Project management: Breakin’ it down with Aisling McMahon*

October 3, 2012 in Digital Marketing


Aisling McMahon is currently the Operations Director at Strata 3. That sounds terribly fancy and intimidating, but she was able to break down what her job entails into parts using specific tools and techniques. And I, in return, was not overcome with boredom, for a change.

In review of our first guest lecturer in NCI’s Digital Marketing evening course, I would like to quote from the classic movie – Clueless: “Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun”.

Through the 400 million college courses (approx) I have attended, I have sat through many’s a lecture on project management. The G Man also spent years as a project manager, and it’s funny, if you’d ask me about it two weeks ago I probably would have replied that I wouldn’t know where to start.

As it turns out I have actually used Microsoft Project in college before, a number of times. Maybe it is where I am in my life now (existential much?) that the relevance of this topic became clear, or maybe it was how much it was broken down using real life examples.

Aisling has been through a few college courses in her time (she would give even me a run for my money), from a french and history arts degree from UCD through Fas amongst other to eventually being promoted to project manager in her current role on B2B agency side.

Her foray through many jobs, interests and courses seems to put her in a particularly useful position to manage projects. She told that recently she was stuck in the office ’til 11pm with another programmer trying to solve a problem, and it was her who figured it in the end. Having worked at many different areas, she can communicate easily and anticipate timelines more accurately.

Aisling says “Communication is key”. Throughout each project the client and team must know how things are progressing, or there is a potential for everything to fall apart.

When managing many staff in multiple diciplines and departments, tracking their ‘billable hours’ is critical. After all, if you can’t bill the client for the work, then what are we all doing here?

*At no point was the robot/the wave/booty shaking demonstrated/discussed during class