A strong leader can make or break a project. In a professional environment, this leadership role often falls on the project manager. The project manager assists in following deadlines, project efficiency, time management focus and communication across the entire team. While it is incredibly helpful when the technical project manager is well versed in development jargon and skills, their soft skills could separate a successful project from a project that falls through the cracks. Skills like software development, testing and lifecycle management will benefit technical project managers, allowing them to play an invested and hands on role in achieving many of the project deadlines. As you consider the qualities you are seeking in your next project management hire, consider these skills in addition to technical knowledge.
- Big Picture View: A strong project manager understands the need to view a project at the overall picture and at the detail level. From above, it is important to see how all of the details make up the overall goal so that the team can meet and surpass those marks.
- Passionate: The project manager role is not simple. The project manager juggles multiple deadlines simultaneously and is in constant contact with the project stakeholders. In order to successfully lead the team, it is necessary that the project manager is passionate about their position.
- Timing Expert: With so many moving parts at one time, it is beneficial when the project manager understands how to budget for time. They should constantly have their eye on the complete timeline to understand how the project and its parts are progressing.
- Crisis Management: Any project has the potential to go off track. A strong project manager will not let a few roadblocks completely derail a project. The optimal leader will know how to troubleshoot, getting projects back on track.
- Communicator: The project manager must be in constant communication with all team members and stakeholders. Without an effective communication style that keeps everyone in the loop, the project will become disconnected. Leaders who applaud successes and assist concerns through effective communication will reach the highest achievements.
- Results-Driven: What is a great project manager without results to back up their actions? All of the actions they take must align with the project goals and should produce the desired results of the project.
- Team Player: There is no “I” in team or in project manager! The success of a project manager is dependent on the hard work of the members of the team. The project manager oversees and facilitates a successful project completion, but the completion must involve all team members.
When hiring a technical project manager, it often can be a double-edged sword. The technical project manager should not only be knowledgeable of the industry they are overseeing, like technical development and implementation, but also have the soft skills necessary to oversee and guide a team. Without the steadiness of a leader, project completion will be more difficult to obtain.
About the Author:
TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.