IT project manager in e-commerce. What does working in this position look like?

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Published:
2.3.2022
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anaging an e-commerce project without a good project manager is like going to the World Cup without a coach or playing in an orchestra without a conductor. Lack of a person overseeing the entire project reduces the chances of a successful store implementation. It is the IT project manager who ensures that the work is completed on time, within budget and on schedule.

A career in e-commerce

With the development of e-commerce, job opportunities in this sector are also increasing, not only for people with technical skills, but also for IT project managers. The growth of e-commerce is not expected to slow down in the coming years. Therefore, this is a good time to gain experience and build your career path in e-commerce. What is an IT project manager in e-commerce? What competencies must he have? What challenges does he/she face in everyday work? Answers to these questions can be found in our article.

The role of the IT project manager

The duties of a person in the position of IT project manager in e-commerce seem obvious. Nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is that under the name of this position there are various tasks. They are determined, among others, by the place of work. A PM on the client side will have a slightly different role than a person in the same position in a company that implements e-commerce systems.

At an implementation agency like Strix the role of project managers goes beyond delegating tasks and keeping track of schedule. We work with large clients (mid-market, enterprise) which gives us a lot of responsibility. IT project managers take care of the whole project, from the moment the client comes to us with a brief, through developing implementation strategy, proposing solutions, project execution, and then continuous cooperation with the client and development and maintenance of the e-commerce system.

A growth-oriented industry

In the case of e-commerce, the phrase "work in a rapidly growing industry" is not just an empty phrase. PwC analysis predicts that in 2026 the gross value of the Polish e-commerce market will reach 162 billion PLN, which means an average annual growth of 12%. The acceleration of e-commerce development in Poland was also influenced by the pandemic - currently 84% of Internet users buy online, and in 2020 we recorded a record-breaking growth of the e-commerce market in Poland. What is more, the users of online stores are increasingly demanding - they want to buy quickly and conveniently, using multiple forms of delivery or payment. The development of e-commerce makes more and more companies carry out a digital transformation and move sales to the Internet. However, brands that already trade online, invest in new solutions and technologies.

This situation increases the demand in the job market for IT project managers who are comfortable in the world of e-commerce. It also shapes the nature of their work and the tasks to be performed.  

What I like about working in e-commerce is that I am constantly developing, solving problems, working with great people who are willing to share their knowledge and I try to absorb it like a sponge. I also have the opportunity to gain international experience, because I participate in the implementation of projects not only for companies in Poland, but also in Germany and Sweden. Working with customers from different parts of the world, I have the opportunity to learn about these cultural differences, which then affect the different user behavior and e-commerce processes - Aleksandra Orzeł, E-commerce Project Manager at Strix

E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Therefore, a PM must keep up with the news, changes and trends. He or she should follow the information about what is currently on top in the world of e-commerce technology. Microservices, headless, PWA, social commerce - these are just a few examples of concepts that he will use in his daily work. Knowing the industry is the key to successful cooperation directly with the client. One of the main roles of IT project managers in e-commerce is to actively support clients in creating strategies, development and selection of the best solutions tailored to business needs,

An example of IT project manager responsibilities in an implementation company:

  • Analyze business cases, understand customer needs and turn them into IT solutions.
  • Create project plan, roadmap/schedules.
  • Co-create with the client and prioritize requirements.
  • Progress Reporting.
  • Organizing the work of the project team - defining tasks for the development team (backend, frontend) and testers.
  • Quality control of team members' work.
  • Configure e-commerce systems according to developed business objectives, working with external partners specializing in SEO, activity analysis, ERP, payments and logistics.
  • Actively participate in internal working meetings with design, production and test departments. Nurturing team relationships and support as needed.

IT project manager's working day

"Expect the best, plan for the worst and be prepared for surprises" - these are the words of Denis Whitley, perfectly summarizing the daily life of an IT project manager. People in this position rather do not complain about boredom.

At Strix, project managers lead complex, large-scale projects, which means that on a daily basis they are in contact with the client and manage the work of extended project teams consisting of many people with different roles and competencies (developers, UX designers, testers).

In their work they use a variety of tools - from a simple piece of paper to the most modern ones that support project management such as: Redmine, Jira, Confluence, Google Drive and Agile methodologies.

Soft competencies

Soft skills are also extremely important in the work of an IT project manager in e-commerce. Perfectly mastered work organization, love of planning, Excel and scheduling is essential. But the person who works at this position, must first like working with people and direct contact with the client. The project manager combines the world of technology with business and spends a lot of his working hours talking, so he must feel like a fish in water in communication and must not be afraid to ask questions. The project manager cares not only about good relationships with the client, but also with the team, which sometimes needs motivation to "prove" the project. IT project manager must also show independence as he takes responsibility for the entire project and the work of individual people in the team.

The most important skills of project managers according to the Project Manager Skills Benchmark analysis:

  • Communicating/listening well
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Building trust and respect
  • Relationship building
  • Project scope management
  • Project risk management
  • Results orientation
  • Setting goals and expectations
  • Building trust
The most important thing for a Project Manager in e-commerce in my opinion is: good organization and prioritization of tasks. And also keeping an eye on the pulse, anticipating what can go wrong and preventing it - Aleksandra Orzeł, E-commerce Project Manager at Strix

A happy ending

The role of IT project manager in e-commerce undoubtedly carries a lot of responsibility, but it also gives great satisfaction when the project is completed. If you consider starting your career in e-commerce - welcome on board! At Strix, we are currently looking for new people for the position of IT project manager. Check the details in our Careers tab.

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