10 attributes of an excellent Project Manager
If you are the type of person who can’t stand being late and can’t handle getting through your day without a plan then project management jobs might be the perfect career path for you. As a project manager, you will have to organize and execute a wide variety of projects and make sure things happen when they are supposed to. This position is comparable to being the conductor of an orchestra. You make sure everyone does what they are supposed to be doing. If there’s someone who is off time then it’s your job to get them back in line.
We will elaborate a little more on what a project manager is and then we will outline some of the attributes you will need to be first in line for project management jobs in South Africa.
Project Management jobs
As a project manager, you will be the person responsible for leading a project from its inception right to its end. This includes planning the project from day one, to its execution and then managing the people involved, the resources at your disposal and making sure people are motivated throughout the project. Project managers need to create clear and attainable objectives and to see these objectives through to their successful completion. You will have full authority with regards to the job you are doing, but if anything goes wrong then you will also be responsible. Even if you delegate tasks to others, it’s your job to make sure everything goes smoothly all while keeping the project within your given budget.
You might be working on a wide variety of tasks which will depend on the company you are doing the work for. Some project managers will work on a contractual basis where they are only employed for the duration of the project or they might be employed by a company on a full time basis.
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Now that you have a better understanding of what this career entails, let us explain what it takes to make it in this industry.
10 attributes of highly successful project managers
Top notch communication skills
Communication is probably the most essential part of project management. Your job is to organize, motivate and direct members of your team to complete a given task. This cannot be done if your messages are distorted or vague. This becomes even more crucial when dealing with a big team where you can’t manage everyone all the time. If you give people the wrong impression or the wrong idea, your project could suffer as a result.
You might also have to motivate people to do tasks that they are not used to doing or to stay after normal working hours. If you don’t covey your message properly, they might not put in the effort that’s needed at the time.
The gift of foresight
A project takes time to complete. As a result, there will be things that pop up during the course of the project that might affect its outcomes. Things like deadlines, budgets and user experience. If you are not able to predict outcomes or foresee issues that might arise, you won’t be prepared for them. This could easily slow down or even halt the project you have been asked to complete.
You are able to create a shared team vision
Everyone involved in your project manager jobs needs to have an idea of where it’s going and what you are trying to achieve. The best way to do this is to help your team members feel like they have an equal stake in the project. If you can make your team feel part of what you are trying to do then they will be motivated to do things to the best of their abilities. They will also feel like they have achieved something at the end of the day and this will make your next project a little easier to do because people will know they are not just another cog in the wheel.
The best way to motivate people is to understand their point of view. Empathy is essential in getting people to see things in the same light that you do and an important part of being a project manager. This skill will also come into play when you are trying to understand what your employer wants out of the project.
Good delegating skills
Delegation means handing over tasks to other people to complete. The skill here lies in knowing how much responsibility to give others and knowing what tasks to give to specific people. You also have to know just how much work to give to a team member so they don’t become overwhelmed. There is a lot of trust involved here and if you do it correctly, you will also gain the trust of your team, which will only help the project.
Leadership skills are a must
This goes without saying, but leadership skills are very important in project management vacancies. Your ability to lead will shape how the project is completed. You will also have to lead people that come from different walks of life so you need to be able to drive and direct any kind of person you might encounter. If people see you as a natural leader then they will automatically listen to what you have to say.
You will also have to motivate your stakeholders in seeing you as the right choice for a project. If they see you as a natural leader then you have already won half of the battle.
You should be pragmatic
In the case of a project, you need to see the big picture. It’s not your job to analyse things to exhaustion, this will slow down the project. You need to have the ability to take educated risks to complete your goals. You will have people working under you that will be tasked with analysing every detail…This is not your job.
Good technical knowledge
How can you hope to manage project manager jobs that involve things that you don’t know about? You need to have a solid understanding of all the processes involved in the project to make sure that your team is doing everything the way it should be done.
If you team gets stuck or becomes confused, you need to be able to step in and set things straight. Any issues that arise need to be dealt with efficiently so the project is not slowed down.
The best project managers have integrity
You are the face and voice of a project and therefore, you set the tone for all the other people involved. If you are not sticking to ethical practices then no one else will.
Another aspect of this is you will need to show appreciation to the people that deserve it, dishonest managers will take the credit themselves. This will help you in the short term, but people will stop wanting to work with you.
Good negotiation skills:
Project managers have to be good negotiators as this skill is needed when a differences of opinion arises between team members. Project management utilizes a lot of different people and there are bound to be conflicts from time to time. You will have to negotiate to settle such issues without letting the conflict grow or hamper the forward motion of the project.
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We hope that this article will help you decide if project management jobs are right for you. A project manager career path can be incredibly rewarding. Looking for project management jobs in South Africa? Register your CV on Job Mail, browse through the jobs available and start applying for amazing project management vacancies right now!