Account Managers (AMs) and Project Managers (PMs) are the key ingredients to a smooth sailing, successful website project. Without them advocating for your new site, a lot of pressure and stress is put back on you (as the client) to manage the project.
Typically, smaller agencies don’t allocate these roles to save costs. This leaves the business owner to manage day-to-day communication with clients and plan the project, manage the team, do the work, generate new business, and a whole host of other responsibilities that come with running a business. It’s no surprise that this can lead to a very chaotic, stressful, and disorganised process that neither the agency nor the client truly enjoys. For a freelancer, everything falls on them, from management to development, meaning only one person is running and delivering the entire project.
This is one reason why freelancers and smaller agencies can often be more competitive on price than larger organisations. But the cost benefits can soon be outweighed by a problematic process and substandard result.
Having an Account Manager and Project Manager overseeing your new website project makes the entire process much easier and smoother while also ensuring the best possible result. We explore more about the benefits and importance of these roles below.
An Account Manager is the voice of the client (you) within an agency and is often your biggest ally. They’ll work alongside the Project Manager to drive your project forward and will always have your business’s best interests at heart. Your Account Manager will work closely with you to understand your organisation’s bigger picture, including your goals, needs, and wants outside of the website. Their insider knowledge means they’ll also be invaluable when making decisions, choosing which features to include along with recommendations.
Typically, your Account Manager is your direct point of contact, so it’ll be their priority to build a strong, open, and honest relationship with you. By understanding the bigger picture and your goals as a business, your Account Manager will know the key drivers for your company and will want to help you achieve growth and success beyond the website. They’ll also be there to help you overcome challenges, relay information about the progress of your site, and will provide you with advice that extends to areas outside of your website project.
With an Account Manager as your champion, you won’t have to worry about understanding a developer’s jargon or calling 100 times a day to speak to the business owner who is tied up in business meetings. Instead, they’ll always be on hand to talk things through and will often work with SLAs, so you know when you’ll hear back from them.
A Project Manager is the voice of the team (your agency), and they work closely with your Account Manager. While your Account Manager will be responsible for client communications, the Project Manager is the one that drives the project internally by briefing the team, allocating resources, and ensuring your website is delivered on time and on budget.
Your Project Manager will take ownership of your website’s success and will know the project inside out. They’ll manage risks, timescales, troubleshooting and testing to ensure everything is achieved and any issues are flagged early on.
A Project Manager knows the strengths and weaknesses of their team, and they know how to get the best from them. Internally, this means that production staff don’t get caught up in the nitty-gritty details and can focus on doing what they do best. As a result, you can rest assured that all the details are taken care of. So, while you might not see the graft, your Project Manager puts in, what you will experience is a smooth and seamless process.
Lower cost website providers often don’t allocate Account and Project Managers to their team, which is why they’re able to charge less for delivery. However, web design is highly complex, with plenty at stake if things go wrong. Without an Account and Project Manager, the process can be chaotic, with stress and management falling on you as the client.
Your Account Manager will be your greatest ally. They’ll help you make tough decisions and ensure you get the most out of your new website. Your Project Manager will be the driving force of your new site, ensuring it’s delivered to specification, is on budget, and meets your deadline.