How to Become a Successful Project Manager
Choosing to become a project manager is a demanding yet satisfying career choice. The project manager is the glue that holds a team together and needs to be in possession of a wide range of skills. They steer the ship in the right direction, motivate their team and help them achieve greater results.
Project managers have to monitor progress, make sure deadlines are followed, and maintain constant communication with superiors, clients, and the team they’re managing. As such, strong leadership and communication skills are two vital attributes of a successful project manager. In total, there are 6 must-have qualities for all great project managers.
Here are the 6 skills you need to develop to excel as a project manager.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, communication is an essential skill. When it comes to project management, communication issues are among the most common problems. Missing information, poorly explained deadlines, a team member failing to understand the team strategy, any one of these can result in project failure.
When it comes to communicating effectively, it’s important to remember that too much information is always a bad thing. You need to be concise when expressing ideas while, at the same time, making sure your team has all the information they need.
Structure is also crucial when it comes to communication. Make sure you give your team step-by-step instructions whenever you need to communicate something, rather than just giving them information in drib and drabs.
2. Process and Expectation Management
A successful team is a team that knows what the expectations of their superiors are. They are aware of all the steps they need to follow and how to execute the tasks given to them.
If you don’t explain the goal of the project and how to get there, then your team will not be able to deliver the desired results. The process that your team needs to follow should be streamlined and outlined to them clearly. This applies to deadlines as well. A good project manager sets very clear deadlines and makes sure everyone has the resources they need to meet them.
3. Learning Mindset
In a highly competitive environment, everyone has to be continuously learning and upskilling. This is why you need to develop an intentional learning mindset. Adopting a learning mindset will not only help your team and your company to stay competitive, it will also make you a better leader. It’s not a surprise that the best leaders are constant learners.
As a team manager, it’s your job to be aware of new trends and methods within your industry. A project manager that is not constantly improving in their role and growing their team is ultimately working against the growth of the company.
A great project manager can utilize the strengths of each team member and achieve results by finding a harmony that allows everyone to be their best self. In order to find those strengths, you’ll need to listen. Listening is a very powerful tool for getting your team to achieve great results. There are many leaders out there who are focused on giving orders and telling people what to do but are not able to carefully listen to the team around them.
By listening carefully, you will be able to give personalized instructions. As a result, the members of the team will respond better to your directions. Encouraging your team is very important. Don’t be the person who is only focused on bad results. Your team needs to know what works. Give them feedback and compliment their work.
5. Strong Leadership
Managing a project can be demanding and stressful and there will be times when you will not have the answers. However, as the project manager you’re the one who needs to act. You need to stay composed and focused. If you are able to stay organized and calm during a storm, you will become a source of motivation for your team. People will be inspired by you and will try their best not to disappoint you. Strong leaders create strong teams.
6. Know the Tech
A good project manager needs to follow trends in technology and know what are the best tools and apps available in their industry. By following the latest developments in project management, you can learn how to implement new technologies which can improve the productivity of your team and create that competitive edge that all successful project managers want.
Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses.