Alison Hardy - Digital Marketing Specialist, TP3
Whilst I’ve been well and truly drawn into the fascinating world of digital marketing, I did spend a few years as a project manager during my career. Back in the heady days of the dot-com bubble, I cut my project teeth in a variety of digital production roles in Internet and multimedia companies.
Project management is a challenging but rewarding job that calls on a number of essential attributes. Here are 7 key traits you need to have to be a successful project manager.
1. Highly organised
Do I need to say it? Project managers are very organised. They are scarily good at juggling numerous tasks, priorities, people and budgets without getting too fazed. The ability to prioritise is an important element of being organised.
2. Skilled communicator
One of the keys to running a successful project is clear and regular communications. The best way to manage expectations, build strong relationships with clients and team members, resolve issues and keep the project on track is to keep everyone in the loop. But that’s not all. A good project manager knows what to say, when to say it and how to deliver that message effectively.
3. Confident and decisive
When you’re running a project, you’re in a leadership role, whether you recognise it or not. You need to be confident in your decisions and actions as your team, stakeholders and clients are relying on you to be in control.
4. Good with change
That’s the thing about projects, especially big ones, there can be a lot of changes! Good project managers take everything in their stride and ride the waves of change without getting ruffled.
5. Good people manager
The resource team is the life and soul of a project. It’s usually made up of a diverse bunch of talent from technical to creative types and all points in between. That’s a lot of personalities! Good project managers know how to get the best out of their team with a mixture of guidance, diplomacy, inspiration and support.
6. Smart problem solver
As much as we’d love every project to flow smoothly and without incident, things don’t always go according to plan. Changes and setbacks happen and the project manager needs to quickly jump in to create order out of uncertainty and keep everyone on a steady course.
7. Strong documentation and planning skills
There’s a lot of documentation needed to support a successful project, from analysis to planning right through to training and delivery. Good project managers are efficient and competent in programs like Project, Word and Excel and a host of other time-saving and organisational tools.
Whatever your vocation, I’d recommend basic project management training, like our Project Management Fundamentals course, to anyone. The skills I learned in that role have been invaluable ever since.
Help build your Project Management skills with these extra resources from TP3:
Workshop: Project Management Fundamentals
Workshop: Microsoft Project
Article: Do you have what it takes to be a Project Manager?
Article: Struggling with Microsoft project? Here’s a few tips