The traits of a good project manager are becoming ever more discussed on LinkedIn message boards. The subject has many diverse perhaps controversial views we are going to debate. Here are some ideas on what it takes to become a ‘Good Project Manager’.
Let’s define ‘Project Manager’
A Project Manager is responsible for planning, managing the resources, controlling progress and ensuring that the work is completed within an agreed time scale. The project manager is accountable for delivering the project products. To define what makes a project manager good, we should be in agreement about the role and responsibilities included.
The word ‘Good’
In CUPE’s eyes a good Project Manager is somebody who can deliver consistent project success. In short a project that meets the business case with in a defined quality, time and budget – there is obviously a lot more to it than that.
- A good Project Manager needs to take charge of their projects. They are likely to have natural instincts to chief and manage others around them. A good PM aims for clarity of authority levels within their projects and be duty-bound to drive the project to successful closure.
- Good Projects Managers are often born logical and analytical. They are able to foresee prospected risks before they become an issue. Do you want help on managing your risks?
- Successful Project Managers are frequently easy to get on with. They are able be empathetic, resolving issues between suppliers and users. At the same time commanding respect. Very tricky indeed.
- They center their work on building positive relationships. This is very important for Project Managers.
- A good Project Manager is able to select and apply the most suitable skill or tool to a project from their tool box.
- They have the capability to plan with confidence, predicting likely obstacles.
- There are able to identify and obtain resources appropriate to their Project.
- They remain capable to take a bird’s eye view of the Project as a whole.
- A good Project Manager also has problem solving skills.
What personality traits and skills would you add?
A good Project Manager is able to communicate on all levels. They remain able to bridge the gap between users and suppliers, as we mentioned previously. They are also able to communicate exact expectations to their team members. This important to meet specific sometimes escalating requirements.
A good Project Manager should be able to clearly identify their visions throughout the lifespan of a project.
A good Project Manager should be able to think outside the box. Their gift for foresight should help them look down the project timeline and make rational predictions, founded upon practical assumptions. They are able to strategically forecast what impact probable circumstances can have on product delivery. They are able to see the complete picture when managing their projects.
They should also have a pragmatic approach to problem solving, being able to adapt to different situations. This is especially the case with contractors.
We have been very subjective with our personality traits, skills, communication traits and thought processes. What else do you think makes a good project manager that we have missed out? We would love to hear what your feedback.
So how can all this be measured? APMG have recently launched a new accreditation called PRINCE2 Professional taking into account your ability to apply not just understand the method.