Getting to know...Sanel Kovacevic, Project Manager
It’s the mission of our Project Management team to ensure that every client project runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish. The man who makes that happen on a daily basis is Sanel Kovacevic, and this week we were lucky enough to take 15 minutes out of his busy schedule to get to know more about him and his role.
Thanks for taking some time out of your busy client work Sanel! Let’s start by telling us a bit more about what the Project Management team does at GRM?
The info is in the title really! The role of the Project Management team is to manage our projects from start to finish, ensuring that everything runs smoothly for the client.
Essentially, we are the bridge between the client and the GRM delivery teams, ensuring that everything is properly communicated, resources are controlled, and client is well aware of what is going on at every step of the process. We work across every project that comes in, whether that be for web design, SEO, 24/7 web support, digital transformation consulting, or any of our other digital marketing services.
Going back a few years, how did you originally get into the world of web development and digital marketing?
After finishing my studies at the IT faculty and gaining the title “Engineer of Information Technologies”, I wanted to go out and get some real-life experience in the web development sector. Like many IT graduates from my University, the first port of call is a role in a Quality Assurance (QA) department, testing code once client projects are coming to completion. I was fortunate enough to come across the GRM role and be offered it after my interview. I’ve been here ever since!
So, you originally started as a QA, how has your role evolved to now becoming a Project Manager?
It’s not as strange as you think, as both roles are related closely to clients and their assistance to overcome their challenges. The Quality Assurance position taught me the foundations of web development and digital marketing, along with the responsibility and accountability needed for the project to meet the agreed expectations. That experience dragged me in the direction of project management.
When the opportunity become available to join the Project Management team, I knew I had to go for it. I love monitoring tasks and making sure that everything works according to a plan.
My average day consists of a lot of communication with the internal team and the clients, which is something I enjoy doing. The core duty is to make sure that I redirect information properly and concisely, ensuring that every stakeholder is in the loop when they need to be.
Also, tracking budgets and timelines are important day to day activities. By tracking project budgets, I ensure that we spend the right number of resources on each task and stick to the priorities that we have outlined.
You've completed the PRINCE2 qualification. How has that improved your work and the delivery to the GRM clients?
The PRINCE2 has given me a whole new perspective when it comes to managing projects. I have learned a lot of new processes and themes that I now use on a daily basis. Before I started taking PRINCE2, I didn’t even know how broad the subject of project management can be! There is so much to it and that only becomes evident when you go through a rigorous qualification process like PRINCE2.
It amazes me that some agencies don’t invest in their project management processes. For me, solid project management is the foundation for a project, and can be key part that ensures a project is delivered successfully, on time and on budget.
Without these two areas being monitored daily, complex projects in web development could easily go off course and when that happens, you’re looking at delays and dwindling returns for the client.
What are you biggest challenges when it comes to support and management of your team and clients?
Not everything goes perfectly all of the time, but you just have to accept that. As a manager, you constantly need to support and motivate your team. I always try to be positive, even in tough situations. Taking this approach, the team members will find you friendly, and that immediately improves the overall communication, culture, and morale of the entire team.
On the other hand, when dealing with clients and their expectations, honesty, transparency, and finding the right balance is all that is needed to successfully overcome challenges.
A satisfied client is the purpose of my role. My motivational triggers are people who are relying on me. Without going above and beyond for them, you cannot make any difference, nor motivate anyone. The past two years have been a great journey, and I hope to continue with the same pace in growing and providing services to our clients.
Can you walk us through a typical Monday in the Project Management team?
The first thing that I do on a Monday is to log in to our project management software to familiarise myself with the daily and weekly schedule of tasks ahead. This puts me in a good position to run our daily scrum meeting, where we go through everyone’s tasks and identify if there are any project activities that I need to highlight and discuss with the client. It’s also a great time to identify any stuck points in the development which may affect other team members.
Obviously due to Covid-19, there are lots of internal calls at the minute with everyone working from home, so a large bulk of my day is spent discussing internally with the team in addition to the 3-4 daily client calls.
After making sure everyone is in the loop, it’s a case of updating my plans so I can keep projects on track and have a reference point for the following days, weeks and months. After project plans are updated, I have a few internal calls again so I can receive an update on tasks completed today, and this forms the basis for our daily scrum the following day.
So, in short, a lot of task organisation, communication, documentation, and of course, coffee!