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What makes a good Project Manager?

Due to increasing demand from businesses, sourcing an effective project manager can be a real challenge today.

There is a skillset and a plethora of characteristics that are required by great project managers.

I have compiled a list of the top 10 traits below:

1. Good Communicator

One of the key tasks for a project manager is communicating with a diverse range of people, a widely underestimated skill. Being able to communicate at the right time and the right level can be difficult. A project manager will have to relay difficult messages throughout the lifecycle of the project therefore the capacity to communicate and articulate to all stakeholders is of the upmost importance.

2. Ability to ask the Right Questions

Asking the right questions at the right time is essential to executing the right solutions to issues and challenges of the project. An effective project manager does not just take the first answer given but questions answers to ensure the correct status has been given.

3. Effective Negotiator

A project manager often needs to negotiate between stakeholders and the project team. The demands of the stakeholders may be at odds to other groups of team members so it’s the responsibility of the project manager to negotiate common ground between all.

4. Well Structured and Organised

A project manager needs to be organised and have everything recorded in scoping documents and plans. An appropriate governance structure should be set up and adhered to throughout the project. All project documentation needs to be kept up to date as the project progresses no falling behind permitted!

5. Ability to adopt to change…quickly

The one sure aspect of a project is that there will be change. A project manager needs to recognise this fact and be able to assess the change and adapt to it, if needed. There will be occasions when the requested change is best not executed and this message along with the rationale behind the decision will need to be communicated to the relevant parties.

6. Good Listener

A project manager needs the skill to be able to actively listen in order to understand the dy-namics within each project and to get a read on what is going on and more importantly what is not going on within the project.

7. Team Builder

A project manager needs to be a strong / resilient person who can build up the team and keep them working effectively together for the duration of the project. They need to understand how each member works and how members work with each other. The project manager needs to provide the leadership required to steer the team to work together to deal with issues collectively.

8. Have an independent view

A project manager needs to remain independent from all stakeholders (???) and maintain a balanced view of the project. This means understanding the demands that are on people and balancing those with the overall project objectives and deliverables.

9. Empathy

A project manager needs to be able delegate and have a project team who can deliver on the project, however a project manager also needs to have empathy with the team and understand the day to day demands that are placed on people and in some cases help to alleviate these demands.

10. Reprioritise

On an ongoing basis needs there will be a requirement to prioritise what is important for the project depending on what stage it is at and what is currently happening within the project. This can change from day to day.

What can Olas do to help?

At Olas, we have a dedicated team of project managers with many years’ experience of projects and programme management across many different industries and sectors. Why not give us a call to discuss your needs and how we can help.

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