Project Management

10 Features of a Perfect Project Manager

There’s no such thing as a perfect human (except maybe in science fiction), but perhaps somewhere out there is the perfect project manager–an exemplar of skill and strategy, the perfect blend of creativity and level-headedness. Monica Wells takes us on a tour of the ten essential qualities this ideal PM would possess.

Ten Triumphal Traits

1. Strategy
2. Competency
3. Organization
4. Resilience

Like navigating a series of whitewater rapids, the perfect PM would know how to focus on their surroundings while simultaneously planning the course ahead. The ultimate PM would be quick on their feet, with the knowledge to assess every situation but the wisdom to take action based on circumstance. The multifaceted nature of their job would not hinder performance, since this brand of project manager would be adept at organization and multitasking. And even though bad things can happen to well-meaning project teams, the perfect PM can always bounce back and rally the troops in the face of project crisis. 

5. Responsibility
6. Enthusiasm
7. Good Communication
8. Leadership Ability

Of course, such masterful PM would also have to be trustworthy. No one wants an evil genius running their IT projects! Nor does one want to be managed by a workplace killjoy. Sure, the project doesn’t always have to be fun, but it does have to be interesting enough to motivate its members. Part of making a project interesting has to do with good communication skills. If a PM can’t acknowledge your hard work, provide feedback, or take/deliver criticism, they’re missing the point. And though management is not necessarily the same thing as leadership, the two are often required in tandem, since being a role model to emulate will set expectations across the entire team.

9. Innovativeness
10. Appreciation of Success

Innovation is another essential component of being a PM, since calling the shots at the mid-level means finding solutions that satisfy C-Suite execs and project members alike. Lastly, a celebration of project success is the most important way to ensure that everyone (including the PM) is ready for the next big thing.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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