WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT PROJECT MANAGER?
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to form a unique product, service or result. The environment in which a project is carried out is different from an organization’s regular operations. Therefore, a project manager must have special skills and a unique demeanor to operate effectively in novel and often difficult circumstances. Good project managers are hard to find for this reason.
Good Project Managers Do Things Differently:
It is essential that a project manager possess an air of authority. A good project manager should be able to speak efficiently and effectively; he should have good command in his/her tone in such a way that when he/she speaks, people are eager to listen. Effective leaders cannot be timid – they must take control when necessary.
Good PMs set, observe and reevaluate project priorities frequently. They are constantly looking for ways to hone the project management process. This requires them to repeat the same processes over and over. If a project is managed effectively, each and every team member will quickly understand why and when the project manager performs certain tasks.
Effective project managers are humble. They do not claim expertise in areas where they are deficient. Good PMs often defer to others with different competencies to help in matters with which they are unfamiliar. They should be able to ask good questions and listen to stakeholders. An experienced project manager carefully considers the opinions of others; he understands that communication in essential in creating good relationships.
Visionary leaders make people feel they have a real stake in each project. They empower others to experience the vision for the project and offer people opportunities to create their own vision and to explore what that would mean to their jobs and lives.
A project manager needs integrity. Her actions set an example for the rest of the team members. She sets ethical standards for everyone else. To earn the trust of their colleagues, project managers need to lead by example. Actions speak louder than words and successful project managers have to demonstrate that they are as accountable as anyone working on a particular project. Project managers also need to be good at team-building for implementing project strategies.
Every project manager is a leader in his respective organization, whether the teams he leads have 5 members or 50.
The authority of excellent project managers comes from their expertise in one or more domains within an organization. Effective project managers not only manage projects and lead teams, but they participate and work alongside teammates to accomplish tasks and reach milestones. An efficient project manager might have an intimate understanding of budgets, rules and procedures, marketing, sales production, hiring, etc.
Don’t Be a Control Freak
Skilled project managers delegate with ease. They recognize the skills and expertise of their team members and assign tasks accordingly. Trust is an essential element when it comes to successful team relationships. As a PM, you demonstrate trust in others through your actions. How much do you check and control team members’ work? How much do you delegate? Do you allow teammates to show their competencies or do you take on much of the work yourself?
Project managers need to be cautious and convey messages to their team members in a way that does not distract from achieving their goals. Poor communication can lead to distorted or misunderstood messages, particularly when teams are large and/or distributed across multiple locations. Project managers must be good communicators to their team and clients.
Enthusiasm and Empathy
Enthusiastic leaders are committed to their goals and express this commitment through optimism. Plain and simple, good leaders are excited about the work they are doing. Enthusiasm is contagious and great leaders know it.