What makes a good project manager? Is it their tight financial control? Their approachability? Their planning ability?
Different project managers have different strengths and weaknesses, but there are some core technical skills that all project managers should possess. These are developed in APM PMQ training courses, allowing project managers – experienced and new alike – to work on the areas that they are weaker in and build on the areas they excel.
A good project manager takes ownership of the project and is not afraid to be held accountable for the performance of the project. They will also engender ownership of tasks in team members and ensure that credit is given appropriately.
2). Shrewd Commercially
Knowing what the contract says and when to assert your rights is essential to developing a productive relationship with other contractors. A good project manager will use the contract as a guide for their planning and to ensure delivery.
Getting to call yourself a project manager means being able to make decisions when they need to be taken. Seeking out information and processing it quickly is essential to being decisive. A good project manager doesn’t let information go to waste and will keep track of data so that finding the information they require is fast and efficient.
Navigating the project through office politics is a skill good project managers have. They know what bureaucratic barriers will need to be overcome and will have the expertise to break them down. A good project manager champions their project when it matters.
Being in charge means knowing what’s going on and a good project manager will know what systems can be relied on to provide accurate information – and which can’t. They also keep an eye on team members and know when to step in to encourage and support them – especially less experienced team members who may be reluctant to ask for assistance.
Knowing what they and their team can really achieve is a vital skill. No one really remembers when a project is brought in on time but they certainly do when it’s late and doesn’t do what was promised because a poor project manager over-estimated their abilities.
At the heart of every successful project is a solid plan and a good project manager is a born-planner. They know what to plan in detail, what to sketch out for later planning and what can safely be ignored.
A good project manager doesn’t wait for the team to finish. They get out there, find out what’s happening and keep things moving along, adjusting priorities as commercial interests dictate.
9). Deals with Problems
Things will go wrong but a good project manager will deal with problems as they arise in a timely manner instead of expecting others to mop up the mess.
10). Risk Management
Finally, every project has a risk associated with the rewards. A good project manager knows just how much to gamble to successfully obtain that reward.