The Qualities of a Project Manager
Table of Contents
A project manager is a person who is responsible for coordinating activities of a project team to ensure the efficient initiation, planning, design as well as implementation, managing and completion of a project. Today, the representatives of this profession can be met in all types of companies. They might work as employees, managers, contractors, and independent consultants. Those with experience may become either program managers that deal with the multiple-related projects or portfolio managers who are in charge of the selecting, prioritizing, and including the programs into an organization’s strategy (“Project Management Institute,” 2014).
The Roles of the Project Manager
Project managers are catalysts of change since they make project goals their own ones and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team. Therefore, the role of this person needs to be based mostly on the managerial skills and technical competencies. Every organization should assign this position to someone with good understanding of all technical expertise required and problem-solving and interpersonal skills. The latter nurture people skills required to develop trust and communication among all of the project’s stakeholders, for instance, sponsors, beneficiaries, top management, and the project team members (PM4DEV, 2008).
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Since project managers are accountable to the top management beneficiaries and sponsors, they do not play just one role but three key ones. These include:
- Integrator role. They make sure that all the project activities, approaches, and plans are combined effort.
- Communicator role. Project managers develop and build good and working relationship with all the stakeholders.
- Leader role. They motivate and inspire team members by providing a vision and direction in order to achieve project objectives (PM4DEV, 2008).
Two Essential Qualities of the Project Manager necessary for a Project to be Effective and Successful
Project manager’s ability to deliver a successful project greatly depends on personal qualities. For a project to be effective, it must be completed on time, within the budget, and be of high quality. In order to achieve this, the project manager must be able to discipline and have a clear vision of the outcome.
Personal or professional discipline is a significant feature when it comes to the implementation of the project. When the project is at the initial stages, pressure starts to mount from all the stakeholders; hence, the project manager must handle it with diligence and remain comfortable with the changes and complexity in dynamic environments. A project manager should exercise discipline in some areas in order for the project to be successful.
Firstly, the manager must be disciplined in the strategies used to implement the project objectives. The policy has to be established with much thought, and its rationale is to make sure the goals are met. When a project manager shows the readiness to deviate from the project plan without an adequate reason, other team members will eventually do the same. As a result, this will cause doubts and confusion, thereby portraying project managers as erratic and unpredictable or unreliable. By holding on to the course of action, the project manager guarantees that the work is executed according to the laid plans and requirements.
Secondly, the manager must observe discipline when it comes to the techniques used by the stakeholders to carry out all the activities. This is done by ensuring their accountability because if they fail, quality, budget, and time schedule will be compromised. Project managers should make sure that all people do what they are supposed to do since they have agreed to it (Griffin, 2010).
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High Awareness and Vision
Project managers must have a vision to inspire others and exercise high level of awareness in order for the project to progress. He should monitor all the activities and interact with all the stakeholders. Firstly, in the flow of work, the project managers must be highly sensitive to any area of concern or problem. It will help in addressing and dealing with the issue at an early stage to prevent it from becoming a complicated challenge. For instance, a team member performing poorly while working on small problems can hardly solve the difficult tasks. Moreover, the project manager must be aware of how the changes within the project will affect the budget, time schedules, and quality. This necessitates high degree of knowledge in every area of the project as work progresses.
Secondly, the project manager must demonstrate a high degree of personal awareness regarding how all the stakeholders work together in relation to the project. He should make sure that he foresees any conflict and has methods to solve it. The project manager must deal with all competing interests and tensions without compounding the issue as the project flows. He must possess listening qualities and consider all the information he obtains, especially in case it can affect the success of the project either directly or indirectly. Consequently, he will be able to manage it instantly before it causes even more problems.