Essential Qualities Project Managers Must Possess

Project management is not so much a field as it is a job description. You’ll find these positions everywhere, from retail to manufacturing to IT and web solutions and everything in between. One of the immediate upshots of that is that it can be very difficult to define “project management” or the responsibilities that come with these positions simply because they are so very different from one to another. However, there are some essential qualities that project managers should have, whether you’re working in retail or implementing an IT solution for a client.
Written and Verbal Communication Skills
When it comes to vital qualities, nothing trumps being able to communicate effectively the first time. Whether you’re getting a stakeholder up to speed or talking to a team member about an uncompleted task, you have to be clearly understood every time. What’s more, good communication skills also comprise the ability to actually listen – listening is just as vital as getting your message across.
Accountability for You and Your Team
If a project manager does not feel accountable for the success or failure of the project, they have no stake there, and no reason to push for success. As a PM, realize that you and your team are wholly accountable for how the project turns out and the value delivered once it ends. You must be accountable, and you must take steps to enforce that accountability with your team members.
Ability to Adapt to Any Situation
Adaptability is one of the most vital qualities for any project manager to possess. You’ll have to think on your feet and adapt to rapidly changing situations throughout your project as task after task is completed with varying success. You need to be able to adapt to both successful and failed tasks, and implement a new plan immediately.
As the project manager, you’re the one who has to see the project through to completion. You need to have a sense of personal dedication to seeing the project completed successfully and delivering the most in terms of value at the end. Your personal responsibility will ensure that you give 110% at all times (and will also encourage a similar sense of dedication and responsibility in your team members).
Able to Manage Time Effectively
When you think about it, project management really comes down to time management and the ability to schedule tasks and milestones. You must be able to schedule effectively and manage time properly. This will help ensure that your team members do the same, and that you stay on track with all your various responsibilities throughout the duration of the project. This applies to more than just tracking team member time – it requires that you track progress toward each individual task and milestone on an ongoing basis. Time is both your ally and your enemy, and managing it correctly will offer positive results.
If you have these qualities, or can develop them, you can bring a project to a successful conclusion.

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