The Alpha Project Manager Revisited
CIO.com published six attributes of successful project managers this morning by Meridith Levinson. These six points are focused on soft skills and seem to be right in my book. This reminds me of previous posts such as Traits of Alpha Project Managers or Master Plan.
These are the six attributes with $.02 added.
1. Foresight – This is about effective planning, risk management and relationship management by anticipating stakeholder reactions.
2. Organised – A project manager who can set priorities for themselves as well as the team is likely to instill confidence in the team and stakeholders.
3. Leadership – This is a major point. Many project managers have little to no authority over their project team members. Therefore, other methods of influence are more important than ever. Adam Clark has a similar post, Project Success: Leadership.
4. Communication – But ofcourse! I’d like to add that some people believe that too much communication is a good thing. It’s not. Communication on Small Projects – I have said before that communication should be like a laser: focused, efficient, and containing only the necessary wavelengths (people or content). Instead, it often turns out to be more like an floodlight, scattered, wasteful (of times) and involving many unneeded parties.
5. Pragmatism – Project managers must be able make decisions and get things done in chaotic environments. It’s the team’s educated best guess that leads them to take purposeful action in the face of uncertainty.
6. Empathy – Great project managers are empathetic and understand the motivations of their project team and other stakeholders. They can also communicate the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) effectively. Michael Wood has just posted Managing Projects Stakeholders: a Strategic Approach on gantthead. Check it out for a thorough approach to stakeholder management.