How to Become A Great Project Manager

Organizations Need Super Project Managers

A project certification and the ability to answer multiple choice questions does not equip you to be a great project manager.  This ingredients for the great ones are complex brew of hard and soft skills. Importantly, being a technical guru is not on the list.  What you need to build an impressive track record of project successes on tough projects is:

  • a tool kit of project techniques and the knowledge to select the correct estimating, scheduling, risk management, tracking techniques for each particular project. One technique does not fit all projects.
  • Interpersonal skills that let you motivate your team and make them want to work on your projects.  Your praise is a potent reward for your team members because it is not empty words; they value it
  • Your communications skills and ability to read people and select the correct  communications style and content lets you influence and persuade team members and executives.
  • Your leadership style signals that you will stand up for your team members and gives executives confidence that you will not hide problems or blame others.
  • You management style causes you to work “out in front” of your team not march behind them. This lets you anticipate problems and apply solutions before the problem grows big.
  • You use the project technology to give decision-makers choices.  You always have options and quantified alternatives for getting around problems or taking advantage of opportunities.
Make yourself a super project manager.

Super project managers make themselves, they are not born. Training and experiential learning are critical to being able to think on your feet.  You also need to avoid the technology trap.  That’s where project manager think that their success comes from making good technical decisions.  That is the trap door to micromanaging your team by making all the decisions for them.

That takes so much time that you ignore the six characteristics listed above and wind up as a very ordinary project manager who ever achieves much.