When it comes to keeping a business on track and moving towards key objectives and milestones, the best business owners and managers are able to manage projects efficiently and see them through to completion.
The question is, do you have what it takes and what are the the characteristics you’ll need?
Project managers are trained and certified to oversee big projects and keep teams of people on track. But small businesses – and even mid-sized companies – aren’t always equipped with full-time project managers on staff. As a result, people in other managerial positions – perhaps a business owner or department head – have to absorb project management responsibilities within their job duties.
If you’re occasionally asked to take on project management duties, here are some of the characteristics you’ll need to acquire and refine:
Understanding of Self
Before you can manage people and motivate them to stay on track and accomplish specific goals, you must have an understanding of who you are and what strengths and weaknesses you possess. This will allow you to manage in a way that maximizes your inherent strengths and compensates for areas where you lack.
Good Interpersonal Communication
You can’t lead people without good interpersonal skills. And chief among these skills is the ability to communicate with people.
Good communication is forthcoming, transparent, and tailored to the audience. You must know whom you’re speaking to at all times and how to connect with them on a level that motivates them to act.
Willingness to Try New Things
If you want to find success managing people and projects, you can’t get stuck in the status quo. You have to be willing to try new things – even when you know that some of these techniques will fail.
As Project Central explains, every individual, team, and company responds to different task management techniques. The more you try different options, the better your chances are of finding methods that work for all of the different challenges you face.
When you assume the duty of managing a project or overseeing a particular set of tasks, you’re taking on a leadership role. And to be a successful leader, the people you’re leading have to trust you.
Trustworthiness is acquired over long periods of working with people and showing them that you’re transparent, honest, and looking out for their best interests. The best thing you can do is keep your promises and make decisions that benefit all parties involved. Every time you do this, you’ll enhance your perception and evolve into someone whom others can trust in small and complicated situations.
In an ideal world, everything goes according to plan and getting from the starting blocks to the finish line is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. But the business world is anything but perfect. To thrive, you must be a good problem solver.
In other words, you don’t always need the answer to every problem – but you need to be capable of finding someone who has the answer. That’s the mark of a great project manager.
“When problems occur, budgets are not met, or team members are struggling, a leader must remain cool and calm at all times and ideally hide any signs of pressure they may be feeling from the rest of the team,” Marsh explains.
It pays off to be level-headed. Not every project, person, or task will play out like you want, but you can’t let small problems compound into bigger ones. By remaining calm, you’ll keep the big picture in perspective.
Manage Projects With Greater Efficiency
There’s no perfect approach to managing projects. And if you aren’t a trained and certified project manager, you’ll find it difficult to master some of the intricacies of project management. However, by acquiring and perfecting some of the skills and traits outlined in this article, you can do a fine job of fulfilling the role when needed.