The 10 Best Qualities of a Project Manager
March 28 2020 - A project manager is a professional who leads projects from beginning to end, making sure everything goes smoothly and as planned.
If your company doesn't have one yet, it's definitely time to change that but, of course, you need to know the top qualities of a project manager that you should look for.
Keep reading and learn how to make sure you hire the right person for this crucial role!
Top 10 Qualities of a Project Manager
During your interviews with potential project managers, it is essential that you ask them about their previous experience and if they have relevant certifications, such as the apm project management certification.
Moreover, it is a good idea to present them with hypothetical situations and ask them how they would deal with them.
In the end, you want your project manager to have the following skills:
There are countless aspects to one single project and that alone explains why a project manager needs to have excellent organizational skills.
This person will have the essential role of making sure that every task within the project goes smoothly and that the team is on the same page and working at the right pace. This means delegating tasks, keeping an eye on deadlines and to-do lists, replying to emails, taking calls... too many responsibilities not to be organized.
Speaking of emails and calls, a project manager has to know how to communicate clearly and openly, not only with the team members but with the clients as well. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, 90% of a project manager's time should be spent communicating.
When you hire a new project manager, make sure they feel comfortable speaking with others and that they know the importance of always being straightforward about goals, expectations, and feedback, both positive or negative.
Creating and managing a successful project is very much about thinking strategically and that's another skill every project manager needs to have.
As such, a project manager should know how to best delegate each task involved in the project, how to plan timelines, how to make sure all items on everyone's to-do list are taken care of on time and, most importantly, how to overcome possible challenges along the way (speaking of which, here's one extra project management skill you should look for: problem-solving).
4. Task Management
We've mentioned this skill briefly when we spoke about the importance of being organized but, since task delegation is such a central responsibility of project management, we believe it deserves a highlight.
A successful project manager should have a good understanding of the strengths of each team member (both in terms of technical expertise and personality) and how each of them can contribute to the project in the most efficient way. Furthermore, the manager should be able to keep up with the status of every task, as well as the overall schedule of the project.
You know by now that a project manager is familiar with every aspect of a project and that means that team members will often come to them when they have any questions or aren't quite sure how to proceed.
In order to know how to guide others, a project manager needs to have great leadership skills. They need to be respected and be seen as an authority (not in an intimidating way, but rather as someone that others can trust and will listen to).
If this doesn't happen, if the team doesn't follow or respect the project manager, chances are that the project won't develop as it should.
Integrity is a trait you should look for in any professional you add to your team, but for a project manager, it becomes ever more important.
As we just mentioned before, the manager is a leader and, as such, they should set an example to everyone else involved in the project. They should remember that their actions are worth more than their words and operate accordingly.
As a leader, a project manager needs to have a vision of where they want to take not only the project but the company. Plus, they need to know how to share that vision and inspire every team member to join them in working towards the future their envision.
This skill is also important because every project has its hiccups and, when they happen, the project manager should be able to remind people of their goals and lift everyone's spirits up.
This quality is strongly connected to the communication and problem-solving we have talked about before and it is just as essential as those two.
When looking for a new project manager, you need to make sure that they can find their way out of challenging situations through their negotiation skills and that they are able to discuss with other professionals in a reasonable way, but also with your company's goals in mind.
Project management can be frustrating. It involves speaking with many people, managing countless tasks and replying to endless emails - all of that, while making sure that you always stay within the budget. It's easy to see how that can be stressful at times.
However, project managers need to know how to keep their cool. After all, they are the leaders and if they give in to the pressure, they show team members that things are not okay and that can end up causing some stress, which is not good for productivity levels.
Last but not least, your project manager should be passionate about each and every project you create!
They should keep a positive attitude and show that they are excited to work every day towards your goals so that everyone else in the team feels the same way. Trust us, positive thinking can do wonders for any company!
Finding the Right Project Manager
Now that you are familiar with the top ten qualities of a project manager, you'll be able to find one that will take your projects to a whole new level and keep your team motivated.
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