Course skills are obligatory for any good project manager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course
title:

 

Project
Management I

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Title
of the assignment:

 

The Qualities of a Good Project Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by:                         Robert Erik Kittler

 

Matriculation Number(s):       1610570087

 

Cohort:                                   B

 

Lecturer:                                 Prof. (FH)
Mag. Julius
Dem MBA

 

Institution:                              Lauder Business School

                                                Hofzeile 18-20

                                                1190 Wien

                                                Austria

 

 

Vienna, 17.11.2017

 

 

 

Abstract

            The purpose of the following research is to identify
the qualities of a good project manager. The study´s importance is justified by
the influence project managers have on the development of projects which cost
resources and time. The study relies heavily on secondary research which was
used to gather the basis for the findings. The findings concluded that a good
project manager should have sound communicative and listening skills. In
addition to the first two traits, the manager needs to be an efficient negotiator
in order to maintain harmony and resolve arguments. Another important result
pointed out that the organizational skills are obligatory for any good project
manager. Furthermore, the desired manager should have strong leadership skills
along with the capability to delegate tasks appropriately.  

Table of Contents

 

Abstract 1

Table of Contents. 2

1    Introduction. 3

2    Project manager as a communicator and negotiator. 4

3    Project manager as a leader. 6

4    Project manager as the organizational authority. 8

5    Project manager as the person who delegates. 10

6    Conclusion. 12

7    References. 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1                  
Introduction

            In
order to execute a project almost flawlessly, the project manager has to be a
person capable of coordinating a plethora of tasks. The project manager has to
cope with the issue of cooperation; multiple professionals who are involved in
projects often have technical skills, but lack the cohesiveness while working
in a group which is vital for a successful outcome. Another issue arising from
having to manage personnel is to keep the interpersonal arguments from
hampering or endangering the project itself. A significant amount of
responsibility is vested into the project manager regarding the planning and
controlling matters as well. The project manager oversees such tasks as quality
management, establishment of a schedule, and cost control (Portny, 2010,
pp.39-41). Therefore, the project manager has a vast amount of work to cover
and this type of work is not suitable for everybody. The seminar paper´s
purpose is to discover what traits a good project manager should possess in
order to cope with all the obstacles.

 

 

 

 

2                  
Project manager as a communicator
and negotiator

            Keeping
the professional group members working on the project informed is one of the
crucial aspects which needs to be addressed. The manager is responsible for
keeping up an effective chain of communication between the group members to
avoid setbacks and bothersome problems which could have been prevented by the
application of adequate communication (Portny, 2010, p.197). The manager has
several tools which can be used to maintain appropriate communication with the group
members such as one-on-one talks or the group meetings. The one-on-one talk
involves the project manager and an individual group member. Having a personal
conversation with the member bolsters the trust in the manager and the
individual is also more likely to disclose their concerns regarding the project
(Portny, 2010, p.64). On the other hand, group meetings assert more of a
collective spirit over the whole group which can be useful to discuss the
current progress, brainstorm, and distribute information (Portny, 2010, p.64).

            Also,
the project manager needs to be aware of the one-way and two-way communication
and be able to distinguish when it is proper to use one or the other (Portny,
2010, p.265).

            The
one-way communication concerns a message which travels from the sender to the
receiver; however, the receiver is not presented with the opportunity to reply
back to the sender (Portny, 2010, p.265). The one-way communication should be
used when there is little room for misinterpretation of the message (Portny,
2010, p.265). Confirmation messages or messages stating facts would be proper
examples of messages used in  the one-way
communication (Portny, 2010, p.266). There are two types of one-way
communication: push and pull. The push method disseminates the information
proactively to the end user. The pull method is available for the people who
seek information from a source (Portny, 2010, p.265).

            The
two-way communication engages both the sender and the receiver. In this case,
the sender sends the message and the receiver is able to reply to the message
and potentially request clarification or add objections (Portny, 2010, p.265).
This method is widely used during group meetings or conferences where multiple
people are involved. The messages used by the two-way communication are usually
of a complex character which need input from both the receiver and the sender
(Portny, 2010, p.265).

            Outstanding
listening skills are imperative for the manager to keep the amount of conflict
and misinterpretation to its minimum. By actively listening to the recipient´s
reaction to a message, the manager can determine whether the person understood
the essence of the message correctly (Portny, 2010, pp.264-267). Another
benefit of well-developed  active
listening skills is the fact that the manager increases the chances of
agreement among the members (Portny, 2010, pp.266-267). The manager can take
advantage of the following three types of active listening techniques:
visualizing, paraphrasing, and by checking inferences (Portny, 2010,
pp.266-267).

