Project Management

What Makes a Good Project Manager?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

To manage talent, you have to understand what that talent is—and when it comes to project management in 2020, it’s very difficult to nail down exactly what makes one PM more talented than another. You’ve all heard the expression, “I know it when I see it.” That certainly can be applied here—we can all think of project managers who we view as very talented, and perhaps a few that fall short of that mark. We can probably also identify a few traits and characteristics that we associate with those talented PMs; but we can’t just rely on that.

It's obviously not accurate to suggest that every individual who can build a Gantt chart schedule is a good project manager, and it’s also not accurate to say that everyone who is a strong communicator is a good PM. In fact, we could argue that you can be a good project manager even if you’ve never built a Gantt chart in your life—but you probably can’t say that you can be a good PM without strong communication skills.

You can see how this gets complicated quickly.

The foundations
The starting point is fairly straightforward—we can look to the PMI Talent Triangle® for the three categories of foundational abilities:

  • Technical project management skills are the basics of being able to handle the management aspects of a PM role. Those technical skills …

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