27th November 2019
On efficient project management and work culture with Maja, our Project Manager.
How to keep on top of many projects at once? Is work culture any different across European countries? Meet Maja, our Project Manager, who can tell us all about efficient project management and working in different countries! Before moving to the UK last year, Maja had gained lots of experience in Poland and then France, where she’d been working on big international accounts.
On an everyday basis, she makes sure everything runs smoothly in the Kota studio and keeps communication flowing between our clients and within the team. Don’t be fooled – behind the organisation freak facade, lays a creative soul! Make sure to check out Maja’s blog and Instagram for some travel and lifestyle inspiration!
Being a proud ‘crazy dog lady’ you will most probably find her walking around London with her adorable French Bulldog under her arm.
What was your route to becoming a Project Manager?
I grew up in an artistic environment so ever since high school, where I majored in humanities and journalism, I knew I was destined to work in a creative field, though management has always been my thing. Since age 16, I was already leading and organising international projects for young people thanks to the Youth in Action programme (now known as part Erasmus+ I believe), which gave me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills and discover a great passion for travel. I went on to get my diploma in Communication Design at the University of Wroclaw in Poland and then a Master’s Degree in Communications at Sciences Po in Paris, France. Considering all these, project management seemed like a natural choice for me.
Coming from a creative background myself, I love that I have a chance to work with designers and be part of their creative process, while still being able to use my organisational and practical skills as the main part of my job. Also, I’m an absolute control freak in my personal life so I figured – I could either waste money on therapy sessions or make a career out of it. So far, I’m pretty glad about the choice I made!
Can you share any secret tips on efficient project management?
It’s no secret at all and might be a cliché but it’s truly the most important – communication. Keeping the team informed and aligned from beginning to an end is key to a successful project. There always are and will be glitches or problems to solve, but as long as we all are on the same page and cooperate with one another, there’s nothing that can’t be achieved.
Would you say there’s anything unique about how projects are managed at Kota?
I find that being a relatively small agency, our biggest advantage is that we’re extremely approachable. We make sure all of our projects are collaborative and engage the clients along the way. We work closely together and make sure designers and developers exchange their expertise at any stage of the project, making sure that the websites we create don’t only look beautiful but are also functional and user-friendly.
How does the work culture differ in countries you’ve had an opportunity to work in?
It’s truly surprising how working habits and overall culture change between countries, even within Europe! For example, in Poland, working hours seem to be the most flexible, while staying late is quite standard in France. From my experience, England is the most set on the traditional 9-to-5 but it does place itself quite low when it comes to days off (especially compared to France which has the most of them in Europe!). Cultural differences are always there and usually take some time to adjust to but in the end, it’s all up to the company you’re working for.
So is there anything different about the work culture at Kota?
I love that here at Kota a healthy work-life balance is a real thing and all team members are truly respected in that matter. A great example of this is work-from-home Wednesdays when we all get to work remotely – it shows a great deal of trust in the team. An interesting fact is that strictly from a project management point of view, this hasn’t affected our productivity in any way. Quite the opposite, actually! Everyone is extremely motivated and without the long commute or office distractions, Wednesdays tend to be our most efficient days of the week.
If you were to choose your favourite trip ever, which one would it be?
I left my heart in Iceland many years ago and if I were to choose a place to grow old in – that would be it. I love staying active while travelling so all kinds of road-trips and hiking in the mountains will be my favourite. The road trip in Japan was absolutely unforgettable and my recent visit to the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia must be one of my favourites too. Next year I’m planning to fulfil a big dream of mine: a trans-Siberian train trip through Russia and Mongolia, all the way from Moscow to Beijing. I’m guessing it’ll place itself on top of my list too!
Interested in working with us? Call the KOTA studio on +44(0)20 3951 0562.
We are a Creative Digital Agency based in Clerkenwell London, specialising in Creative Web Design, Web Development, Branding and Digital Marketing. We are also WordPress Content Management System experts.