The first place to look in terms of exploring the desired attributes of a PM is the set of tasks that a PM must be able to carry out. These tasks, reiterated from Chapter 1, are:
Planning and organizing are important tasks of the PM and tend to be done well by a person who enjoys process. Although a good plan is more often than not the results of a team effort, a PM who likes to plan may have a tendency to take on the entire plan. The PM who enjoys planning will see organizing as just another part of a good plan, which indeed it is. Such a person may tend toward introversion and requires considerable order and discipline. When we move on to the tasks of directing and monitoring, however, we see a requirement for another type of perspective. These tasks involve interactions with people. Directing requires that people be given assignments and that they be guided through these assignments through monitoring and feedback. These ''people'' interactions are often best accomplished by an extroverted type of person who likes to discuss situations with people and may not enjoy the paperwork associated with planning and reporting. Through this simple discussion, we note that the PM is called upon to do many things that require a balanced personality. The PM is a well-integrated person who can shift gears as well as pay attention to and keep in balance the many issues that inevitably come across the desk.
Although it is possible to further analyze the attributes of a good project manager in terms of the required skills associated with planning, organizing, directing, and monitoring, we prefer to list, in Exhibit 5.1, twenty critical aspects of a PM. A brief discussion of each follows. These same twenty attributes may also be interpreted as the characteristics of a good boss.
Exhibit 5.1: Twenty Attributes of a Project Manager
1. Communicates well and shares information
2. Delegates appropriately
3. Is well-organized
4. Supports and motivates people
5. Is a good listener
6. Is open-minded and flexible
7. Gives constructive criticism
8. Has a positive attitude
9. Is technically competent
10. Is disciplined
11. Is a team builder and player
12. Is able to evaluate and select people
13. Is dedicated to accomplishing goals
14. Has the courage and skill to resolve conflicts
15. Is balanced
16. Is a problem solver
17. Takes initiative
18. Is creative
19. Is an integrator
20. Makes decisions
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.