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Histoire d'une ancienne nouvelle nmédienne : Anick Gagné, chargée de projet

Story of a former new Nmedian: Anick Gagné, project manager

September 13, 2017By Laurence Blanchette

At Nmédia, we want you to know the people who work on your projects, who happen to be the people with whom we work every day! About 10 months ago, a new project manager joined our team. What has she become? Is she happy? Does she thrive? Is she flabbergasted?

Laurence questioned her and you will know everything!

What enticed you to come work for Nmédia

I wanted to work in the Web. This medium's vitality speaks to me, so I wanted a job in this field. Good news, Nmédia has an excellent site referencing since I easily found their job opening! I was instantly charmed when I first entered their office. Having a human environment is one of their biggest values and my colleagues enjoy coming to work every morning. I relate deeply to that!

Where were you before and what were you doing?

I first completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at the Université Laval to realize during my master's degree that it was not for me. I then entered the public relations bachelor's degree at the UQAM. As for my career path, I worked in the press relations for the Festival de Jazz de Montréal. Afterwards, I worked in consulting services for a big agency.

How many projects do you simultaneously manage at Nmédia and what is your trick to stay organized?

I manage around 15 to 20 clients, but this number is relative as some of my biggest clients can have up to 10 projects up at the same time. Some projects are less active on different periods of the year, so there is a natural filter in my work.

I also base my decisions on priorities. I consider each team's availability and the client's expectations. The CRM is also very helpful to regroup all the information at the same place. We also have many internal meetings every week to make sure every project progresses as planned.

As a project manager, what are your greatest daily challenges?

Every assignment has its own challenges, which are not always similar. The biggest challenge I personally have in my daily work is when I work on very technical projects. I must make sure to deeply understand them in order to explain them clearly enough for my client to understand the concepts. Project managers often act as living dictionaries for their clients. Because of that, I must always be able to understand what I am doing, saying and explaining.

Is managing exclusively web projects very different from traditional project management?

Yes, very. In fact, every media has its own particularities. Television is more expensive and is often a work of reputation. Radio is more like "quickly done, nicely done,” much more direct. Print is a one shot deal: if you make a mistake, you're done for. And it can become as technically complex as the Web. What is fun about the Web is that you are constantly learning and evolving. There is also the live aspect, which allows to make changes on the fly if anything does not work as planned.

Would you rather work on many simultaneous projects or 1 bigger project, and why?

Good question. I think that to some extent I prefer working on multiple projects. For me, variety is stimulating. If I get blocked on a project, I can still continue on another one. Moreover, it allows me to work with different teams, who can teach me new ideas that I will be able to apply elsewhere in the future.

What tips would you give to a newcomer in your field regarding crisis management?

Listen. Let your client empty their bag, even if they are sometimes wrong. Often, we realize that the problem seems bigger than it really is. Afterwards, it is important to rephrase and to make sure we really understand what the client told us. What is important is to keep a good communication. There is nothing worse for a client than not to hear from us. Never hesitate to talk with the required experts in order to have the right answers for the client.

Do you manage every project the same way or do you see a big difference between each of them?

Of course, there is a backbone common to each project, but everything else may vary according to the nature of each project and every client.

What are the main reasons why your coworkers like you (besides your contagious laugher that gets all your coworkers to laugh)?

I am outgoing and I like to have fun while working. I am a team player who likes to include my coworkers as much as possible in the discussions.

What is the biggest plus value of project management?

We are creating a balance between everyone involved in the project and giving out consulting expertise. We are also there to make people think and to be the devil's advocate on some points. We answer everyone's questions and make sure the projects progress and that we are always ready for the next steps. We remind the objectives, send requests towards the right experts and gather the good ideas. In a word, it is to ease everyone's work!

What advice would you give the Anick from 10 years ago?

Catch every opportunity presented to you!

Are you as well organized in your personal life as you are at work?😉

Not at all! It is mind-blowing. It is as if, when I step out the door, the disorganized Anick takes over! Well, I guess that it is a question of finding balance in my daily life.