Follow the Leader: Skills of Top Project Managers

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Follow the Leader: Skills of Top Project Managers

How do you know if your project manager is going to crumble under pressure or if they will manage to deliver on time and budget? Each project manager has their own way of handling problems when they arise and project managers are known for preventing problems from cropping up by using a variety of risk management techniques. In our practice, we use these seven principles to evaluate how the project management team addresses the big challenges and delivers value to the client.

  1. Having important team members pulled off a project temporarily or permanently: Top project managers can balance demands no matter what curve balls are sent their way. This can be done through a clear project management system that details available resources and team members. If team members must be removed for whatever length of time, a strong project manager will be able to show how the realignment will affect productivity and meeting of deadlines. They are able to focus on getting the job done with the resources available to them presently. A fact-based impact assessment might even be able to reverse realignment decisions.
  2. Having changes in project requirements added: When a project’s requirements change, it can halt a project completely. A strong project manager can document, validate and assess changes, in addition to finding an appropriate solution quickly in order to get the project back on track. Through strong organizational skills and laser focus, they stay in control, even in flux. The project manager ensures all stakeholders are in agreement and on board with any alterations made to the project plan.
  3. Manage and collaborate with a remote team: A team doesn’t need to be centralized if a strong project manager is leading the battle. Having remote collaboration resources can make communication simple. The only additional task is to ensure there is constant communication, especially with those working off-site, as it could easily leave those team members deserted.
  4. Ensuring team members know and understand their responsibilities: Strong project managers know how to handle accountability issues, as they rely on others in order to be successful. They are upfront with team members with expectations and responsibilities for each member of the team and are proactive and a team player during the project time span. They know how to motivate their team and take concerns seriously in order to swiftly address them.
  5. Handling deadlines: Strong project managers are pros at managing constant and shifting deadlines. They know how to set earlier deadlines for themselves in order to meet the hard deadlines for their end user. Through dividing up projects into manageable parts, project managers can successfully lead their team to final delivery with ease.
  6. Staying on top of potential roadblocks: A strong project manager is aware of any and all potential issues arising. They can anticipate and calm any impending problems jeopardizing deadlines, budgets and progress. They have at least one standing meeting with their team in order to see progress and talk over any concerns and caution signs in the distance. They also know not to over schedule their teams with meeting and instead track progress through collaborative task tracking. They ensure everyone is held accountable and communicating accordingly.
  7. Prevent and mediate potential conflicts: A good project manager through their constant communication among team members can mitigate and assist in resolving any issues arising preventing their team members from staying on course. Being a strong project manager isn’t just about success in task management and scheduling, but also relating to team members, gaining their trust and ensuring their comfort while moving toward a common goal.

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