6 Skills Needed to be an Awesome Project Manager
We are often called “bossy” or “opinionated.” And that is perfectly okay. We are project managers and we own our titles. We are proud to make the ship stay on course and help the team deliver on time.
9 Clouds is a small but mighty team so efficient project management is crucial. Here are the top six skills we discovered to be the most important for project managers.
First and foremost, an effective project manager needs to have attention to detail. Projects often involve a lot of moving pieces and several projects are being managed at one time. Project managers need to be able to ingest those details and organize them for team execution.
2. Speaking of organization…
A project manager must be organized. Whether it’s through spreadsheets, project management tools such as Basecamp or old-fashioned pen and paper, project managers need to keep the moving pieces straight and make the deliverables and deadlines clear for the team.
3. Time Manager
A project manager’s to do list is never complete so a successful project manager needs to use time wisely and prioritize what truly needs to be done by themselves and by their team. Each day has a finite number of working hours and those hours need to be used tactfully.
4. Active Communicator
Communication is key in all professions but especially for project managers. Compare it to directing an orchestra. You need to make sure your musicians understand your cues and ultimately your expectations. The musicians in a project manager’s life are their teammates. If communication is not effective with either teammates or clients, success is hard to achieve.
5. Assertive but Likeable
We prefer “assertive” over “bossy” but no matter what you want to call us, we need to make sure stuff gets done so that requires us to crack the whip occasionally. That being said, if your team doesn’t respect and like you, the result of that whip crack may not match the intention. Project managers must work hard to form a relationship with their teammates so there is trust and respect when it comes to delegating tasks.
6. Good Listener
Just because something makes sense to you, does not mean it makes sense to the folks around you. A project manager is constantly listening and adjusting their communication style and management strategies to make sure their team is at its best.
At the end of the day an effective project manager wants the team to be happy and successful. It leads to great results for the business as well as the client or customers the business is serving. Although we may often be labeled as “bossy,” we’ll own it if it means our team members and clients are happy.
Photo: Asparukh Akanayev (flickr)