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Top 13 Must-have Characteristics of a Project Manager

14th Sep, 2023
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Top 13 Must-have Characteristics of a Project Manager

Good leaders are hard to find, but great project managers are rarer still

What a great saying! Well, it is worth acknowledging that finding a reliable and successful project manager in the current era is like finding a true pearl inside the seashell. The project management journey starts with initiation and ends with the closing of a project. This raises the demand for skilled Project Managers across the globe who can use project management tools to keep all aspects of a project organized. A great understanding of communication channels and conflict management, along with project management skills, makes project managers a utilitarian resource. According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a Project Manager is $72,675.

Being a project manager is a specific kind of leadership position that requires certain character traits and important qualities. If we ask you, do you have any general idea about the characteristics of a project manager? A single point you might define them by would be – they deliver projects within the deadline and budget set by the clients, meeting or even surpassing the expectations of the stakeholders, right?

Here is an article on project description.

It’s not enough. Actually, it takes more to become a good and ideal project manager whom someone could admire. In this article, we are going to highlight some striking traits and important qualities of a Good project manager that can help you become a better one or improve yourself. Time Management techniques help you to assign correct time slots to activities as per their importance. The right allocation of time to the right task in order to make the best possible use of time refers to time management. You can also take up PMP training to validate your project management knowledge and skills through a certification that’s acknowledged across the globe.

Get to know more about Agile Vs Traditional Project Management.

Top 13 Important Qualities to Become a Successful Project Manager

A good project manager needs to possess certain skills like technical, business, and management skills to manage projects with utmost efficiency. Moreover, as a responsible position, a project manager must possess certain qualities for the smooth delivery of various projects.

A few of the qualities that a good project manager should possess are as follows:

1. They Inspire a Shared Vision

An effective project leader is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it. A leader or project manager is someone who lifts you up, gives you a reason for being, and gives you the vision and spirit to change.

Visionary project managers enable people to feel they have a real stake in the project. Moreover, they empower their teammates to experience the vision of their own and offer others the opportunity to create their own vision, explore what the vision will mean to their jobs and their lives, as well as to envision their future as part of the vision of their organization.

2. They are a Good Communicator

According to Jada Pinkett Smith, a slogan of every good project manager is;

“My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships”

Another strong trait that distinguishes a good project manager from others is their ability to communicate with people at all levels. Since, the project leadership calls for clear communication about responsibility, goals, performance, expectations, and feedback – a good project manager can be said a complete package comprising all these important qualities.

The pioneer must be able to successfully arrange and utilize influence when it’s important to guarantee the accomplishment of the group and venture. How does it come about gainful? Successful correspondence brings about group accomplishments by making express rules for the professional success of cable car individuals.

3. Integrity

One of the most important things any project manager should always keep in their mind is, that it takes their actions to set a particular modus operandi for a team, rather than their words. Good management demands commitment and the demonstration of ethical practices.

The leadership or project management depends on integrity represents a set of values, dedication to honesty, and consistency in behaviors with teammates. Integrity is that a good project manager takes responsibility for setting the high bar for ethical behaviors for oneself, as well as rewarding those who exemplify these practices. Leadership motivated by self-interest does not serve the well-being of a team. Learn more about the motivation theories here.

4. They Possess Leadership Skills

If you want to become a successful project manager, you ought to have good leadership skills. Understanding the characteristics of project managers can provide insights into how they effectively deal with teams from various walks of life. Hence, it becomes vitally important for them to inspire workers and fine-tune team performance to achieve organizational goals through various leadership styles.

A great project manager sets the tone for the project and provides a clear vision of its objectives for the team. A sense of foresight is also crucial – by anticipating potential issues, you can have your team ready to tackle them swiftly. Enthusiasm and passion are two key traits to embrace if you want to inspire others—no one will follow if you exude a negative attitude.

Top Qualities to become a successful project manager

5. They are Good Decision Makers

Good decision-making skill is not only crucial for one's personal life but also very important in one's professional life as well. Good project managers are empowered to make countless decisions that will help define the project track.

As we all know a single minor wrong decision can easily jeopardize the entire project. Thus, a project manager needs to be capable of thinking quickly and reacting decisively.

6. Expert in Task Delegation

Task delegation is another basic skill in which you need to be an expert. You should be able to judge your team members’ skills and assign tasks in accordance with their strengths.

Being a pioneer doesn’t imply that you have to consider each minor detail of a venture. Show your team members you trust them and delegate tasks to them.

7. They are Well Organized

Henry Mintzberg said;

“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet”

Good organization is a key factor for creating a productive work environment as well as solving problems under pressure. Being well-organized helps you to stay focused on the big picture and to prioritize your own tasks and responsibilities.

With regard to exhibiting your outcomes, you ought to have the capacity to recuperate all the important information and demonstrate an intelligible vision of a venture to be executed.

