Project Management

4 Aptitudes of Great Project Managers

Ben Snyder’s business uses its own personal system to evaluate the quality and potential of project managers. Through hundreds of assessments, they have found what they believe are four key aptitudes of project managers. In a guest post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Snyder discusses these aptitudes:

  1. People-oriented
  2. Centered
  3. Creative and directed toward the big picture
  4. Systematic and detail-oriented

Work on the Brain

Without an ability to relate to and communicate with people, healthy management is impossible. In fact, Snyder says managers who evaluated poorly for being people-oriented ended up having to be reassigned to different positions. There must be an ability to build and maintain relationships.

The aptitude of being “centered” has to do with a project manager’s ability to understand the project landscape and remain calm in adversity. Good managers stay confident because they understand the general factors at play in the project and understand the value of seeing the project through to completion. They do not allow anxious emotions to take over.

Interestingly, the last two aptitudes are actually four aptitudes put into pairs. This is because every project manager assessed who scored well in one half of the pair ended up scoring well in both aspects of the pair. For instance, being creative and focusing on the big picture are both things that require the project manager to think outside of the immediate project at hand. Likewise, managers who are systematic in their processes and detail-oriented create reliability. However, it is rare for a manager to possess both of these pairs of aptitudes:

The surprising correlation is that project managers either scored high in big picture-orientation and creative and low in system and detail-oriented, or vice versa. Ultimately, this data resulted in the identification of specific strengths and weaknesses in good project managers. No more than 3% of the project managers assessed scored low on all 4 aptitudes.

Only 6% of the project managers evaluated scored high on all 6 aptitudes. All remained project managers for only 18 to 24 months before they moved on to the next rung of the corporate ladder.

If you can cinch both pairs, you might find yourself flying up the ranks. You can view the original post here:

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