experience, undoubtedly, cultivates wisdom and enhances competence in any field.
The role of a Digital Project Manager entails skillfully orchestrating the project, ensuring that every aspect maintains a consistent focus and alignment. A key responsibility is managing the budget and timeframe while upholding a high standard of quality to meet customer expectations. This entails developing and strategizing web solutions, setting and monitoring objectives, and overseeing the project’s implementation. The Web Project Manager also plays a crucial role in ensuring the delivery of superior web solutions by formulating and executing comprehensive test plans. Moreover, they diligently maintain the project and technical documentation to ensure its continued success.
To gain insights into the realm of an exceptional Web Project Manager, we had the privilege of interviewing Nicola Antonelli, a seasoned professional in this field, who currently holds the position of Web Project Manager at Luisa Via Roma.
Dear Nicola, as a Web Project Manager what do you do?
As a Project Manager at Luisa Via Roma, my role revolves around overseeing various activities in the digital realm. Our retail shop, which has been a part of Florence since 1930, has now transitioned into a predominantly digital presence, with over 90% of our turnover generated through online channels. Over the past 20 years, we have established a strong online presence since our inception in 1999.
In the digital landscape, the role of a Project Manager encompasses a diverse range of responsibilities. They are responsible for guiding and supervising the entire lifecycle of digital projects, particularly focusing on the front end and user experience (UX). With the majority of traffic originating from mobile devices, optimizing the user experience has become paramount.
Furthermore, the Web Project Manager, coordinates closely with the graphics and web design teams, working in collaboration with the IT department, customer service, and finance department. Researching innovative solutions also forms a significant part of their role. In the dynamic digital sector, staying vigilant around the clock is essential. There are countless opportunities, and the ability to swiftly identify the best solutions for your business model is crucial. It is worth noting that decision-making in this domain is a collaborative effort, and unilateral decisions are rarely made.
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What skills should a Web Project Manager have?
Skills in the role of a Web Project Manager are undeniably transversal. This transversality stems from the need to collaborate with various resources and stakeholders. As a result, the role becomes highly dynamic, encompassing a wide range of diverse subjects. From legal considerations to marketing strategies and technical expertise to creative graphic design, the Web Project Manager must navigate through a multitude of disciplines.
Are you more involved in development or marketing at Luisa Via Roma?
Undoubtedly, the marketing area holds a position of utmost importance within the company. The marketing team comprises over 30 individuals hailing from at least 10 to 12 different countries, reflecting our commitment to diversity and global outreach. With our website translated into 9 languages, we have established dedicated native-speaking teams here in Florence for each language. These teams not only focus on translating and creating content in their respective mother tongues but also actively contribute to market development initiatives.
Collaboration is at the core of our approach, as the marketing area receives significant support from our IT department. While marketing serves as the driving force behind developing and generating innovative ideas, the implementation and testing phase plays a vital role in determining the viability of these daily concepts. It truly is a team effort, with the marketing and IT departments working hand in hand to ensure that our ideas translate into effective functionalities.
How does one become a Web Project Manager?
Certain requirements are ingrained in one’s character and DNA, with curiosity being a prime example. It is this innate curiosity that drives us to constantly raise the bar and push the boundaries of what is possible. In our sector, where standardized training paths are scarce, curiosity becomes even more critical. Traditional university programs often struggle to keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape. While they may cover the fundamentals of IT, they often lag in areas such as user experience, marketing, and digital strategies.
This necessitates a proactive approach to acquiring knowledge and developing expertise. One must take the initiative in seeking out relevant resources and staying abreast of industry trends. In our case, a significant portion of our know-how has been gained through collaborations with digital companies such as Google and Facebook. These partnerships have provided invaluable opportunities to enhance our skills and broaden our knowledge base.
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What are the advantages for a company of having a Web Project Manager on its staff?
I would say that it is essential because whether it is one or two, coordination in companies that travel at such a pace is indispensable because otherwise the many departments that may be extremely productive but move like silos and are not connected.
So it comes back to what was said before, i.e. we release a feature that from a technical point of view is a bomb, but the customer service cannot answer the questions because nobody has put these two departments together. It’s a bit like the conductor. All the members of an orchestra are very good musicians, but if there was no coordination, most probably the end result for the viewer would not be the same, so I would say that the best example is exactly that.
How much does a Web Project Manager earn?
First of all, we must make a distinction at the country level. Unfortunately, I have to say that Italy pays a pledge on this as usual, in the sense that there is a very important difference compared to other European countries such as Germany, the UK, and France, a difference that can be as much as 40-50 % of the RAL. I do not introduce the subject of the United States because it is another world.
I have to say that in my personal experience in Italy, the figures can range from 60k to 150k depending a lot on the sector you work in and the years of experience, but undoubtedly it is a job with a lot of responsibility and therefore as it should be it tends to be well paid. In general, the digital channel requires different professionalism and therefore tends to pay a little better than in traditional sectors. In Europe maybe you get 200/250k.
The difference between working in a company or in a web agency as Web Project Manager?
In a web agency, there is, in my opinion, client management, so very different clients. Each client has its own business model, completely different and with completely different needs. I would say it is much more complicated in a web agency context, also, because companies often lack a digital culture.
Unfortunately, I have to say that in other countries, even very important brands in particular, have not yet fully understood what it means to have a digital channel that works. Many mistake it for e-commerce alone, but it is not necessarily the right tool for everyone. I have to say that having a digital presence and bringing a digital culture into the company is now an essential step, and instead, I have to note that in most cases you commission the work to a web agency just because you have to do it.
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