CIOProject Management

7 Traits CIOs Should Seek in Project Managers

What is the difference between “great” and “good enough” in project management? Great project managers empower teams and move organizational strategy forward. Good-enough project managers just manage their checklists and tell teams what to do. CIOs who care about the growth and relevance of IT cannot afford good-enough management. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Kevin Casey lists seven desirable traits of your potential project managers:

  1. Know the people well
  2. Unify people and teams
  3. Branch out
  4. Plan on uncertainty
  5. Show a healthy paranoia
  6. Know how to break down big requirements into manageable work
  7. Think like entrepreneurs

Great PM Traits

It’s one thing to shuffle assignments around and plan out workloads, but it’s another thing altogether to get to know the people behind them. They need to be project managers who can engage with their team and get to know the individuals on a personal level. It will ultimately help build a positive relationship with their teams that will equip them with a better way of handling clashes and problems when they arise. Knowing the people behind the team can further help in unifying people and teams involved in the project, as well as help you identify those who aren’t fully on board with the project.

Great project managers are also always learning and broadening their horizons. Your project managers should be looking for new things to add to their repertoire and actively be breaking the mold of the paper-pusher project manager.

All the same, traditional skills like an ability to plan thoroughly in advance are critical as well. Great managers acknowledge that probably not everything will go according to plan on a project, owing to uncertainties. Finding that uncertainty requires a bit of healthy paranoia in order to proactively identify problem areas. Your project manager additionally needs to be able to plot how to deconstruct larger, complicated tasks into smaller, manageable ones. It will help in prioritizing so the most important tasks get done first.

Casey says lastly that it helps to have your project manager think like an entrepreneur:

Job descriptions are littered with phrases like “self-starter” or “highly motivated.” Yes, motivation is important in a wide range of professions, but it’s become a tired term. So let’s reframe a project manager’s motivation in a different light: The best ones treat their projects like businesses unto themselves.

[Erik Lagerway, product manager at Dialpad] thinks of a great project manager – and its relative, the product manager – “almost as an entrepreneur-in-residence who is building teams within the company. Someone who is driven to build great products and manage teams to that end will be a great complement to a deserving team.”

You can view the original article here:


Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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