The role of a project manager is crucial to ensuring that projects stay on track and that results meet the highest possible standards. This means developing the project management skills necessary to lead a team and juggle a lot of moving parts.
Companies that want to excel must promote good project managers and learn to tell the difference between those that outstrip competitors and those that are merely average. The easiest way to do that is to determine what sets the excellent apart from the average. In other words, what do good project managers do that average project managers don’t?
When it comes to good project managers, communication is perhaps the most important differentiator. In order to effectively manage employees, resources, timelines, clients and more, a project manager must be able to provide direction, assuage concerns and generally promote progress on every front through clear and concise communication. Of course, communication is a two-way street, so project managers must also listen, respond and incorporate new information as needed to keep a project running smoothly and ensure that team members and clients alike feel valued and confident.
The buck stops somewhere, and on any given project, it’s likely to stop with the project manager. A person in this key position cannot be frozen with indecision, fearing the repercussions of making a wrong turn. Excellent project managers gather information, identify and assess risk and makes calculated decisions as needed, while average project managers wait for something bad to happen before coming up with a plan.
Any plan created at the outset of a project is likely to look very different by its completion based on any number of factors. Clients may change or clarify demands, resources may be insufficient and other setbacks may occur. A good project manager tries to create a comprehensive plan for progress, but is cognizant of the fact that things happen and changes must be made to compensate.
A good project manager understands that there’s always more to learn, and that this principle applies to the entire team. Professionals may enter project management with some inherent personality traits or developed skills that make them a good candidate for this leadership position, but being an effective manager requires training, and good managers always want to learn more and continue to improve for their own benefit, the benefit of their teams and the overall good of the company. They also understand the importance of employee education for creating highly-skilled and competitive team members, as well as keeping employees engaged.
Extend Trust, Within Reason
Employees are hired because they possess the prerequisite education and experience to fill a particular position. Good managers understand that they can delegate appropriate tasks to skilled team members without having to micromanage them. This isn’t to say that oversight isn’t necessary, but part of what makes a good project manager is knowing how far to trust employees to do their jobs.
Excellent project managers understand that the best way to get work done is to use proper resources, including both employees and tools. By utilizing Clarizen’s cloud-based project management software and associated apps, project managers have the best opportunity to increase transparency, streamline projects and optimize productivity.