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Managing Junior Military Officers
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 26
Posted: September 14, 2012 11:25 AM

I think most people would say someone who brings a project in on-time and on-budget. And it is true; this is an important factor for a specific project. But what truly makes a project manager successful in their career over the long term and how can you focus your professional development efforts to hone your skills as a successful project manager? There are a lot of people who want to be or consider themselves “Project Managers”, but few are truly Successful Project Managers.

1. Successful Project Managers are Great Communicators: They don’t just direct and bark orders. They listen, interpret and understand what others are saying. They make efforts to understand various perspectives and keep the balance. They work to over communicate with their direct staff, contractors, stakeholders, communities, etc. and they do so tirelessly throughout the project life-cycle.

2. Successful Project Managers are Great Qualifiers: They have a knack of drawing out expectations of others and being able to define, document and ultimately get consensus around a shared view of what is going to take place.

3. Successful Project Managers are Well Organized: They have systems in place that are well maintained, consistent and shared with the entire team. They are methodical in how they track progress and maintain documents.

4. Successful Project Managers are Forward Thinking: They are constantly thinking about what is next, what new effort needs to be kicked off and how they do get it ramped up quickly and most efficiently.

5. Successful Project Managers are Great Motivators: They know the success of the project relies on the Team they are working with. That these projects are a lot of hard work, and often have setbacks along the way. In the face of adversity they never forget to give accolades, when deserved, and most importantly they work to know their team well enough to know how and what motivates each of the members.

6. Successful Project Managers are Thick Skinned: Over time they have developed the ability to take harsh criticism from all levels and deal with it accordingly. They don’t take it personally, just as something a project manager must endure on the path to success. They are not cold or negative to approach, but have “been there and done that” mentality and can take more pressure and hits than the rest.

7. Successful Project Managers are Tenacious: They climb each task step by step, and even when falls and slips happen along the way, and they will, they pick themselves up and continue the climb. They do so with unwavering determination and plan to be successful through sheer force of will.

8. Successful Project Managers are Fair and Reasonable: When dealing with others they do so in a fair way that always puts the success of the project at the forefront of everything they do. They are open minded, don’t take advantage of others and don’t blame others. Additionally, they don’t just act fair they enforce fairness and do not tolerate these abuses on their project.

9. Successful Project Managers have Great Attention to Detail: Project Managers care about the little things, and are depended on to do each task accurately and completely. They maintain project checklists, double check work for accuracy and follow procedures. Most importantly they culminate all these details in a comparison of actual work to scope to deliver a project on-time, on-budget and on-scope that satisfies the project sponsors.

10. Successful Project Managers are Experts in Managing Stakeholders: They are adept at being able to put on different hats depending on who they are speaking with. They can sit in a board-room and have a detailed professional conversation or just as easily be out on site with members of the local community. Regardless of who the stakeholder is they are able to change their tone and message information in such a way that satisfies the stakeholder, gains buy-in on the project and keeps the project moving forward successfully.

11. Successful Project Managers are Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers: They have a singular focus on project success and elevate that success above personal motives. They look at problems with an open mind and actively seek solutions from others and systematically look for the optimal outcome for the project.

12. Successful Project Managers are Great at Owning Risk: While others shy away from risk, successful project manager’s jump right in realizing that the amount of time available correlates in their ability to successfully manage the risk. They constantly evaluate risk profiles, immediately address new risks, and create action plans to mitigate those risks. They realize that risk is a natural part of project execution and work to keep those risks close so that they can be managed effectively, communicated often and closed out as quickly as possible.

Project managers are essential to the successful implementation of a project. There are a tremendous number of tools, tips and templates out there on how to execute projects, but I believe these 12 items are what make a successful project manager no matter the type of project or set of tools being used. If you want to become a successful project manager or just improve your project management skill-set, focus on these things to succeed. If you have any questions, you can post your question in our forum for one of our Experts to answer: Ask an Expert

Project Management
Joined: June 2013
Posts: 10
Posted: June 13, 2013 4:13 AM

RE: What Makes a Successful Project Manager?
i follow your beliefs.
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Have you ever used the Agile Method for Project Management