Top 10 Characteristics Of The Ideal Project Manager
Finding a good project manager is a rarity. If you know one or are lucky enough to work for one, watch carefully to see these project manager characteristics in their practice and character.
What characteristics are most important for a project manager to be effective?
- Fosters Good Relations
A great project manager knows the importance of fostering positive relationships with and between his team members. To get projects delivered correctly and on-time requires everyone pulling their weight and pulling together. A strong project manager knows when to bite his tongue, when to give feedback and when to treat everyone to pizzas, beers and non-work-related small talk.
The best PMs lead by example. The work they do and have done drives the team to perform on the same level. If your project manager is an inspirer, he will often have the right words for any situation and the charisma to be the boss without being a blowhard.
The model project manager has a deep need to see the project delivered on-time. He would not mind a few hours of work on the weekend or taking some time to mentor a colleague. It’s all in the name of delivering a quality result.
- Anticipates Needs
A great project manager has delivered projects before and knows what team members are going to need. Is bad weather going to slow down a crucial shipment? Is a holiday going to delay the arrival of critical documents? Rather than wait for the questions to roll in—he’ll stop problems in their tracks and keep everyone updated on all easily solved issues.
- Anticipates Problems
The best project managers are always able to think 3 steps, 3 days, 3 weeks into the future and anticipate things that may go wrong and how to change paths to avoid disaster or at least divert it as best as possible. Sure, no one can anticipate every problem but you’d be surprised what the most talented individuals see coming from far away.
- Minimizes Meetings
A project manager who is driven by delivery and progress rather than ego and rhetoric won’t allow unnecessary meetings or force the team to endure monologues. Forward-thinking project managers keep meetings to a minimum and gently return the necessary ones to the agenda when they go off track.
- Delegates Firmly
A great project manager knows what to assign to each team member and isn’t afraid to do so. He knows his team, their strengths and their workloads and uses this knowledge to delegate. Taskworld can assist Project Managers with this. By providing an overview of past performance and tasks open within a project, our free online project management app was designed to help managers assign the right task to the right person.
- Goes in with a Plan
Notable project managers don’t just have a general or vague project plan. They have detailed plans for each phase, week and team member. They also have contingency plans for everything from an ill employee to a collapsing budget.
- Doesn’t Complain
You’ll most often hear a strong project manager use positive language when dealing with tough situations. He thinks in terms of moving forward rather than blowing off steam. He’ll harness the energy he could have used complaining on moving around any obstacle that gets in the way of the goal: a completed project delivered on-time.
- Focuses on Solutions
It’s easy to let problems get the best of us and to balk, “why me?” and waste time trying to figure out who is to blame. Great project managers don’t waste their time on these activities. It’s not that they aren’t inclined, they just have the forethought to know that, after they stew, they will still have to expend the same amount of effort in finding a solution but they will have wasted hours or days focused on the negative