What Makes a Perfect Project Manager?
There are project managers and then there are project managers. We’re talking about la crème de la crème of project managers, the kind of people that swoop in to get whole teams motivated and back on track on a project already behind schedule. You may be lucky enough to have come across a few, but how can you identify them when you’re looking to get one on your team? Well, they may often show some of these qualities.
1. They know how to look ahead
Surprises are great for parties, not so much when you’re working on a schedule. A great PM will know how to look ahead for problems, roadblocks, mishaps, and a plethora of things unplanned and prepare appropriately to keep the team on schedule.
2. They listen to their team
Fumi Kondo says project managers rely on others to be successful, and that’s absolutely true. The ones that really understand this take the time to listen to their team, finding what drives them and what concerns them, what they believe are their strengths and weaknesses. The better they understand this the better it is to establish trust and an excellent working environment, which all contributes to better results.
3. They’re seen as leaders
Regardless of whether you think leaders are born or made, a great PM has a team that follows them. They need to know how to inspire and instill confidence their teams and stakeholders to be able to push when timelines get tight or negotiate additional resources.
4. They understand the client’s needs
Understanding exactly what a job means for a client’s organization helps prioritize work. A PM who is able to see the bigger picture and how important a project is for a client and why, will be able to work accordingly, and deliver results that meet expectations.
5. They’re super organized
This is nothing new, and it should come as no surprise. A great PM is super organized, time management and goal setting are key to the job and are some of their greater qualities.
6. They are efficient communicators
Most project managers are good communicators, but the best ones communicate efficiently. This ranges from identifying the preferred medium of communication, to quickly getting key points through to all stakeholders such as project length, urgency, and technologies required. Efficient communicators who deliver a clear message reduce problems and ensure a successful project.