Despite the recent turmoil in the business environment that has shaken the confidence of the business leaders, organizations across the globe have become very meticulous about each step they take. To beat the heat in these hard times, every organization is in a quest for better projects – the sole lifeline to make a turnaround. Thus, from an organizational context, the search for an effective project manager demands the same importance as the quest for next projects.
Each project throws up fresh new challenges to the project manager and by dint of their skill and diplomacy, they are expected to tackle its challenges. So, let’s look at some of these skills that are considered requisites for today’s project manager:
1. Good communicator: A project manager must be a good communicator. If he isn’t, the communication can get distorted or misunderstood, particularly when a large number of members are included in a team. So, project managers should be cautious while conveying messages to their peers in a way that does not distract from achieving their goals.
2. Effective leadership skills: A project manager must also deal with teams coming from various walks of life. Thus, it becomes imperative for him to motivate employees and fine-tune the team performance to achieve organizational goals through its various leadership styles.
3. A good decision maker: A project manager is entitled to make innumerable decisions which will help define the project track. A wrong decision taken can easily jeopardize the entire project. Thus, a project manager should be capable of thinking quickly and reacting decisively.
4. Set clear vision: Cultivate a clear vision about his or her project and develop a “mission driven“ psyche. It often happens that a project manager confronts a situation where he must deliver results on time and within a budget, but that is not an easy task. In spite of all these difficulties, he should have a clear picture of the direction in which he is headed. He should be committed to his vision and try to explore ways of realizing this in the shape of an established project. His frame of mind should take care of obstacles that could deter him from achieving his goals.
5. Sound technical knowledge: A project manager should be adept in handling technical tools and have a deep insight in the subject of the project. This will help him understand any issues regarding the project that crop up during the implementation stage. Knowledge of the best practices in relation to an organization (KAIZEN) may also empower a project manager to take strategic initiatives as and when required. A project manager should also be the repository of all information.
6. Good at team-building: A project manager should also be good at team-building. For the successful implementation of any project in time, it is necessary that the team works in unison. Every team player deserves equal importance. A project manager should focus on the positive aspects of his team members, thus inculcating a cohesive force amongst them. This negates the chances of conflict within a team.
7. Thrive under pressure: In the course of developing a project, a project manager may face many experiences that could take a toll on the project’s momentum. Thus, to avoid such circumstances, a project manager must be calm and have a balanced state of mind and not indulge in negative thoughts.
8. A good negotiator: He must also be a good negotiator as this skill is required in case differences of opinion arise between team members. A project manager, through his sheer negotiating skills, must try to settle such issues without letting the conflict grow and disturb the team’s harmony.
9. Empathetic: He must be empathetic as this trait helps project managers get people on his side. It’s all about understanding and caring for the people around you. It also includes understanding the need of project, stakeholders, team issues and the risks involved.
10. Enthusiastic: He must be enthusiastic about the project. Enthusiasm is contagious and every effective project manager should disperse the same through his “can do” attitude, invigorating others with optimistic expectations of the project.
Thus, a project manager should be multi-skilled and should be capable of handling any kind of projects in any given environment.