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5 habits of effective project managers


All successful project managers share similar traits. Most of them haven’t been born with these innate abilities, but they have made it their business to learn and hone these particular skills. The good news is that if, as a Project Manager, you don’t have these traits already you can cultivate them by attending effective project management courses.

As project management training specialists, we come into contact with project managers all the time. Recently we have been researching what makes a great project manager by observing and questioning the very successful ones. We have come up with 5 fundamental habits which separate the best project managers from the rest. Here are the 5 habits:-

1.  Successful Project Managers are always learning

Like many other professions, to stay ahead of your game you have to keep learning. Whether you are new to project management or an experienced professional, you never get to the point where you know it all. You may get to the point where you think that everything is running smoothly but then some element of the project rears its head and needs attention. Even if that’s not the case there is usually room for improvement somewhere along the line. Project management training courses, books, blogs, articles or podcasts can help you to keep up to date.

2.  Good Project Managers are great communicators

Project management is all about communication. To be effective you have to be able to communicate clearly and concisely to a variety of interested parties including your teams, your customers and your stakeholders. Your interpersonal skills and your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate are all crucial to being a successful project manager.

3.  Effective Project Managers are analytical

To be an effective project manager, you need to be analytical and systems driven. A good project manager will view his/her projects from a systems perspective thinking through how things will work and identifying risks and analysing potential solutions. The ability to analyse data, weigh up options and make logical decisions based on a number of potentialities is an essential part of the role.

4.  Successful Project Managers are focused

Good project managers are focused on the project objectives and are able to keep their team focused too. It is all too easy to get pulled of track by ad hoc requests flying in from stakeholders, other departments and colleagues. The ability to prioritise requests and keep the project on track is vital for successful project outcomes.

5. Good Project Managers are exceptional planners

Effective Project Managers are very good at planning. They are also very adaptable when it comes to changes to the plan. They realise that the process of planning is often much more important than the plan itself and will respond according to the needs of the project. Good Project Managers will also instill the importance of planning within their teams and will develop their team members to perform well in this area.

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