Yesterday was a miniature burn-book about subpar project managers. Today we are looking at what makes a great project manager.
If a lousy PM is known for micromanaging tendencies, a great manager is known for their ease with their team. They can push a project forward, communicate critical deadlines to all involved, relay notes from a meeting, and understand the high-level implications of the work they are dividing out.
The Real Secret to a Great Project Manager
Beyond friendly efficiency, a project manager is at their best when bringing perspective and expertise to a project.
A great project manager isn’t just a warm-blooded computer; scheduling and note-taking with no personality. A great PM brings their experience, ideas, and outlook to their clients and team. Their thoughts are invaluable and ensure no detail goes missing – not merely because they remembered something everyone else forgot, but because they created value where there was none to begin with.
Here are some other traits of a great PM:
- The team likes reporting to them.
- They protect the client and their team equally from each other.
- They understand the basics of the assignments they are dolling out. For example, if they manage websites, they know the fundamental limitations of development.
- They are flexible. No client or team member is perfect, so expecting them to be is a recipe for disaster.
If you run an agency or are a project manager, these are qualities to aspire to.
In the end, hire for attitude and aptitude, not proficiency or experience. In our experience, the best project managers are moldable and good-natured – they develop the rest through experience and training.