The success of the project depends on many different factors: the team working on it, the technologies used, the budget, and many other points. However, much of the success depends on the project manager. After all, he is the one who manages the workflow, controls the development process, organizes communication, and so on. Therefore, it is very important to hire a really good specialist for this position. So, what does a project manager do and what qualities should a perfect project manager have?
To figure out what a good project manager should be, it is necessary to understand what is his job. All the duties can be conventionally divided into several groups:
Groundwork. The project manager communicates with the customer, gathers requirements, and considers all issues. It is very important to clearly understand what result the client is expecting to receive in the end. Based on the information received, the project manager determines which team is needed for this project and charts the course of development.
Planning. It is the project manager who outlines the plan of the project development. At this stage, all factors that may affect the development process are taken into account: the experience and qualifications of the developers, the budget, all third-party services needed, and so on.
Communication. The project manager needs to communicate with both parties – the client and the team. Also, PM holds meetings and group calls if it is necessary for the further development process, and controls the effectiveness of such communications.
Control. The project manager controls tasks implementation and adjusts the objective if it is necessary. Such a specialist should effectively manage available resources, work with documentation, and prepare reports. In fact, the project manager is engaged in the comprehensive organization of the planning, development, and implementation of the project.
Therefore, it is necessary to find a real professional for this role. A competent project manager should possess the following qualities:
A professional project manager should effectively use all communication channels and hold meetings to track project progress. It gives a possibility to implement all ideas and quickly deal with problems encountered. The project manager has to communicate with different people and find a common language with everyone: with the client, the junior developer, team lead, and so on. The main thing is to be able to explain information and properly set tasks so that the results fully meet the expectations.
Many companies are going to enter or already work with foreign markets. It gives many opportunities for growth, new audience, and exciting experience. To communicate successfully with foreign clients, the project manager should have good English as it is an international business language.
A good project manager understands that he is responsible not only for himself but also for his team. He has to organize the workflow as efficiently as possible. The project manager is responsible for the performance of the tasks and the final result at all. So one of the main qualities of a good project manager is the willingness to take responsibility.
There is always a risk when it comes to launching a new product or project development. It is almost impossible to avoid all of them. A project manager should be able to not only cope with emerging issues but also assess possible risks. Ability to estimate potential risks and anticipate them is critically important, especially when dealing with complex projects with a large number of participants and tight deadlines.
A project manager is a person who knows everything about the project or at least a little bit about its every stage or part. That’s why when somebody will have a question, he or she will definitely go to the project manager. So another necessary quality for such a specialist is patience. A project manager should be ready to answer the same questions and repeating the same sometimes simple things again and again. The patience will help to stay calm and help the team to move forward.
Like a good leader, a project manager can efficiently manage the team and organize the workflow. But still, project management is not only the distribution of resources and duties. It is also about building trustful relationships with people and understanding how to get the most out of them. Of course, the project manager is responsible for bringing the project to completion. And the only way to achieve it is to lead the team and be able to motivate the employees.
One of the key qualities of a good project manager is diplomacy. The negotiation skills are very important because a project manager needs to cooperate with clients, CEO, and employees almost every day. Diplomacy is the ability to negotiate and properly explain your point of view. A good project manager can tactfully say refuse and fight back when it is necessary. He is also capable of reaching a compromise that will satisfy both parties and help in the development of the project. Sometimes conflicts between the team and the clients, or the team and managers are inevitable because everyone is looking at the same situation from different points of view.
The ability to effectively manage time is a skill that PM needs to schedule the project. It means that a real professional can competently divide the main objective into smaller tasks and prioritize them. With efficient planning of the development process, the expected results of the project can be achieved on time. Due to time management skills, a project manager can set proper deadlines and delegate tasks, leaving extra time for various unexpected things that arise during the development process.
Most of the skills mentioned above are inherently universal and transferable, and in general, can be even more developed during work. But there is one point which a specialist can’t effectively manage projects without. It is an experience in the field the company works in, as well as knowledge and understanding of the project’s technical basis. The project manager should be familiar with the systems and platforms used in the project, and aware of the functionality of each team member to better plan the development process as a whole. Having expertise in the required field, the project manager will effectively communicate with both clients and employees.
Of course, this article does not mention all the qualities that a project manager should possess. And of course, each project has its characteristics that raise special requirements. However, these qualities distinguish a real professional. The project manager has a significant role because he informs and leads the team, represents the company to the client, arranges the working process, and performs the function of control. Such a responsible position requires a careful selection of a specialist. We hope this article will clarify the question of what a good project manager should be. And in case you could not find the one, our team will be happy to help you and your perfect candidate finally get together.