Being a project manager is not just about delivering successful project one after another. One thing that is most often overlooked is that project managers are also responsible for managing the team’s morale. If the team’s morale is sky high, the work no matter how hard becomes easy to work on.

Managing programmers can sometimes be difficult. There are programmers who think they know better. There are those who work at their own pace disregarding the timeline that the PM’s set and much more.

Man with a cane

So how can you be a great project manager and how do you stay being great? Here are the top traits that make PM’s great:

Natural Leader

A great project manager makes sound decisions, interacting with the team with no effort at all, dealing with difficult subordinates is like a walk in the park. He takes notes of important details no matter how small it is like if one of the staff does not always participate when there’s a meeting, he takes note of that and uses that when needed like for performance review.

Quick thinking abilities and Note Taking

A great project manager makes sound decisions, interacting with the team with no effort at all, dealing with difficult subordinates is like a walk in the park. He takes notes of important details no matter how small it is like if one of the staff does not always participate when there’s a meeting, he takes note of that and uses that when needed like for performance review.

light bulb idea

Ignorance is bliss

Being thrown with too much information is just another day in the office of being a project manager. Know how to classify information and data so you’d only digest what’s needed and ignore the rest.

Know What Meetings to Take

You don’t have to be present at every meeting that happens. Only attend meetings that concern the company at a macro level. You could assign a deputy that could be a proxy to those meetings and just have him send the conclusion of the meeting at the end of the day. This way, you could use the time to do another work and be productive.

Project Meeting

Choose Your Words

Think twice before saying anything in a meeting. If you’re having second-thoughts before saying something like cracking a joke as an ice-breaker, chances are you really shouldn’t say it at all. Nobody wants to work for a trying hard boss.

Listen and Listen Well

Start the meeting with the agenda and let everyone say their piece. Gather that information and consider every idea and come up with an elaborate plan. This makes the team feel that they are being heard and their ideas are coming to life and you don’t just do it your way every time.

Don’t be a control freak

Let your staff know that they have the liberty to address an issue the best way they see it while under your supervision of course. If time permits, let them write the codes the way they know how and they, later on, show them the best practice. This improves the learning experience.

Obtain In-depth Knowledge

Project management skills + subject matter expertise = Great project manager

Combine your project management skills with actual programming skills and you’ll take off as a superb project manager.

Love Actually (No, not the movie)

It should go without saying but if you do love what you’re doing, things become easy. Got a client that is so demanding and even adapting Agile philosophy still it’s difficult because of their ever-changing requirements? Charge it to experience. Look forward to the challenge. The next client would just be an easy-peasy.

Own Your Territory

Don’t be a weak boss. Lay out your ground rules from the start and enforce it enough that they’d know their limitations when they’re around you. Be laid-back when it’s time to lay back but work when work. Let them know that you can switch from being a Michael Scott (The Office – US )to Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada) in a second.

Resting in territory

You probably have some of those already and what you need to do is slowly work on developing the other traits so that your staff would both like (even love) and fear you at the same time. Pick a trait and once you get the hang of it, move on to the other trait and in no time, you’d be a great project manager. 

I’d love to hear from you. Share your experience as a project manager below in the comments section or email us at info@whutthetech.com.

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