A good project manager is a crucial part of any successful team project. A group cannot effectively accomplish responsibilities without the help and guidance of a leader. That’s why good project management and competent team leaders are key to triumph in all fields.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, skilled project managers are needed now more than ever. Many businesses have shifted into the work-from-home set-up which makes project management a bit more difficult since all communication has now gone virtual. However, a good project manager endures sudden changes in circumstances while maintaining quality output from the team.
The traits of a good project manager
A good project manager is a jack-of-all-trades, in terms of handling various people and situations. Being a project leader is not just telling people what to do and how to do it. It takes a lot of insight into human behavior and task organization to pull off a successful project management career.
There are a lot of ways you can learn about being a good project manager. You can consult your superiors or undergo company training. You can also study by yourself by maximizing articles online or listening to a project management podcast. This can help you figure out a tact or method where you can deliver quality outputs. Let this setup be an avenue for self-discovery.
Meanwhile, here are some of the most important traits any project manager should strive to have.
As a project supervisor, you need to efficiently handle scheduling and task assignments. You should be well-versed in time management–from the planning to the assessment stages. You are a problem-solver; so you also need to have an organized process in addressing issues. To make your work sound professional and organized you need your project proposal to look good. Smart ones choose from various project proposal templates which makes their proposal look better worked on than any other.
Project managers are also expected to keep the team together. You need people-person skills to connect with your team members and communicate what the task needs. You have to be approachable; so that your teammates won’t hesitate to come to you about problems they have with projects or the team.
Being a project manager means looking at everything– from the general aspects of the task to the minute details. You’re expected to pinpoint mistakes during the process to prevent bigger mishaps along the way. As a project manager, you also lead output assessments. So, you should know how things should be done properly.
If you’re considering a career in project management, you should be highly versatile. Project managers are needed in every field, but different industries require specific skills, too.
Should you decide to leave the company you’re currently working for, you bring your project management skills with you onto your next job, whether it’s in line with your previous industry. Be ready to adapt to the industry you’re in, but rest assured the essence of project supervision remains anywhere.
As a project manager, expect that no two projects are wholly the same. Different projects from different clients might require varying methods to accomplish. Expect that you’ll have to be resourceful in looking for the best way to overcome difficulties in handling different cases.
Eager to learn
More than anything, project managers are eager students of the industry. You should always be open to learning new things about your company, clients, and co-workers. This is crucial in improving your project management skills.
No employee is perfect, let alone a project manager. What makes good leaders is their readiness to broaden their knowledge. Best practices come from learning from the people around you and the mistakes you make in the process of accomplishing a task.
Why should you switch to a career in project management?
Project management is a very fulfilling job. Few people, including team leaders, make real changes in the industry in such a short time. There are also many benefits that a career in project supervision entails, and all of these are founded on self-improvement.
All industries are in need of project managers. Focusing on management skills can open a lot of opportunities for you in any field. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that there will be 22 million project manager job openings through 2027.
You’ll never run out of project management career options to apply for if you continue honing your managerial skills.
Road to promotion
If you’re constantly asking yourself how you’re going to be promoted, being a project supervisor is the way to go. Stepping into the role of a project manager is solid training for leading. Handling huge responsibilities for the company and doing it well are surefire ways to get you noticed by your bosses for promotion.
Platform for changes
A career in project management gives you the chance to make changes in the process of production. Because you’re in a leadership and decision-making role, you’re given the power to suggest changes that your bosses are likely to listen to. And because you’re part of the production team, your suggestions are founded on the needs of your teammates which likely reflects that of the company as a whole.
If you’re wondering, “Is project management a good career?” just look at the salary. According to the 10th Edition of The Project Management Salary Survey by the PMI, the base annual salary of a project manager in the United States is USD75,000. This is just what project managers deserve, seeing as they handle so much for the success of their respective companies.
There are many more benefits of being a project manager, but the gist of it is you’re getting into a high-paying career that is in demand in a wide range of industries. As long as you’re putting in the effort to improve your skills, you’ll surely climb the ranks of any company you apply for through project management.
Tips on how to start a career in project management
Project management is founded on the organized accomplishment of tasks through guidance from skilled team leaders. Essentially, anyone willing to put in the effort of learning can become a project manager.
This profession, though, has also evolved in years; being a project manager today is not the same as it was 10 years ago. Here are a few tips for those wondering how to start a career in project management.
You can’t possibly become a good project manager from street smarts, alone. A college degree helps, but actual management training is needed to get the job done well. If your company offers training opportunities, grab them. Or if you can, study a project management course.
It’s important for anyone in a leadership position to actively participate in learning activities; so they can expand their knowledge and skills not just in leading, but also in teaching. A project manager is also a teacher, especially to newbie employees on the team. It’s your job to show them the ropes to improve output quality and productivity.
Get your certification
Along with participating in training, it’s also important to get your certification from trusted sources. This is to show your bosses and team members that your skills are recognized by legitimate institutions. It can also help in future pitches for promotion or job changes.
Expand on your technical skills
In addition to leadership skills, the modern project manager is also expected to have technical skills, according to the Pulse of the Profession 2020 Report of the PMI. This includes skills in navigating technology and in dealing with a diverse team.
The trends in business come with innovations in technology and changes in the demographics of your co-workers. This is especially important during the time of COVID-19 in which businesses are shifting into the virtualization of all tasks and communication.
Be sure that you’re up-to-date in handling these changes, which you can learn from training and forums about modern project management. You can also learn from the younger members of your team, who are presumably more adept in the conversations of technology and diversity.
Manage failures better
There’s a lot of pressure on the project manager to keep things in order during the production process. During tense situations, you might handle failures in a way that punishes your team members who make mistakes instead of having them learn.
A good leader makes learning opportunities out of mistakes, even from their own ones. You’ll encounter a lot of mishaps on your run as a project manager. Learn early how to manage these failures without making your team members feel bad. Practice dishing out criticism without giving the feeling of punishment. This will help improve your relationship with your team members.
Learn to ask for help
When you’re not sure how to run things, ask for help from your superior. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you feel lost. Even the most seasoned leaders still need help. Having a trusted mentor can help you hone your skills and strengthen your resolve in leading.
It’s important that you show your team members that it’s not beneath you to ask for assistance in difficult situations. This sets a model for them to do the same thing instead of diving headlong into a task they don’t understand and then making mistakes.
Being a project manager has its difficulties, but the advantages far outweigh them. Being a leader is hard work, but once you put in the effort to learn how to become one, you’ll soon enjoy the experience. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifts in the modes of business, leaders such as project managers are expected to keep learning to drive their industries forward.