6 Traits of the most effective Project Managers


Project Management is a task orientated talent, the effectiveness of the right project manager is the difference between the task being successfully delivered, on time and within budget or not, but what makes an effective project manager?

Good question…I’ve listed to top 6 traits from a recent pole we conducted on effective project management. It shows that the best should have a mix of the following skills:

  1. Professionally honed communication skills – an ability to decipher, repackage and to explain details so that everyone gets it. An ability to foresee possible problem areas and nip them in the bud quickly and communicate changes. Knowing how to customise the information so that each team understands the goals and achievement levels expected.
  2. No Blame mentality – This doesn’t mean project managers should be a walk over nor does it mean that no-one should take responsibility for the things that go wrong, but an ability to have a “listen and learn from your mistakes” mentality and not blaming’ anyone in particular for things that may go wrong is a far better way of empowering your team to get the job done. They won’t be afraid to try things that could be out of their comfort zone and will echo their project managers mentality when they realise blaming does nothing for the end result other than make someone feel bad about their part in the project.
  3. Flexibility and re-assessment skills – Being able to review a project and reassess its needs, look at how the team is working and how effective the project goals are looking is essential. Being able to flex their own involvement to the needs of both the end result and the team requirements is essential.  Project Managers that stick to what they know, to their structure or even in some cases to working by a particular methodology can get them unstuck.
  4. Likeability and an ability to muck in with the team – Able to roll up their sleeves and muck in – a do as I do manager who can promote team working and involvement. Someone the teams respect and look up to for direction.
  5. Total Focus Bottom layer up – Excellent Collaboration skills which involve the entire team bottom up. Without the team mates at the bottom of the project we will never be able to reach the top – which in most instances is the goal! By focusing and collaborating with everyone at some level the communication lines remain open at all times and everyone gets the feeling they are part of the winning team.
  6. And Finally, an ability to celebrate successes with the team! Yes I know you’d expect this to be a given trait, but you’d be surprised at the Project Managers who don’t. Involve everyone at every stage, the ups, the downs and the in-betweens!

Empower Your Team

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