The prototypical project manager needs financial, scheduling and management skills to keep projects on time and on budget. They also must communicate effectively to diverse business and technical teams, and that's just the beginning. Here's how to target the qualities to find the elusive perfect project manager (or even be the best PM).
Project managers must focus on business outcomes. They need financial, scheduling and management skills to keep projects on time and on budget. They must communicate effectively to diverse business and technical teams and bring together various players to really deliver something that impacts the business. And they must be problem-solvers who can keep their eyes on intended goals. They also have to have a systemic view of the project at any given moment to help navigate toward that outcome.
The willingness to work hard and soft skills such as collaboration and leadership capabilities, more so than business and technical acumen are critical to exceptional PM’s. A project requires you to resolve issues and break down barriers. You have to be able to lead and communicate. Project managers have to have a level of adaptability, because they are put into so many different organizations. They have to adapt to the group they are supporting.
Project management is one of the most in-demand skills among IT leaders today – coming in at No. 2 among top skills in Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast survey. It was second only to programming/application development. Some 35 percent of the IT leaders who responded to the CIO survey said they plan to hire for the skill in the upcoming year.