Incorporation of every business takes place intending to make profits and businesses make profits by scoring projects and completing them effectively and efficiently. However, it is not just the founder and his team of professionals and interns that can alone decide amongst themselves what is to be done and do it. Every project takes a qualified project manager for its completion.
A project manager takes up the task of finishing a project, allocating the given budget and resources, and getting the work done. Most important of all, he/she should be able to meet project deadlines and satisfy the client at the same time.
Here are the attributes you should look for in a project manager for your business.
1. Resource Conflict Management
Until and unless the organization is too affluent to provide unlimited funds for the project, organizational conflicts regarding the allocation of resources are inevitable. Therefore, you need to analyze the candidate with the resource conflict solving abilities in mind.
You can give the aspirant a situation where the funds are limited, the firm cannot invest in the technological advancement of each department simultaneously, and there is a constraint in the availability of time and personnel as well.
Now, the approach he/she adopts in devising a solution to best allocate the resources, retain the outcome, and satisfy each department can be used as a criterion to reach a decision.
2. Delegation and Task Management
A project management aspirant must leave no stone unturned to study the competence and talents of each member of the team. Once he/she is aware of what they can expect out of each individual, the delegation of tasks can be done with the utmost ease, ensuring perfect results.
Moreover, if the team members are given responsibilities according to their competence, they will meet the task timelines better.
Remember, wrong task management often leads to failed projects. So, never overlook this skill when selecting a project manager.
A good project manager should be a good leader too so that he/she can align the organizational goals with that of the individuals and various other stakeholders in the project.
Also, a project manager should have a strong personality that commands attention and should be respected by others whether it is the internal staff and executives or external stakeholders. Along with allocating the tasks, the PM should also retain authority, making the colleagues answerable to her/him.
A PM who is not able to gain the confidence of the staff might not be a good choice. Therefore, when an aspirant approaches you for the post, always give leadership skills a priority.
Communication and leadership, both count as crucial interpersonal skills every PM should possess to complete a project effectively.
Communication skills imply that the candidate must be open to two-way communication in. That is, he/she should be an active listener and encourage the staff to put forth their opinions, suggestions, and criticisms; at the same time, he/she should be an effective speaker to communicate clear goals to the team.
Communication does not restrict itself to communicating with internal stakeholders but it requires communication with external stakeholders such as clients, customers, and investors too. An individual with Prince2 Certification will be best suited here.
When hiring a project manager, you can ask the interviewees about how they will remove hindrances such as ambiguity in organizational communication or how they will establish a communicational channel.
Negotiation as a skill might seem weird to some because it is often related to the argument. However, negotiation is a form of discussion through which a project manager can have the stakeholders reach a middle ground.
At times, it is impossible to avoid conflicts of interest because probably the deadline is too close, the quoted price is not paid by the client, or the team is delaying the deadlines. In such cases, it is the project manager who remains on the toes and talks to the concerned individuals to get the work done and leave all the parties involved satisfied.
6. Predicting and Managing Risks
Risks of any and every kind can arise in the course of business and they are seldom avoidable. But, if the PM is capable enough, he/she can predict such risks in advance and devise solutions to escape heavy losses beforehand.
Everyone, who is a part of the project cannot do it because a good project manager gets involved in the project to such an extent that predicting the risks becomes a cakewalk for her/him. Plus, a good PM has a knack for various risk management strategies to help the team succeed.
When looking for a project manager, you should look for a candidate by giving the aspirants cases in which risk can arise. The candidates are supposed to predict the potential risks and think of a solution to deal with them.
7. Organized Scheduling and Cost Management
A PM takes up the responsibility to complete the project at hand within the deadline given by the client. Therefore, he/she should be well-organized and well-versed with various scheduling tools through which one can allocate tasks, define timelines, and perform quality control to meet the standards expected by the client.
Besides scheduling, the PM is also responsible for dividing the given budget amongst various departments and ensuring that no money is getting wasted. When allocating the funds, the PM should neither be liberal nor too strict and each task should get a sufficient amount.
Also, it is the project manager’s responsibility to negotiate with the vendors, freelancers, and contractors too.
8. Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills
A PM must be able to analyze the pros and cons of every situation and reach a prompt solution.
At times, the PM is supposed to decide upon the budget, due dates, resource allocation, scheduling, risk management, and more at the same time. This is why the manager must be a critical thinker who balances all the plus and minus, doesn’t jump to conclusions, and derives effective solutions in little time.
There you have it! Although the core competencies you are looking for in a PM can be different, the above skills in the potential candidate will ensure that the project is completed in time and the returns are enjoyed by all stakeholders.