What Makes A Good Project Manager

Key Takeaways
Hiring a project manager? In this informative post, find out what makes a good project manager so you only hire the best!
project manager leading meeting

Hiring a project manager?

Many people know project managers only by what they do: kickoff calls, project schedules, budgets and charts. Processes and procedures designed to help them help you stay on top of your projects. But that merely scratches the surface of what makes a project manager good at what they do.

In truth, while others flounder over projects like a fish out of water, project managers stay calm, cool, and collected. They keep things running smoothly, get the job done on time, and leap over hurdles as gracefully as a swan in mid-flight.

But just how do they do it? And what should you look for to ensure the next one you hire can do it too? Find out what it takes to be a good project manager in this insightful post.

Stellar Communication

project manager solving a problem

Good project managers and good communication are synonymous.

Not only will they put systems in place in order to keep things on track throughout all phases of a project, but clearly communicate statuses, deadlines, milestones, and achievements to ensure that everything is on track.

Download our Project Management Checklist

Strong Problem Solving Ability

project manager practicing teamwork

Being able to quickly solve problems–on the spot and on the fly–and especially on behalf of stakeholders–is perhaps the greatest skill that a PM can possess. After all, whether they’re discussing campaign performance or communicating with a client, good project managers need to adapt quickly and pivot on their feet.

Moreover, when working with team members, strong problem-solving and communication skills come hand in hand, granting PM’s with the seemingly magical ability to wrap their head around complex problems in minutes, and explain them to team members or stakeholders in seconds–and in ways that make sense to them.

The lesson: when looking for a project manager for your business, find one who’s good at rapidly understanding problems, as well as coming up with (and communicating) realistic solutions to solve them.

Delegation Avoids Disaster

In life and in business, you can’t do it all yourself. To avoid disaster, you have to learn to ask for help.

That’s why outstanding project managers know that delegation is one of the most important parts of their job. By delegating tasks to the right people, PM’s are able to balance the workload between team members to get everything done on time.

Moreover, by identifying the right person for the right job, good project managers learn to let Doug in marketing, Lucy in finance, and Mark in sales, do what they do best.

By delegating tasks based on skill set (not based on who has the lightest workload) PMs are able to ensure that tasks meet their deadlines and execute flawlessly each time–making the entire team more productive and efficient as a result.

Pro tip: For the project manager of your own agency, look for one who jumps at the chance to get to know your team members and who delegates tasks based on their own unique skill sets.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

project manager being honest

Mistakes happen.

All the more so for projects with multiple deadlines, stakeholders, and goals.

That’s why for project managers, it’s best to be honest and forthright with clients. As well as to handle blunders with a no small degree of tact. After all, there may be some information best left not disclosed with clients–and it’s always better to let someone have it your way.

Discovering the balance between honesty, tact, and concealment is an essential quality of the project manager’s role, and something to certainly look for when finding one for your agency.

Enthusiastic & Emphatic

good project manager being enthusiastic

Trick question: what do the words gusto, spirit, ardor, zest, verve, or chutzpah have in common?

They all describe the energy of the very best of project managers.

How so? It’s simple: the best project managers rally others around getting stuff DONE!

And, they easily do that by being the most enthusiastic (and empathetic) person in the room.

Project managers not only care (deeply) about the work their team is doing–but take the lead to make sure it happens on time.

By being enthusiastic about the work, and empathizing with the needs of the people they manage, they can encourage team members to get stuff done on time and to spec–with as little hand-holding (or hand-ringing) as possible.

Looking To Find The Best Project Manager For Your Business? Let Us Help

Hiring a new project manager for your agency?

Need help finding the perfect one?

Schedule your free strategy session to find out how we can help you secure a first-rate project manager for your business or agency–so that you can get stuff done on time (and on budget) and grow your business faster than a caffeinated cheetah.

Business operations consultant Juliana Marulanda
Juliana Marulanda - ScaleTime Founder
Juliana Marulanda is a business operations expert, speaker, and the founder of ScaleTime. With over 20 years of experience across Wall Street, the non-profit sector, technology startups, and family-owned businesses, she now helps service-based businesses.
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