The role of project manager can be likened to the role of a quarterback on a football team. While the quarterback leads the offense, he still has to answer to the coaches. A project manager also leads their team and answers to the client. They also have to answer to their superiors so they must be effective at their job. No NFL team can survive without a strong leader at the quarterback position which is why teams that find great ones tend to pay them to stay with the team. The same can be said about an effective project manager. They have many responsibilities and if they are effective, they can make the project run smoothly and are appreciated by their superiors.
Sticking with the above analogy, when a football team wins games it is said by all that the team did a great job. When they lose, the first person fans and other personnel place the blame on is the quarterback. Alternatively, when a project is completed with perfection, the entire team takes the credit for a job well done. And when things go wrong and the project is delayed or goes over budget, the finger pointing starts at the project manager. The following are five keys to effective project management apart from a top notch project software:
- Client Needs – The PM must always work closely with the client about their needs. They should never assume that they know what the client wants without clarifying every issue. The client essentially pays the bills for the project, including salaries so they have to be satisfied above all else.
- Managing the Team – An effective project manager understands that certain areas of the project need to be delegated to others. This means effectively managing a team of people to work towards the same goal. Since many on the team have other tasks for the company, they need to fully understand the deadlines and discuss the time that they can offer the project manager.
- Managing Time – This leads you to the time constraints that are placed on every project. While managing the team also includes their available time, it is also vital to understand the client’s needs for the project. Managing time can be even more difficult than managing people.
- Communication – Every effective project manager has top notch communication skills and is also an effective listener. They know how to talk to those who are on the team effectively as well as the clients. It is vital they a PM know how to draw every bit of information concerning the project from the client.
- The Little Details – There is always that one client that calls you because they forgot to tell you some vital information. A successful project manager can take these little details and ensure they are handled in an effective manner. They do not get stressed out because these little details continue to crop up; they just handle them and move on.
If you think about the earlier analogy and look at what makes an effective project manager, you can clearly see that all these skills are also the same skills that a top notch quarterback has. They have to manage the clock or time. It is also important to communicate the plays from the coaches to the other players and to manage the little changes that crop up such as a blitz defense. Finally, they must take care of the clients or owners needs while still managing the offense.
This article is brought to you by Dirk for Inloox Project Software, a state of the art project management software that operates on cloud technology.