Unleashed is an award-winning web design and development firm. Some of those awards are just the result of the great websites we produce, but many of the awards center around our client's feedback on their positive experience working with Unleashed. Most of that experience is built on our project managers' relationships. Our PMs work diligently to deliver maximum value to our clients and ensure they are clear on the status of projects and are having their concerns addressed. One of our most popular and talented project managers is Ryan McGrath.
1. What does a Project Manager do?
While the role encompasses so many jobs, I like to boil it down to one responsibility: we deliver value to our valued partners.
2. Do you prefer to work with clients who know what they want or need help focusing on their vision, and why?
It might seem easier when a client knows exactly what they want, but we’ve seen that lead to increased requirements. I always enjoy collaborating with our clients to develop the vision, because it demonstrates UT is vested interest in our clients’ success.
3. What is the process of a typical project at Unleashed?
All of our successful projects start with understanding our clients’ business goals. It’s what allows us to make recommendations on what to build and how to build it. And, particularly for our Growth clients, we can revisit those goals each time a new feature is requested and ask: Does this support our objectives?
4. What is one of the biggest obstacles you overcame with a client this year?
In March, many clients were forced to react to sudden global changes. Planned projects were put on the backburner in favor of features that would have a more immediate impact. Our team was able to adapt quickly to help build a couple of features and lightweight applications that we could reuse across various clients.
5. What is your favorite communication style for clients and your team?
I don’t know if it’s considered a style, but I would say “personal.” It extends beyond just the client organization; I want to understand how we can help make life easier for the folks at these organizations. We find the “win” for them by talking openly about ideas, goals, and the strategy to achieve them.
6. How did Planet Express arrive at its name?
A few years back, the teams all had “space” related names. As the company continued to grow, the teams renamed themselves and our team decided to keep the space theme but chose the ship from the show Futurama. I think I was a little too old to have been into that show when it first came out, so I had to watch a few episodes to catch up.
7. When you need help, where do you go for advice?
It’s certainly situational, but I’ve developed relationships with a few clients that make them trusted advisers when I could use it. My colleagues at UT are exceptionally smart and helpful as well.
8. What is the most common challenge when it comes to completing a project?
It all boils down to the same three things: budget, timeline, and scope. Of those, I’d say the scope is the biggest challenge because adding to it will affect the budget and timeline. Our team is always focused on delivering the most valuable product to our clients as quickly and efficiently as possible.
9. What is your favorite work-appropriate meme?
Oh, I love memes. I’d say the two I use the most are probably Morpheus “what if I told you” and the two Spider-Mans pointing at each other. Practical in almost every work situation.
10. We know you’re a runner. What is the most you have ran in a single day?
I’m definitely not an ultramarathoner, so the longest single day runs I’ve done have been the 26.2 miles of a marathon/Ironman triathlon. In 2019, I did take a trip to the Grand Canyon and did a rim-to-rim-to-rim. You start at the South Rim, descend to the Colorado River, climb up to the North Rim, and come back. In all, it was 46ish miles, but you’re not running the whole time. A lot of painful walking!