Project Managers are a special breed. Learn basic rules and traits of an effective, productive, and successful Project Manager.
The term “project manager” can be used to describe anyone who is organizing a task. But, successfully, effectively, and efficiently managing a project requires specific skills that are not always easy to come by.
The project manager holds the most critical position on a project team and has overall responsibility to ensure its successful completion. According to Neal Whitten, PMP, in his article Duties of the Effective Project Manager (PM Network magazine, September 1999), the project manager “comes wh a tremendous responsibility, accountability, owner, ship, and authority.”
What are the Traits of a Successful PM?
An effective PM can see the big picture and the ultimate result of a project. They are lateral thinkers and can synthesize details into a broader context. Besides, they have a high tolerance for ambiguity, trade-offs, and uncertainty due to their understanding and management of project shifts and changing variables. Honesty, high integrity, and a reliable leadership approach are essential traits of a successful PM as these skills are crucial in getting team members to function together cohesively.
The distinction between a Project Manager and an Operative Manager
A PM is a different species of a manager. While specialization, analytics, and supervisory traits are rewarded in functional management roles, the project manager is a generalist, a synthesizer of a broad scope of information, and helps facilitate others’ tasks. A PM’s role is ultimately a top-down management approach for translating goals and promises into deliverables and actions.
The Duties of a Project Manager
The project manager has complete responsibility and accountability for the project. She or he incorporates lessons learned from other recent project experiences, defines and assigns roles and responsibilities, leads and tracks project activities, and uses project management Best Practices. Much of a PM’sPM’s daily activities are dedicated to selecting and managing priorities because the ultimate goal is a timely and successful closure to the project. Besides, communicating with and involving the client, mentoring team members, managing changes, and overseeing each task’s accountability is part of a PM’s scope. According to Whitten, project managers must have ” the knowledge, age, skills and experience to be able to recognize when problems surface or potential problems are looming.”
Project Managers are a special breed. Their effectiveness lies in a specific skill set that can combine lateral thinking with cooperative team building and attention to detail. Their value lies in their ability to see and articulate a project, bring the right team together to work on the project, and assess when the project is done.