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The Words That’ve Gone Unsaid


©Somewhere Else
To my dearest project manager, thank you!

You are one I am so grateful to have. Honestly, the first time we were assigned on a project together, I thought to myself, “You know absolutely nothing about design… will you understand my needs?” Yet here we are— with innumerable memories from all the projects we ran together and I can confidently say, it would have been disastrous without you.

More than just managing our projects, you also consistently manage the goals and expectations of all stakeholders involved from beginning to end. Sometimes, it feels as though even the people we work with carry a misconception that design work can be executed very quickly. Yet you believe in the better of me, that I’m not choosing to take my own sweet time. I just need space to think through the solutions, and adequate time to do my best. The creative process is not always linear without roadblocks, and I’m so thankful you understand that.

Moreover, you’re a project manager that does not just prioritise appeasing clients only. In my experience, the word “urgent” gets thrown around so easily, even when it isn’t always the case. Day in and out, you patiently explain the nature of design work to our counterparts— establishing empathy and understanding for all parties when it comes to negotiating deadlines and keeping unrealistic turnarounds at bay.

Even when our projects run into emergencies and immediate solutions are required, you still choose to communicate the truth not just to our clients, but to me as well. I still remember the time when our client unexpectedly asked for a major change to all 20 variants of their product range, to be completed by the next morning. Not to mention that it was already near end of day when this request came in, and I was also juggling another deadline. Like many others, you could have simply made it my problem.

Instead, you assured me that such a request was truthfully not feasible, and gracefully proposed a workaround with our client. With your suggestion to simplify the process for everyone by making the edits to one variant first before rolling them out across the entire range only after the change is approved, saved me from working overtime through the night. That’s not all— thanks to you, our client was nevertheless much assured that we still had the project’s best interest in heart.

Though you’re not a designer, you don’t see my job as one lightly— always asking for my opinions and inputs. It’s as though you have a sixth sense that it’s not always easy for me to voice out! We never talked about this before but you already know my tendency to clam up during discussions, my thoughts often scrambled like a mind map.  But yet you make me feel seen, heard, and involved, ensuring that people understand my design solution and do not misinterpret our work.

From helping me relate to the troubles our clients face when projects go awry, to checking in on me beyond work genuinely and non-intrusively— you have been my reliable companion and my greatest support at work. With you, the tough days are equally as memorable as the good ones and with all these said, I wanted to ask… would you like to embark on more projects with me?

Be part of something great with us?


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