“How do you measure the success of a project?”
This question isn’t black & white, and you may get a variety of answers. Some project managers may focus exclusively on output, where others may focus on the core competencies required to achieve the required output. Although both answers would be correct, there is a difference between being able to answer the question and prove the results in the work you do.
What makes a strong project manager?
A project manager oversees a project; their job starts from the initiation through the planning, execution, monitoring, and closure of the project. The project manager takes all responsibility for the project and the team. They are required to make sure that the customer is fully satisfied at the end of the project with no complaints whatsoever.
An employer or business owner who has worked on several projects from concept to completion might have noticed that finding a quality project manager you love to work with is quite rare. Measuring the attributes and competencies that define the ideal project manager cannot be deduced from a resume. Here is a list of the qualities required for elite project management that may not be obvious:
Careful, detailed and useful planning
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” A great project manager has a clear vision which they work towards. Failing to be detailed when planning a project will result in lost time and material overages/shortages that were not projected. It may also reduce the overall quality of the work, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and reduced profit margins.
Despite careful and detailed planning, things don’t always go to plan. There will be unforeseen circumstances, and a strong project manager is required to delegate and improvise when the script changes. They can adapt quickly to changes and ensure that the temporary challenges do not affect the quality, margin and established scope of the project.
A good project manager always anticipates these challenges, and this starts in the planning process. Situation assessment and risk analysis is required, and they must take precise actions and make critical decisions needed to get back on track.
Excellent Communication Skills
It takes a team to work on a project. One of the project manager’s essential duties is assigning responsibilities to each member of the group in a clear, understandable manner. They set a realistic deadline for each task and communicate ideas to the team, carrying everyone along to understand the importance of the project and role in it. Remember, if your PM isn’t trusted respected by those they lead they will never be able to perform their roles properly.
The project manager also engages with the clients and trade partners, communicating with them proactively. Listening to their concerns and addressing them to their satisfaction. The best result is a win-win for every party.
A great project manager has a wealth of experience which can be applied in difficult situations to get the best possible results. Every project is an important one because of the unique requirements of your clients. A good project manager understands this and is always open to learning without assuming, to gain more experience that applies to similar situations.
The project manager’s influence in your business can not be overemphasized. Becoming a competent and reliable project manager isn’t genetic; it’s a conscious, continuous effort. If you hope to become a great project manager, then perhaps this is an excellent time to cultivate these attributes.