Summary: Whether you're searching for a good candidate or looking to become a skilled project manager yourself, here are some important traits to hone in on.
A project manager's job entails moving a project from conception to completion all the while ensuring a client's needs and wants are being met and that the team is reaching its deadlines. This requires a lot of planning and executing. Additionally, finding the right person for the job can be quite the task as the role of project management requires a specific and well sought after skill set. Whether you're searching for a good candidate to fulfill a project management position or looking to become a skilled project manager yourself, here are some important traits to hone in on.
8 Characteristics of a Skilled Project Manager
In order to set realistic timelines and stay within budget for each and every project, a project manager needs to be a well oiled and organized machine. Seeing a project through from beginning to end in an organized and proficient way often entails being able to utilize the right tools to set goals and milestones, as well as schedule meetings and assign tasks.
As with any role, communication is important. However, for a project manager, excellent communication skills are paramount. This is because their role acts as an information pipeline for both the client and company as a project progresses. A project manager must be able to manage expectations both within her team as well as when consulting with a client. Communicating in an honest and respectful way leaves no room for misinterpretation and fosters good working relationships.
A good project manager is also a good leader; someone who can managing people effectively. Keeping up with your team's level of productivity on a current project as well as being clear about what should be prioritized and the best way to manage time takes real leadership. Successful leaders can comfortably delegate tasks, track their team's progress, hold them accountable, and even share credit for a job well done.
As a project manager, one must be able to see and account for an infinite amount of possibilities. Planning ahead means accounting for potential pitfalls and necessary revisions. This way, if and when they happen, the project does not fall behind schedule. By having enough foresight, a project manager is able to anticipate and prevent mistakes before they can halt a project.
In order for any given project to be successful, it's essential that the project manager is passionate about it's development. One who lacks drive will not be able to motivate their team properly to meet deadlines and reach new levels of innovation. By having a stake in the company, a skilled project manager is likely invested in the outcome of their projects and more likely to prosper because of it. Those who enjoy helping others naturally have a drive and passion for their work because they want to see it do well.
6. Problem Solving
Setbacks are inevitable no matter the project. A skilled project manager is able to quickly problem solve an issue before it has a domino like effect and causes the whole project to lag. Good problem solvers are creative and not afraid to take action.
When things don't go as planned or a project is right up against a deadline, an experienced project manager is able to keep their cool under pressure. This trait is vital in making sure projects reach completion. Staying composed when dealing with a difficult situation, whether with a client or a glitch in development, allows for things to get back on track quickly.
8. Team Building
Part of a project manager's job is to oversee his or her team during a project. In order to inspire coworkers to do their best work, a project manager needs to be an effective team builder. Team building often entails showing compassion when needed and cultivating an environment where everyone feels they can approach you and ask questions. When your team is comfortable asking questions as they work on an assignment, they're less likely to make mistakes that will need to be corrected down the road. Encouraging this kind of participation and offering helpful as well as positive feedback streamlines projects.
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