What makes a good project manager? Are they people centric? Business aligned? It's easy to think about the qualities a CIO would want in a project manager, but it can be much harder to determine a set listing of attributes that define a good project manager. Ben Snyder of Systemation has been collecting information on project managers extensively, and provides his findings on pm4girls. Two of the three expanded on are expected: people-oriented and big picture-oriented. One of the qualities is a bit unexpected, however, being centered:
The next aptitude in importance is how centered a project manager is. Project managers are centered when they're confident, aware of their own assets and liabilities, their desire to achieve, their ability to remain calm in stressful conditions, and flex when plans don't go as expected. If their score was moderate to high, as it was for 81%, their performance was not negatively impacted by this aptitude. If the score was low, they tended to be seen as emotionally volatile and not safe for their team members to get behind and follow. If this aptitude is not strong enough, it can undermine a project manager's other strengths to the point that they too cannot remain in project management positions.
Snyder explains that the majority of existing project managers fall in the good range on all of his found “required” traits, but it's hard to find project managers that score “top-notch” in the qualities listed. The solution is to be aware of a project managers weaknesses and creating mechanisms to balance that weakness with their strengths.