What makes a good Project Manager

A project manager is a person who plans and co-ordinates tasks, people, and resources to complete a project on time and on budget. To be a good project manager, you need appropriate knowledge, tools, skills, and techniques that will help you to achieve the project goals. Project manager skills are a range of abilities and qualities that allow an effective project manager to communicate, manage, and lead projects to a successful end. Besides, an effective project manager excels at administering and coordinating groups of individuals by promoting teamwork, delegating tasks, resolving conflict, setting goals, and evaluating performance.

Leadership is one of the most important qualities a good project manager must possess. A good leadership is about inspiring others to work with you and the team. In addition to leadership skill, a good project manager not only has excellent communication skills but also is able to create an environment in which everyone can communicate effectively. Analytical thinking is a crucial skill set every project manager should have. It includes a methodical approach to thinking and the skill to break down complex problems into simpler components. The risk management aspect of a good project manager is predicting and creating solutions to issues before they arise. This help to increase the chances of delivering projects successfully.

In general, a good project manager’s responsibilities fall under the wide umbrella of “keep a project on goal”. He or she must define what the project will achieve and then ensure it meets the goals of the organizations. More so, he or she must understand that leadership and soft skills are also important as good methodology and project tracking tool. Most importantly, a good project manager should be able to give credit, nurture creativity and support team members in taking a calculated risk so as to deliver project success.

Let’s walk the talk.



Cause and Effect Diagrams

There are a number of management tools used in an organization and in the management of projects. One of such tools is the Cause and Effect Diagrams. It is also called Ishikawa or Fishbone Diagram. Most organizations make use of the Cause and Effect Diagrams. A Cause and Effect Diagram is a management tool that helps identify, sort and display possible causes of a specific problem or quality characteristics. It graphically illustrates the relationship between a giving outcome and all factors that influence the outcome. In simple terms, it’s a diagram that identifies possible causes for an effect or problem.

Problems exist in organizations and the Cause and Effect Diagram helps us identify those problems. These are the steps that can be followed to construct a Cause and Effect Diagram.

Identify the Problem:

Identifying the problems is the first step in constructing the diagram. One way most people do that is to write down all possible causes of the problem. Questions you can ask yourself include what is the problem, when does it occur, where it occurs and who is involved.

Identify Major Factors:

Out of the list you created, you try to identify the most important factors that is causing the effect.

Identify Causes:

Work on one factor at a time, identifying all possible causes till you walk through all the factors. Add this causes horizontally as the fish bones and label them.

Below is an example of a Cause and Effect Diagram

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The importance of the Cause and Effect Diagram is, it helps us identify the cause and effect of problems facing an organization and a project.



Team Building Techniques

Every organization these days perform their operations in teams. Projects are also executed using teams. Team building programs can be found everywhere nowadays. Team building focuses on improving the group dynamics of the target team. The entire team usually undergo these team building programs. It is the various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within a team, often involving collaboration tasks. It is distinct from team training which is designed to improve the efficiency, rather than interpersonal skills. Team building activities help to improve the trust between the team members. A common example is the blinded guidance.

The following are some benefits gained from team building;

  • High team productivity through understanding
  • Enhanced management and soft skills
  • Enhanced relationships
  • Improved communication with the rest of the team
  • Ease the conflicts and frustrations in the workplace and especially within the team

Some team building activities include project conferences, workshops, outdoor sports and guidance programs. For any team, regardless of what they should be collectively achieved, team building is a key strength. In order to get the best out of a team, the team should go through team building programs.