(Disclaimer: The last thing I look like is as hot as the lass above, but I figured out with the release of Man of Steel this week in the cinemas and with the excitement of news about the unleashing of Smaug soon, one can’t help to feel the need to look superhero-ish.)

Let me reiterate this: there is never a typical day in the life of a Project Manager. The following is intended as a guide of my day-to-day role in Stampede. There are days Stage B takes up most of the time, or even the whole day. There are days Stage C takes up as equal portion as Stage B – nevertheless, every day is an adventure by itself.

Stage A: Come As You Are

Approximation of the Percentage of Day Taken: 20%

This time of the day is often spent writing, replying emails and entertaining clients on Skype. Some never fail to give me endearing nicknames of all sorts. I have been called gangsta, superstar, Slide Deck and most recently, Diggy. In between our playful banter, we follow up and catch up on recent projects.

I spend this portion of the day as well going through everyone’s daily planner of which we have set up for each of us with Trello, an awesome discovery of Shen’s.

This first stage of the day may seem menial for some, but it is important to set the momentum going and to prepare for the next stage of the day.

Stage B: Rolling In The Deep

Approximation of the Percentage of Day Taken: 50%

Behold – the most important, substantial part of the day.

Taking up most of my daily tasks, this is the portion mostly reserved for internal reviews and meetings of every minuscule and gargantuan proportion equally. It is the most crucial because it requires my and the team’s undivided focus and attention to go every tiny detail as well as filtering (the latter mostly applied to meetings) to avoid being overwhelmed.

Some may say it is the hair-tearing portion of the day, but I beg to differ. With an amazing team and a set of wonderful clients, oftentimes we survive throughout the whole ordeal adventure.

Oftentimes. I have always wanted to use this word.

Stage C: Feelin’ So Good

Approximation of the Percentage of Day Taken: 30%

This is my favourite part of my work day. After the bugs are fixed, the negotiation with client about sneaking in responsive design in the middle of development goes well without a bloodbath, the cross-browser functionality dragons (they are mostly IE) are slayed – I would retreat to a couple of my online resources for some research and reading on the topic about web development and project management. These are amongst my favourites, in no particular order:

  1. Smashing Magazine
  2. Web Designer Depot
  3. A List Apart
  4. Signals vs Noise
  5. Cognition
  6. PM Hut

Staying true with the culture at Stampede where everyone is encouraged to share, I also post a couple of them on company Twitter, whilst some of them get sent to the inbox of the team members for their weekend reading. The writing blog task often gets done in this portion of the day as well.

The Encapsulation of It All

Being a Project Manager, our output may not be translated as tangible as the ones for designers, developers and programmers. People may not notice the non-existent haggling skills we developed to discuss about a scope creep. We act as the sponge – insulating the team from all the pressure from above ourselves as much as we can so the team can focus on the work.

Needless to say, the presence of a role – take note that I said presence of a role instead of presence of an absolute being – of a Project Manager is necessary to keep the team together. We are the planners, the mediators, the interpreters, the cheerleaders, the company jesters (hang on, that is probably just me) – and so much more.