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Top 10 Qualities of an Effective Project Manager

S
teve Stamper, PMP

Vice President of Project Management Office (Enterprise Services) NTT DATA Inc.


The search for an effective project manager demands the same importance as the quest for the next project. Each project raises new challenges for project managers and the skills, talents and diplomacy that will help them tackle its challenges. Listed below is a good skills list when considering your next project manager:

1. Good communicator: Project managers must be good communicators. Poor communication can lead to distorted or misunderstood messages, particularly when teams are large and/or distributed across multiple locations. So, project managers need to be cautious and convey messages to their peers in a way that does not distract from achieving their goals.

2. Effective leadership skills: Project managers must also deal with teams coming from various walks of life. Thus, it becomes imperative for them to motivate employees and fine-tune team performance to achieve organizational goals through various leadership styles.

3. Good decision maker: Project managers are empowered to make innumerable decisions which will help define the project track. A wrong decision taken can easily jeopardize the entire project. Thus, a project manager needs to be capable of thinking quickly and reacting decisively.

4. Set clear vision: Cultivate a clear vision about the project and develop a “mission driven” psyche. It often happens that project managers confront a situation where they must deliver results on time and within a budget, but that is not an easy task. In spite of all these difficulties, project managers need to have a clear picture of the direction in which they are headed. They should be committed to the vision and try to explore ways of realizing this in the shape of an established project. Their frame of mind should take care of obstacles that could deter them from achieving his goals.

5. Sound technical knowledge: Project managers need to be adept in handling technical tools and have a deep insight in the subject of the project. This will help them understand any issues regarding the project that crops up during the implementation stage. Knowledge of the best practices in relation to an organization may also empower a project manager to take strategic initiatives as and when required. Project managers should also be the repository of all information.

6. Good at team-building: Project managers also need to be good at team-building. For the successful implementation of any project, it is necessary that the team works in unison. Every team player deserves equal importance. Project managers focus on the positive aspects of their team members, thus inculcating a cohesive force amongst them. This negates the chances of conflict within a team.

7. Thrive under pressure: In the course of developing a project, project managers face many experiences that could take a toll on the project’s momentum. Thus, to avoid such circumstances, a project manager must be calm and have a balanced state of mind and not indulge in negative thoughts.

8. Good negotiation skills: Project managers must also be a good negotiator as this skill is required in case differences of opinion arise between team members. project managers, through sheer negotiating skills, must try to settle such issues without letting the conflict grow and disturb the team’s harmony.

9. Empathetic: Project managers must be empathetic as this trait helps them gain support. It’s all about understanding and caring for people who part of the team. It also includes understanding the needs of the project, stakeholders, team issues and the risks involved.

10. Enthusiastic: Project managers must be enthusiastic about the project. Enthusiasm is contagious and every effective project manager disperses the same through their “can do” attitude, invigorating others with optimistic expectations of the project.

Project managers must be multi-skilled and capable of handling any kind of project in any given environment.

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