The competitive advantage that a Project Manager can achieve is strongly associated with project management. This is rarely easy and, consequently, the role of project manager is not a simple task.
Typically, a project manager’s tasks include the estimation of project work, the drafting of project plans, and progress and scope monitoring.
Not only that, possibly the most important responsibility a project manager must fulfill is managing relationships with the people involved in a project.
A good project manager works hard to preserve team morale and ensure that stakeholders remain happy from start to finish.
1. Avoid micromanagement
Project managers have the tendency of being extremely careful when a project is assigned to their team.
This at first glance might be logical, but sometimes has a very different motivational and relational substrate. You underestimate the capabilities of resources or enter a stressful situation to prove your position as project coordinator.
This leads to a constant micro-management in which project managers constantly pester and monitor employees and their work, closely tracking their team until the project is completed.
In such a situation, team members may be exhausted or otherwise dissatisfied with the work environment.
The micro-management of the project is not the result of exaggerated micro-management, but rather the effects are counterproductive for the project itself.
2. Assess priorities
Many project managers adopt an agile approach in which the different parts of the project (and their dependencies) are mapped and listed at the beginning, but over time the priorities may change.
Reassessing priorities periodically and changing work deliveries therefore becomes essential in certain cases.
3. Manage time effectively
Time management is the top priority for a great manager.
It is essential to maintain a balance between being productive during working hours and your hobbies or leisure time.
Also, a good project manager makes sure that team members are able to respect this work-life-balance.
4. Manage effective communication
The skill of communicating effectively with stakeholders and the team can be the way to deliver a successful project on time.
Promising impossible things and soliciting team members to perform unattainable tasks can only lead to problems.
It is essential that a good project manager should also be a good communicator with whoever is in front of them.
The project manager must also be a good listener; communication is not only a one-way thing.
Body language also matters a lot.
You will probably have seen, at least once, people whose lack of confidence is reflected in their posture, hand gestures or facial expression.
Project managers must be exactly the opposite, they must look confident and exude power through body language and through what they say.
5. Know the ultimate technologies in the industry
Technology is an ever changing process and every day new platforms and new software are launched on the market.
We too at Twproject are in evolution and we are about to release a new release.
For a project manager, being curious and knowing the new innovations in project management is undoubtedly a competitive advantage.
6. Conflict and problem solving capabilities
In any project it is almost inevitable for a project manager to encounter problems, whether big or small.
In these moments it is extremely important that the project manager controls their emotions and do not react impulsively.
It will be critical to remain calm, considering the options you have, and working out a plan to get the project out of the danger zone.
The problems can be diverse in nature, related to employees within the team, complications with new regulations or unforeseen expenses that affect the budget, etc.
Being a great problem solver and understanding how to implement it depending on the problem and the situation is one of the greatest competitive advantages a project manager can achieve.
It is also important that a good project manager understands the psychology of people so that they can mediate conflicts between two parties – or prevent conflicts from arising.
A good project manager needs to understand their team, knowing what each individual is capable of giving to the team, both in practical and personal terms, and what each one’s capabilities are.
Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses, not merely from the professional skills point of view, but also with regard to the character aspect, becomes essential to manage the team in an excellent way and to avoid, as much as possible, conflicts.
7. Have plenty of experience
Surely there will be people more gifted than others by nature to fill the role of project manager, but even the most talented professional, without experience, does not really go far.
So, first-hand experience in this role becomes a competitive advantage for a project manager.
Using the right kind of skills at the right time requires an overview that is often only acquired with years of experience in the role.
Project management requires planning, direction, implementation and collaboration.
There is no skill that separates the average project manager from the best, but it is the mix of skills that sets a good project manager apart from the rest.
All project managers can become great if they are committed every day, especially if they aim to achieve the 7 competitive advantages we have mentioned in this article.