Back in 2008, the Project Management Institute published a report that highlighted a dramatic surge in the demand for talented project managers. Surprisingly, the trend continued in a 2012 and 2017 report, with each year witnessing further growth.
So, what does this mean? Year after year, businesses are waking up to the immense value that project managers bring to the table. They can make the difference between a project’s triumph and its failure, and as a result, hiring managers are aware of the significance of selecting the right candidate for this pivotal role.
Let’s explore the top qualities of a project manager that will help elevate your team and drive results.
What Makes a Successful Project Manager?
A project manager (PM) oversees the planning, execution, completion, and delivery of a project. They’re responsible for ensuring that the project meets its goals, stays on budget, and is completed on time.
Given the collaborative nature of their role, effective communication stands out as the cornerstone of a successful project manager. This trait allows them to clearly articulate project goals, objectives, and timelines to both team and stakeholders to ensure successful completion of a project.
Of course, skilled PMs also need to be able to:
- Delegate tasks
- Set timely meetings
- Appropriately allocate resources
- Manage budgets
These fundamental skills are the essentials—the no-brainers that every project manager must possess. However, if you’re seeking a project manager who stands out from the crowd, you’ll want to explore the exceptional qualities that go above and beyond the norm.
Here are four more qualities you should seek in a project manager for your team:
They Expertly Manage Conflict
In any project, conflicts and issues are bound to arise. But this is where project managers really shine. They’re not afraid to tackle conflicts head-on, playing the role of mediator and guiding the team towards solutions that actually work. By creating a collaborative environment, project managers keep conflicts in check, ensuring that the team stays harmonious and focused on crushing their goals.
They Build Positive Relationships
Another important quality of a project manager is their knack for cultivating positive relationships among team members and across different departments. When project managers excel in fostering positive relationships, the entire project ecosystem thrives.
For starters, team members are more likely to share ideas and feedback when they feel comfortable communicating with each other.
Also, PMs who cultivate relationships across multiple teams encourage knowledge sharing and the mixing of brilliant ideas. They create chances for teams to collaborate, gain insights from one another, and harness each other’s expertise. These foster heightened innovation, enhanced problem-solving capabilities, and ultimately, superior project outcomes.
They Ask the Right Questions
While it may seem insignificant at first glance, a part of what makes a stellar project manager so valuable is their ability to ask the right questions. They anticipate challenges early in the project’s lifespan and direct their questions to the appropriate stakeholders, enabling them to uncover solutions even before problems arise.
By asking thoughtful questions in the early stages of a project’s lifecycle, project managers can uncover critical insights, gain a deeper understanding of project requirements, identify potential risks, and ensure effective communication among team members and stakeholders.
They’re Highly Adaptable
If you’ve ever been involved in a project with multiple moving parts and teams, you know firsthand that everything is in a constant state of flux. Processes, goals, tools, and various other factors are always changing.
A successful project manager matches the ever-evolving nature of their projects. They understand that uncertainty is a part of the game and build flexibility into their plans to accommodate changes along the way.
Are You Looking for the Best Qualities in a Project Manager?
A project manager has many must-have qualities, but what sets apart exceptional PMs are the additional traits they bring to the table.
The best project managers on the market excel in guiding teams through conflicts, cultivating collaborative relationships within and across departments. They have the ability to uncover crucial insights early in the project lifecycle, embrace change, and most importantly, deliver results.