Effective Project Managers are able to consistently oversee a project from start to end. They are skilled leaders delivering projects on time and within the budget meeting or exceeding stakeholder’s expectations. They have proficiency to understand the importance of leadership and people skills over to strategic methodology and project measuring tools. Successful project managers are well-versed to combine all the stakeholders in the project and pull them to fulfill their goals. They carry right mix of experience, knowledge, personality traits, analytical skill that are inevitable to get the work done.
Key capabilities of an Effective Project Manager
Facilitation is an important part of the tasks performed by a manager, be it enabling teams to collaborate to get work done. They also facilitate issues, meetings, decision making.
The effective facilitators ask good questions to promote meaningful discussions and leverage facilitation tools to get the desired outcome.
Attention to Detail
Understanding and managing the details associated with the operation is a core task for which the manager should always be prepared. The Program Manager should have hands on activities like creating/updating a project schedule, application budget tracking and managing risks & issues. The main part of paying attention to the details is identifying the details that are important to the success of projects – not every project manager has this skill.
Without establishing credibility with the team and key stakeholders, it is almost impossible for a project manager to lead effectively. To establish a credibility, the program manager has to show that he has the confidence, knowledge, and experience to lead the team. It can be done by “saying the right” things during interactions with the team and more importantly “doing the right” things to drive towards the desired results.
The program manager must have a strong aptitude to perform financial analysis related activities to create and manage a budget, as well as key metrics like earned value, variance analysis etc. Studies say that the program managers that do not have a strong financial aptitude try to ignore these aspects of the projects, resulting into less effective outcome.
In most projects there is an involvement of some sort of technology even if you are not working on software development projects. A technical project manager shall be able to talk to technical resources and understand the essence of their message and its implication. In order to avoid the negative impact on his credibility with the technical resources, the technical project manager can avoid statements like “I’m not technical’.
Project Development Tools are a significant element of managing projects in most environments. A technical project manager needs to demonstrate the ability to use these technical tools effectively to manage Projects. It can be project scheduling tools to manage the schedule, spreadsheets to manage the budget and other project metrics, and presentation tools to facilitate meetings. Apart from these, collaboration tools like SharePoint are rapidly expanding in Project’s delivery space to provide a platform for easy access to information/artifacts.
Generally, conflict is unpleasant and stressful. In project management, conflict is often required to get things out in the open and resolve issues. Incorporating conflict does not mean that you go to meetings seeking to pick a fight. The project manager should be able ensure that the difficult topics get discussed by the team from time to time. Facilitation skills of a Project manager must bring these difficult discussions to a positive direction. If the potential problems are left unattended then they get bigger over time.
Every time a new application is developed it introduces something new to the development team. Be it a new tool or a new client industry or a new business process or a new technology. The project manager should recognize this opportunity and learn new things. Project’s environments are ever changing and therefore a project manager must enjoy and seek the opportunities to learn in order to sustain their effectiveness.
Most effective contributions on the team are achieved by listening to what the team members have to say. To understand what people are doing, capture ideas to improve performance. To identify challenges team members have encountered, active listening is necessary. It also provides the project manager with a better peripheral vision to identify potential risks or issues. Leading involves active listening & it’s not just about talking.
In very few cases, the execution turn out to be exactly as per project plan. Thus the project manager shall be able to respond to a change in plans and quickly adjust the plan in a manner that keeps the development going. Another aspect of flexibility is the ability to accommodate the needs of your team and key stakeholders of the Application.
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