You’re good at your job, right? Brilliant, in fact. You have all the bases covered, all of the time and you always get the job done, usually on time and on budget. But are you really a good project manager?
There is a world of difference between being good and being efficient, and the two do not necessarily always go together. A superstar project manager is one that is highly efficient and is good at the human side of the job; a person could be fantastic at delivering results, but dreadful at man management and the soft skills that make a truly great manager.
What makes a superstar project manager then?
- A true people person, a superstar project manager knows how to build relationships with people in order to get the best out of them without having to crack the whip.
- Someone who can teach their team members new methods and new ways of looking at things, as well as being open to their ideas and suggestions. Help your team to better themselves and help them along within their own careers if progression is on their mind, you are building a much stronger team that way.
- A social butterfly. Social media presents a magnificent opportunity to learn and teach, as well as to reach out to others in your profession with tips and leads. A social project manager, that actively engages with others in online communities, is one that is open to new ideas – as well as being more discoverable by prospective clients.
- A moving target. Project managers cannot sit and waste away behind a desk all day, delegating tasks and communicating by email and the like. While delegation and communication are important, getting out and meeting with managers and team members is equally as important. If you are connecting with people ‘on the ground’ you are being more proactive, and things are more likely to move forward a little quicker because you able to respond and communicate faster and more effectively.
- Someone who can be aware of other peoples strengths and weaknesses. This means you can assign tasks that you know an individual can accomplish. For example, do not ask Paul, a graphic artist, to go and set up a sound studio for a recording session that needs to take place. You need be aware of which member of your team is best in which area, and you have play to those strengths to the benefit of not just the project at hand, but the stability and confidence of the team moving forward too.
- Someone who has the willingness to learn and improve upon their craft, the best project managers are constantly looking to learn new skills that will help them with present and future projects; attending PM courses or brushing up on current think by listening to PM podcasts. We all know about the people that have medals on their chests, but have never seen the front line – don’t be that guy; work hard, and work harder at being even more awesome than you already are.
Michelle Symonds is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes that the right project management training can transform a good project manager into a great project manager and is essential for a successful outcome to any project.
There is a wide range of formal and informal training courses now available that include online learning and podcasts as well as more traditional classroom courses from organizations such as Parallel Project Training.
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