8. They Own Proficiency

Proficiency and thorough knowledge – both can be said to be basic yardsticks on the basis of which a leader’s or manager's wisdom or excellence can be weighed. Being on top of your projects entails a vast amount of industry knowledge to be effective in what you do.

Some learning on the money-related and legitimate side of your tasks won’t hurt either. You should be seen as able and skilled by your group.

9. They are Great Problem Solver!

Good project managers work with a team of experts or consultants and use their mastery of handling issues in the most effective ways.

Nobody will anticipate that you will have a prepared answer for every single issue; you should have the capacity to utilize the knowledge of your team members and stakeholders to produce a collective response to any problems you experience on your way to delivering a project.

10. They Know What is Collaboration

This is the last and the most important trait that should exist in every good project manager or leader. Recognizing the qualities of a good project manager, a grip of group progression is fundamental if you want your team to work smoothly on your projects.

When building up your team, keep this in mind: disagreements and conflicts are bound to happen; as a leader, you’ll have the capacity to mediate them and ensure all your team members progress towards the same goal.

11. Should Possess Good Negotiation Skills

It is important for a project manager to possess good negotiation skills. Further, this skill set plays a pivotal role to resolve conflicts by settling the issue and maintain harmony in the team.

12. Managing the Project Life Cycle

There are numerous life cycle phases involved in a project. In the early years, the practice of project management focused on planning and controlling the execution of projects which has now moved to include the conceptual phases and project portfolio management that provides needed linkage between strategic growth management of the organization and project management. A project manager must be capable of linking the strategic growth management of the organization and project management.

13. Achieving the Project Benefits

The success of a project is measured by the benefits that it delivers in terms of output. A project manager should be capable of ensuring that the team focuses on benefits delivery and not just merely completing their project on time and within budget.

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How do these Qualities Help to Tackle Project Constraints?
How do these qualities help to tackle project constraints

Before moving forward, let us understand the constraints that a project manager should watch out for. The constraints are:

  • Scope: It defines the needs of the customers as well as the requirements expressed and implied.
  • Time: The customers want their projects to be delivered by an agreed date.
  • Quality: It can be defined as the standard that a project is expected to be delivered.
  • Resources: This denotes the amount of money, budget, or resources available for spending on the project.

These are not the only constraints in a project. The following are a few of the important reasons for the failure of the project:

  1. Lack of user involvement
  2. Long or unrealistic time scales
  3. Poor or no requirements
  4. Scope creep
  5. No change control system
  6. Poor testing 

The suggested qualities collaboratively help a project manager to avoid all these constraints and take the project smoothly.

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Key Takeaways

Communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills play a crucial role for an individual to become a good project manager. Moreover, he or she should be a good decision-maker for the smooth maneuvering of the project journey.

Apart from these qualities, you should possess the following attributes in order to be a good project manager:

  • Integrity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Empathy
  • Competence
  • Ability to delegate tasks
  • Stay cool under pressure
  • Team-building skills
  • Problem-solving skills.

Demand for Project Managers Across the Globe

According to the PMI and Anderson Economic Group (AEG) analysis, project-oriented employment opportunities in 11 countries on five continents representing developed or growing economic powers. Project-related job growth is expected to be 33% collectively. The following chart explains it elaborately:

Project Management Jobs in 2017
Expected Project Management Jobs in 2027
China34.9 million46 million
India14.7 million21.7 million
United States6.7 million8.8 million
Japan3.4 million3.8 million
Brazil1.9 million2.4 million
Germany1.9 million2 million
United Kingdom1.0 million1.2 million
Saudi Arabia201,127228,077

On a Concluding Note

There are certain attributes and characteristics that a project manager should possess. Among the vital characteristics of a project manager are the ability to deploy various project management tools to keep all aspects of their projects organised. These characteristics make a project manager efficient to approach each project as its own unique entity.

Further, with the rising demand for project managers across the globe, the above-mentioned qualities will surely help you to gain your grip in the fast-paced market scenario. Wish you all the luck in your project management journey!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are 3 critical skills of a project manager?

Three critical skills of a project manager are:

  • Leadership: Ability to guide, motivate, and inspire teams towards achieving project goals.
  • Time Management: Efficiently allocating and prioritizing tasks to ensure timely project completion.
  • Risk Management: Identifying potential problems early on and devising strategies to mitigate or address them.
2What are the 3 characteristics of project management?

3 Key Characteristics of Project Management Processes:

  • Consistency 
  • Flexibility 
  • Transparency 

3What is a Level 3 project manager?

A Level 3 project manager typically refers to an individual with advanced project management experience and skills, often responsible for managing larger, more complex projects or multiple projects simultaneously. They usually have several years of experience and might hold advanced certifications or qualifications in project management.


Elena Gray

Blog Author

Elena Gray, the writer of this article, has been associated with Coursework Club where she provided coursework writing service for more than a decade. At present, Elena leads a private venture offering Social Media Marketing to its worldwide clientele.

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