In many ways, a project manager has to be a jack-of-all-trades. Not only do they need to motivate their employees, but they also need to keep control of their project and understand their technology. The best project managers all have the following skills, which make it easier for them to connect with their employees and keep the project on course.
Project managers must have solid communication skills. This includes knowing how to communicate, understanding what others want, and being able to translate high level strategies into simpler terms. Employees aren’t mind readers and they need to understand what their goals are and what they are expected to bring to the table. By making it easy for them to give you want you want, you can make your job much simpler.
2. Management Skills
It’s not enough to be able communicate effectively one-on-one, however; you need to be able to inspire your employees to work as a team. This means fostering a team culture and making sure that everyone is working together rather than separately. Healthy competition is fine, but when your employees are actively working at cross purposes, the project can be sabotaged. Learn to find common ground and deliver goals that everyone can agree upon.
Project managers have to be incredibly well-organized. Not only do they need to know how their project is going, but they also need to be aware of the status of each team member. Ideally, a project manager should be able to identify any potential road blocks well before they stumble upon it. Being able to have this type of “precognition” is actually just a matter of being aware of the project’s current status. Being organized also reduces the need for micromanagement, as a project manager will be able to trust that the project is moving in the right direction without having to repeatedly check in with their team.
A project manager has to be able to react very quickly to any issues that arise. A minor issue can quickly snowball if it’s left alone. Drive, determination, and motivation are absolutely essential. Project managers are the ones who are charged with taking the ball and running with it. They have the responsibility of quickly resolving issues in the best possible fashion and (ideally) recognizing these issues before they can cause any significant setbacks.
A project manager who isn’t knowledgeable about their field isn’t going to be respected by their employees. Project managers have to be able to understand fairly high level technical information if they are to effectively manage their employees. They need to know about how long certain stages should take and whether or not the technological hurdles they’re facing can be surmounted. Project managers that don’t keep up to date on current technology will find themselves unstable to reliably track the status of their project and will be left behind when they need to provide input.
Being a project manager is a high intensity position, but it’s also an extremely rewarding one. If you’re a project manager looking for new challenges, take a moment to look at the extensive job listings provided by the Software Specialists.