Qualities of an Ideal Project Manager
It does not take too long for observers to understand whether a project is being managed the right way or not. An ideal project manager is the driving force behind the success of every project and is one who is responsible for directing a project in the right manner, and within the framework of allotted resources and timelines.
Read on to know more about the qualities that are the trademark of a responsible, efficient and result-oriented project manager.
Attention to Small Details
A project manager is just not worth his salt if he fails to pay attention to details. There are numerous aspects that can cause issues or delays to a project and have to be dealt with meticulously and in a prompt manner. Typically, these issues have to be understood, analyzed and dealt with much before they end up becoming a problem. For example, in web-based projects, clients need to supply data or content. Having an entry on the project plan that mentions--“client has to supply product data” is just not enough; specifications of details like format, volume, structure and other attributes of the required data are a must too. An absence of such details is likely to lead to lost time and profits alike.
The PM should be adept enough to know which details require urgent attention and impact the project more than those that can be worked on along the way. This in turn requires an agile mindset that confirms to database designs, project requirements, proper handling of working software, and overall impact on productivity.
An ideal project manager excels at assigning the right tasks to the right people, thereby bringing about that much needed difference between successful and failed projects. The act of delegating different aspects of a project is not as simple as assigning a bunch of regular tasks to responsible team members. Rather, it requires a thorough understanding of the strengths, abilities and weaknesses of every individual in a team and the assigning of responsibilities in a way that benefits a project.
Guts and determination are two such qualities that go hand-in-hand and are important requisites for making the project move forward. For example, in case a developer fails to possess the correct version of software that is required for the commencement of a task, it may require a more pro-active approach than just a submission to the help desk. This is where the qualities of determination (without being pushy) prove to be effective and help in bringing about right results. Additionally, it takes a lot of guts to stand for what one believes in, accept a situation as it unfolds, and stick to delivery schedules and assigned time-frames—keeping in mind all the issues and risks associated with a project. Very closely related to the traits of enthusiasm and optimism in a project manager, high levels of determination in a rub off on other team members and keeps them motivated in challenging situations.
When it comes to personable qualities, the effective management of any situation or a festering problem requires an empathetic approach—especially while dealing with team members who are passing through a difficult phase in their personal or professional lives.
Arguably one of the best ‘softer’ qualities in a great project manager, the deployment of right diplomacy measures helps in delivering messages that are sensitive to and conform to the real reasons behind the problems on hand. This trait is particularly helpful in case team members need to be put back on the critical path for completing their tasks, without the manager indulging in straight talking or making them feel like failures.
Managing a project is not a mean task and can be full of stress and pressure. An ideal project manager maintains his composure in spite of the stress levels associated with the management of a project. Problems pertaining to work schedule, deadlines, budget, resources, etc are bound to arise and these are the times when a manager should remain cool and composed.
An ideal project manager not only delivers a successful project, but also builds a team which is capable of working in challenging situations with varying sets of skills, backgrounds and cultures. He makes the working conditions very pleasant, which in turns reflects through the quality of work churned out by his team. Apart from all abovementioned qualities, a successful project manager instinctively knows how to balance situations and is aware of all that it takes to get a project underway.
Author : Uma Daga