Effective Project Managers Have This One Ability

Photo by Breather

Communication.

Organization.

Time/Task Management.

Resource Allocation.

These are the things every ordinary project manager has. They must. These are the basic requirements of the position. One can not effectively manage a project without the ability to communicate, stay organized, and manage their people’s time and tasks. A project is likely to break down if one of these requirements is lacking. (I’ve seen it happen, and it’s not pretty.)

To be fair, a project can succeed with these items alone. But it takes a lot of extra effort if the project manager doesn’t have this one, crucial thing:

The skills, knowledge, and ability to do the work themselves.

Project managers don’t need to be experts at playing everyone’s role. But they must understand the tasks each team member is completing on a daily basis.

Without knowledge of the tasks it takes to do the job of every individual on the team, a project manager can’t effectively manage, because there’s a gap in that manager’s understanding of how to execute the project.

(I’m not saying that the project manager of a new iOS app needs to specifically understand how to write code from the ground up in Swift. But I am suggesting they ought to understand some code basics. Things like system architecture, object-oriented programming, etc.)

If a project manager doesn’t understand what it takes to do one of their team members jobs on a daily basis, they are going to continue to be frustrated. They won’t understand why there are so many roadblocks. They won’t be as nimble in helping the worker and the team navigate around those roadblocks. And it’ll be more difficult to grasp why some task is moving so slow—they won’t understand why something is holding up the project if they don’t understand what that thing is.

Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum there is a project manager who knows the details of each job and micro-manages the hell out of the team as a result. That’s not an issue of knowledge and abilities. It’s an issue of not being a good manager.

A project manager who is already a talented manager becomes most effective when they understand the needs, requirements, and day-to-day tasks of every single person on their team.


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