A project manager is someone who oversees a task from start to finish. He/she is in charge of electing people to move the task forward in the best and most efficient way possible while ensuring that the project is the best that it can be. Project managers are responsible for a team and such people will have a set of responsibilities to uphold while being in charge of certain projects or tasks. These responsibilities vary from meeting deadlines, ensuring constant communication throughout all team members, creating a schedule for everyone to follow, overseeing cost and money management in order to stay within the budget which is agreed upon.
Being a project manager is no easy task and this article will discuss key characteristics a manager should have in order to be successful at the task at hand and ensuring that all responsibilities are met, solidifying the best possible work.
Every project manager needs to be able to take charge and be sure of the decisions being taken. You must be able to effectively lead your team from the beginning till end. You may not need any technical skills every project manager must be good with softs skills which can boost morale and success in the workplace. You need to motivate your team and make sure that all team members are on the same page, meaning that they have a clear idea of what needs to happen and where they need to be at a certain allotted time. A good leader should also be able to assess the strengths and weakness of all team members in order to create a workflow that will fit everyone’s strengths and create a more coherent team.
A project manager needs to be aware of the people he is going to entrust. He needs to know who the people are, and the strengths and weakness of the team as I mentioned previously. Delegating work is no easy task and should not be taken lightly. Good communication will brighten the path for the right people being chosen and will create a much easier job for you. The more time you invest in this portion of the project the easier your work may be down the line, with regards to skill sets and being able to trust your team.
It is imperative for a leader to have a vision. A project manager cannot aimlessly walk through the days discover a task after the previous one is finished. One should have a clearcut plan of how the stages of the project will move. Having a clear vision also requires you to be able to adapt and change the times. A good leader will also communicate this vision in order for the team members to follow and trust in the project manager and his/her decisions.
Every company will ask the same question to every project manager they elect and that is ‘how long will this take?’ or ‘how much time do you need?’. You might not have an answer to this initially but the more you study and learn about the project the better you get and assessing and forecasting how long certain projects will take. Time-management does not stop there! You will need to create time for different tasks for different people and a deadline with which your team members must adhere to, including yourself!
If the leader cannot keep on his/her own schedule how will the other team members be inspired to do the same and follow behind. Having good time management means that everyone works on different tasks to move the project forward without wasting anyone’s time. This also includes having quality time with your team and creating a bond to increase communication and understand each other better.
A good leader should always create time for such events where everyone can bond and create space for new relationships.
This would be one of the most important skills a project manager should learn. For some people, it may come easy and without any trouble, for others, it may be more challenging. Communication is essential in keeping a well-oiled machine. Communication needs to be maintained to keep everyone in the loop and create a place of understanding about any challenges and risks. Usually, team members will be able to forecast certain problems that the project manager would not, and having a lack of communication would not reveal such problems.
Having a great line of communication will prove useful further on down the line when you can give feedback to your team and your team can give feedback to you on what to improve and what you did right. Constructive criticism is a great fountain of information that every project manager should look forward too.
A project manager should never be all work no play. Work is important and it is what brought you together but it is not the end-all-be-all of all communication. People need a break from constant work and creating team building activities or simply going out for a beer will be the perfect solution to create a more relatable approach towards your personality.
Being quick on your feet and able to adapt is important. As stated in the aforementioned paragraph, being able to change and quick to adapt are important and should be in every project managers arsenal when taking on a job. Obviously, this type of skill is usually learnt and through enough experience, one may become better at problem-solving and not letting sudden changes in the plan weigh down and cause unnecessary anxieties.
To conclude, being a good project manager is having all these skill sets intertwined. All of them go hand in hand in order to create the right project manager that can lead a team to perfect whatever project is at hand. Do not take any project lightly, use every opportunity to learn more about different people and yourself and to create a bond. These relationships might reap fruit later on down the line with whatever task may come up in the future. These skills are essential to learn, let it be from experience or through self-reflection it is important to know your own strengths and weakness to move forward.