4 habits every project manager should have

Project managers are never hired by accident. (Rawpixel pic)

It’s never easy to be the one in charge. It takes more than courage and confidence to be good at taking care of people, projects and events.

This is why project managers are never hired by accident. It is the result of them having suitable skills, necessary knowledge and great habits.

Every good project manager needs to have a set of habits rooted in their work ethic. These habits are like the rules they abide by to be efficient and successful.

They are acquired in time, with experience, but they are nurtured throughout the entire career.

Here are four essential habits of a great project manager.

1. Ability to manage a team

A project manager is not supposed to do everything on their own. They are supposed to create the perfect team that can achieve the desired results.

The first crucial habit of a great project manager is to smoothly coordinate the team and be the leader they need.

The project manager needs to:

Know the team: By knowing everyone’s strengths, weaknesses, skills and personality traits, a project manager can assign the right tasks to the right people. This increases team efficiency and leads to achieving all the goals.

Trust the team: It is impossible (and unnecessary) for the project manager to be present at every segment of the project development and keep an eye on everything all the time.

This is why there is a team. It means that a project manager is able to:

  • ask questions
  • listen to the team’s advice and suggestions
  • admit a mistake
  • praise a good idea

There is no project without the team. And, there is no team without someone who holds it together.

2. Ability to deal with the unexpected

Has anyone ever made a plan that went 100% the way they imagined it would? Thought so.

When dealing with any type of project, but especially those that involve a lot of people and different stages, something is bound to go wrong.

When it does, a good project manager needs to be ready for it.

The second highly appreciated habit of a great project manager is to always be one step ahead of the problem.

That means they:

  • predict that the problem could potentially happen
  • have a solution planned out
  • come up with a new solution if the previous one fails
  • make decisions in stressful situations
  • make changes and adaptations according to the newest occurrences

Issues and snags are perfectly normal for projects of any kind. The important thing is that the person in charge is ready to step up and make the right calls.

Writing everything down helps the manager to keep track of what is happening with the project. (Rawpixel pic)

3. Ability to keep track of things

One of the biggest mistakes a project manager can make is to believe they have the brain capacity to memorise all of the most important information and keep it their head.

That is not how things work.

Every responsible and well-prepared project manager will say they need to document everything.

This is the third golden habit of the best project manager. Writing down everything that has to do with the project:

  • meeting reports
  • expenses
  • daily targets
  • milestones
  • important contacts
  • major issues
  • task completion
  • reminders

This habit is one of the building blocks of great organisation and trustworthiness. It helps the project manager stay on top of the game and not let anything slip their mind.

In addition, writing everything down is crucial when submitting a report to superiors. All facts need to be visible and nothing can be left out.

4. Ability to design a productive environment

A project manager is in charge of everyone else being productive and efficient. To do this, they need to put in the extra effort to create the perfect work conditions for everyone.

The final habit discussed here is taking care of the team. This implies taking care of several factors influencing the team’s work experience:

The tools: The project manager needs to make sure every department has all the necessary tools to properly carry out all the tasks.

Motivation: Creating a positive atmosphere means being able to motivate team members to work hard and do their best. However, this also implies making them comfortable, energised and satisfied.

Feedback: When a phase of the project is finished successfully, the team members deserve praise and a mini-celebration.

If something goes wrong and some bad moves were made, constructive criticism is highly recommended and welcome.

This article first appeared in jobstore.com

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