Top Skills and Qualities That Enable You to Become A Successful Project Manager
If you look up the defintion of a “Project Manager”, you’ll find something similar to “the person in overall charge of the planning and execution of a particular project.”
This talks about the responsibilities of the project manager in Project Management and not about the skills he should have. A project manager’s job is not just to meet deadlines and meet the objectives but how he enables the team members to get work done that matters.
Project Mangers are easy to find but a good Project Manager is hard to find. So what makes a successful project manager? Apart from coordinating with the team to get work done, what else needs to be done? Here are some effective qualities every successful project manager usually has.
1. Leadership Skills
“ If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A very important quality of a Project Manager is to treat everyone in the team as a valuable resource and build a team spirit and an environment where everyone feels like they belong and that they’re responsible for company’s growth.
The first step towards this is to stop micromanaging your team members. Encourage your team members to come up with ideas and explore other possibilities for a solution. A good leader should be leading the team and showing them how the work is done through examples. Be very vocal in expressing the feedback and praising the members but be discrete and short when criticising them about their mistakes. Give honest feedback and appreciation often to team members and encourage them to do better.
2. Problem Solver
A good project planning helps a project manager to execute the project without many issues but it’s very hard to predict every problem that might arise during each stage of the project during planning phase. This is why a good project manager should be a able to find a right solution for the said problem.
No one expects a project manger to know to all and solve every problem that arises by themselves. The key is to coordinate to the team and other stakeholders if required to collectively solve the problem.
3. Effective Communication
Communication is a most important skill every Project Manager must have. Why? Because Communication is the best way to create strong relationship. Project Manager should be able to communicate with people at all levels.
A good project manager should articulate the project vision and goals, objectives and the approach to the project team so they can understand it better and work towards these goals/objectives. He/She should be able to communicate the feedbacks and appreciation to the team better.
4. Cultural Awareness
When working with a team, it is essential to pay close attention to relationships, context, history, and the culture. culture refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and values that the team members share and the behaviors consistent with them.
Culture dictates how the team members see, interact and judge the project Manager. A culturally aware project manager can avoid miscommunication and conflicts in the team.
Project Manager is also responsible for creating the project culture so he/she needs to make sure it’s a positive one.
5. Being An Optimistic
Embracing change to bring new ideas and innovate during project life cycle is a hallmark of a good project manager.
He/she should be open to ideas from other team members and willing to act on them.
6. Task Delegation
Task delegation is another skill which every project manager should be proficient in. A project is all about splitting it into different tasks and assigning the tasks to team members and managing them.
A good project manager should be able to judge and know the team members skills, strengths and weaknesses when assigning these tasks. Some team member might have problems completing a task but the same task could be completed easily by another team. A project manager who is able to demonstrate to a team that they trust them and have confidence in their abilities will get the best out of their team.
7. Technologically Strong
A project manager should be knowledgeable about the Project Management trends and all the tools and project management softwares that could help them to execute a project smooth and faster. He/she should be willing to move out of their safe zone and try different softwares and tools which might not be part of a traditional project management as long as the tool helps them to manage the project better.
8. Knowledge of Different Frameworks
There are various project management methodologies and frameworks that are use by project managers all over the world. Some of these methodologies might be traditional and some modern with each methodology excelling at different aspects of Project Management. A good project Manager should be knowledgeable about all these methodologies and frameworks and should be able to pick the framework that suits the project.
For example, if all the requirements of the project are well defined and there is no scope for change, he/she could for a traditional waterfall method. If there is change in requirements constantly, they could go for agile project management methodology or some other framework that suits their project at that time.