6 habits of successful project managers

Being a project manager is an intense and demanding job, regardless of the industry.  In order to be successful, there are certain habits or traits that you need to have or cultivate.

These will help you whether you are working on a massive home building project, doing Project Management for a PA or working on a small domestic project as a newcomer to the industry.

Being proactive

A good project manager doesn’t want to wait to react to things but instead take a proactive approach that puts them ahead of events.  This means preparing for everything, being ahead of where you need to be and never taking a laid-back approach. Project managers need to be out there, involved with the project and spotting problems before they develop rather than working from behind a desk, remote from the events.

Being goal oriented

Every project has goals and the job of the project manager is to be focused on them at all times.  Most projects will be broken into smaller sub-projects that each have their own goals and timescales and managing all of these is an important part of the job.

Being able to prioritise

Going off track and following a random task that doesn’t need to be done can derail the whole project.  Project managers need to be able to prioritise and ensure their team do the same, so the right tasks are done at the right time.

Being willing to keep learning

Project management is one of those roles where there is always something new – you never know it all.  And a good project manager is willing to keep learning, taking in new ideas and approaches and working through the latest tech or systems to make a better job. For example, if you’re using outdated software, a project management tool like OneDesk can transform the way you do business Every challenge and obstacle is also a chance to learn something new.

Being a good man (and woman) manager

You are the head of the team and you need to manage your people but doing it in the right way is a mark of a great project manager.  You want to make everyone feel part of the team, acknowledge their achievements but not be afraid to pull them up if they aren’t doing their best.  You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of everyone working under you and how best to use them, so they are happy, productive and successful.

Being focused on win-win situations

There are times in the job when you face choices and the best approach is always to go for the win for yourself but also for everyone involved in the project from the finance people to the team working under you.  The aim is to find those win-win situations where everyone comes out feeling satisfied. And if you can’t, then you have a clear path to get them there with the changes that you are proposing.


Being a project manager is about working as part of the team but also leading it, balancing the demands of everyone in the project with what you know needs to be done.  It is a tough job and these habits will help you be great at it.