What does it take for the project to be a success? If the project has any kind of complexity you need a good project manager. To be successful, a project manager should have great skills for managing the project management processes, and for managing the people on the project.
The project management processes include:
- Planning, estimating and structuring the work and the project
- Building and managing a schedule to ensure work is identified, assigned and completed on time
- Estimating and managing the project budget
- Identifying, tracking, managing and resolving project issues
- Proactively managing scope to ensure that only what was agreed to is delivered, unless changes are approved through scope management
- Proactively disseminating project information to all stakeholders
- Identifying, managing and mitigating project risk
- Ensuring that the solution is of acceptable quality
- Managing vendors to ensure all third-party work is completed within expectations
- Identifying and engaging project stakeholders
Remember, this does not mean that the project manager physically does all of the work, but he must make sure it happens. If the project has issues or scope creep, or faces risks, or if expectations are not set correctly, the project manager is the person held accountable.
To manage the project management processes, a person should be well-organized, have great follow-up skills, be process-oriented, be able to multi-task, have a logical thought process, be able to determine root causes, have good analytical ability, be a good estimator and budget manager and have good self-discipline.
In addition to process skills, a project manager must have good people management skills. This includes:
- Having the discipline and management skills to make sure that everyone follows the agreed processes and procedures.
- Leading people so that they willingly follow your direction. This includes communicating a vision and getting the team to strive to get there.
- Setting reasonable, challenging and clear expectations for people and holding them accountable for meeting the expectations.
- Team-building skills so that the people work together well, and are motivated to work hard for the sake of the project and their other team members.
- Communicating proactively using good verbal and writing skills, and active-listening skills.
The project manager is responsible for managing the staff on the project. This is usually a shared responsibility with the team member’s functional manager.