Top 10 Traits of a Successful Project Manager
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by Rebecca Langdon
Some Project Managers make it look easy, whereas others seem to have a complete lack of control
over the project, the risks, and the resources. Over time, I have noticed that successful Project
Managers tend to exhibit certain traits and characteristics. These are my top 10:
1- A good public speaker
Project Managers will very often need to take the lead in project related meetings, where there may
be a large group in attendance. It is really important to be a confident public speaker.
2- A strong communicator
The ability to communicate with people at all levels of the organisational hierarchy. A good Project
Manager will listen as well as speak. The ability to communicate well across all mediums, including
face to face, email, and the phone.
3- Resource coordination
Manage resources efficiently and appropriately. This includes understanding resource’s skillsets,
strengths, and, weaknesses.
4- Stakeholder management
There will be various project stakeholders. A good Project Manager has a very clear RACI, an aligned
Project Sponsor, and keeps stakeholders in their front of mind.
5- Good with technology
Modern day Project Managers will need to have a fairly good understanding of technology and be up
to date with current software applications, such as MS Project.
A good Project Manager will have a solid understanding of the artefacts they should be producing,
such as the business case, PID, meeting minutes, RACI, project plan, budgets, etc.
7- Time Management
The Project Manager is typically very busy, and will have a lot of competing priorities. Strong time
management skills are of paramount importance.
8- Decision Making
Decisions will need to be made which relate to the Project. The decision making should be
considered, timely, and take account of the facts.
9- Praise, thanks, and celebration
The best Project Managers praise their team for good work, thank them when appropriate, and also
ensure there is a celebration when the project closes.
10- Retrospective learning
The crème de la crème of Project Managers learn from their past experiences, this includes
considering what went well, and not so well, and learning from it.
This seems like a long list of positive traits, but as noted at the beginning, the skill set needed to be a
brilliant Project Manager is very wide and varied.
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