You brought in a project manager to ensure the job went off without a hitch. But along the way, you've grown less comfortable with their methodology. Communication isn’t all that great, either. How can you know before it’s too late that the PM on your team doesn't share your vision? And how can you avoid that problem on the front end?
The best person for the job isn’t something that you can Google. Everyone has a different personality and skill set combination, and your needs and those of another company might be quite different.
Here are some of the most important qualities that make any project manager a positive force instead of a headache.
They Have The Same Vision or Understand Yours
Ideally, you’ll search for a project manager who shares your vision for not just the completed project but also much of the process. A professional services partner can help you make a better connection. If you’re uncomfortable and don’t trust their leadership, the people relying on the PM won’t trust them either.
People with vision also know how to inspire. They can communicate their methodology and goals in a way that keeps people motivated and passionate about the work.
How do the people they’ve worked with in the past describe them? Would they do it again? And were company leaders happy with their performance? Or did they try to take over and change a project in ways that didn’t need improvement?
Their Communication Style Fits Your Needs and Those of the Team
Good communication is also relative. Some managers want as much involvement with a project as they can get. But some believe the project manager shouldn’t need to report back continually.
What is your communication style? You’ll probably work better with a PM who is on the same page. Here are some of the more common desirable communication traits that transcend style and speak more to their effectiveness:
- Clarity: can they express what they mean (both to you and to the team) without fumbling for words?
- Concision: do they say in a sentence what others need paragraphs to convey?
- Timeliness: can you depend on reports when you need them?
- Feedback: are you up-to-date on any problems that might need your intervention or approval to resolve?
Ethics and Integrity are Priorities
No matter how experienced a project manager is or how many qualifications they possess, ethics and integrity tower over them all. If you can’t trust your PM, you’ll spend more time overseeing and probably get less sleep in the process.
An ethical project manager also inspires integrity in their team. They set the standard for others to follow.
Do they cut corners? Do they keep secrets? If so, everyone else on the team might, too.
They Know How to Delegate Work and Build Teams
The whole point of a project manager is to pull together a project with the right people working on the right tasks in the right order for the most efficient use of resources and the best outcome. That requires team-building and the ability to delegate both authority and workload.
A project manager who is too hands-on can’t work as effectively as one who knows how to delegate. Trust is integral to effective leadership.
They need the ability to spot skills in team members so they can utilize their talents effectively. They also need experience with putting the right people together so each person’s work can enhance the work of everyone else.
Staying Calm Under Pressure is a Forte
It shouldn’t matter if a project manager has the hottest CV on record. If they’re a hothead, everyone will suffer for it. The importance of staying calm under pressure can’t be overstated.
Plans change, sometimes unexpectedly. Tasks fail. Testing falls apart at the most disappointing times. Supplies may get stuck on a broken-down vehicle three states away.
Passion is great. So is energy. A powerful personality might also be great. But the ability to keep their cool when something goes wrong, and something will definitely go wrong, is the mark of a true professional and leader that everyone can trust.
A project manager should be the rock that both you and the team that they'll lead can count on. If their skills are off the charts, that's great. But skills are only part of what makes an effective and trusted partner.
Professional services can bring you and the right PM for your project together, no matter what you're looking for. Contact us today and let us go to work for you.