the sky floor

Project Manager or Babysitter? Part Two

August 27, 2021

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. 

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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.