            Visualizing
is a method which makes the listener form a mental picture of the message. When
the picture is assembled, the receiver can point out the imperfections and
discuss possible improvements (Portny, 2010, pp.266-267).   

            Paraphrasing
makes the receiver repeat the sender´s message in his own words to demonstrate
the receiver has a clear understanding of the conveyed information. After
hearing the receiver´s version, the sender  provides a clarification to the receiver if
there are any misinterpretations (Verzuh, 2016, pp.313-314).

            Checking
inferences involves the receiver asking questions about the assumptions the
sender coded into his message. Therefore, the receiver eliminates any potential
misconceptions about the senders assumptions (Portny, 2010, pp.266-267).

            The
issues arising among the group members which are not of a technical character
act as a disruptive force to the well being of the project itself (Verzuh, 2016,
pp.327-328). The personal quarrels between the group members who are
professionals should occur rarely; however, if such problems are present, the
project manager has to ensure the issue is dealt with swiftly and effectively (Verzuh,
2016, pp.327-328).  The manager has to be
a competent negotiator to solve the issue between the group members acting as a
mediator (Verzuh, 2016, pp.327-328). The negative aspect of a conflict should
be overcome and turned into a positive factor for the growth of the project (Verzuh,
2016, pp.327-328). The conflict should be acknowledged along with the emotions
surrounding the individual´s judgment. Framing the conflict in reference to the
project helps the project manager in finding the solution. The manager should
make the individuals disclose their interests in order to make it easier to
find common ground for the solution (Verzuh, 2016, pp.327-328).

 

3                  
Project manager as a leader

            The
project manager acts not only as the main coordinator of the project, but also
as the person who makes sure the project delivers the desired results. Securing
swift and satisfactory progress is an integral part of the manager´s job (Williams,
2008, p.131). In this case, the manager needs to make use of the leadership
skills. The leadership style should be tailored to fit every individual in the
group to provide a safe pathway for growth of the project (Williams, 2008,
p.131). Therefore, the leadership style should differ over a variety of
projects involving different people to achieve the best results (Williams,
2008, pp.131-132). The leader should highlight the project´s vision and inspire
the team members to work towards making the vision into a reality (Portny,
2010, pp.281-282).

            The
manager has a set of executive powers as a leader which have to be always
balanced to keep the team productive (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010,
pp.165-167). The bases of influence are the following: authority, reward power,
punishment, expert power, and the referent power (Dinsmore &
Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.165-167).

            The
authority base of influence concerns a variety of aspects. The organizationally
derived elements would be the title, the budget, the size of the project. The
individuals group members view the authority with respect, credibility, and
trust (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.165-167).

            The
reward power deals with the reimbursements of the team members. The ordinary
rewards such as salaries and wages fall into this category. The creation of a
professional environment where the team members get recognized for their
accomplishments is a part of the reward power spectrum as well (Dinsmore &
Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.165-167).

            The
punishment influence revolves around the penalization. Demotion or the
possibility of resource limitation are both organizationally derived aspects of
punishment (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.165-167). The impact of
punishment aspects on the group  include
work pressure, reprimands, and isolation. Therefore, the manager should
exercise this power with  caution  (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010,
pp.165-167).

            The
expert power means that the leader is supported by the top management. The team
members perceive the leader as a competent, well-informed, and knowledgeable
person (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.165-167).

            The
referent power deals with the personal traits of the leader such as charisma,
friendship, or empathy (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.165-167).

            The
leader must create a friendly working atmosphere due to the fact that the group
members need to feel secure about the integrity of their colleagues. It is in
the manager´s best interest to promote trust among the individuals (Dinsmore
& Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.168-169).  If the professionals working in a team do not
trust each other, then the whole project´s future might be endangered because
the vital information may not be disclosed. 
The decision making process might be thwarted if the group members do
not have the required information at their disposal (Dinsmore &
Cabanis-Brewin, 2010, pp.168-169). 

 

.

4                  
Project manager as the
organizational authority

            The
most important trait a good manager should have is to be excellent at planning.
The planning of a project answers represents the most crucial point of the
whole endeavor (Kemp, 2006, p.23). The planning process seeks to answer the
most trivial problems such as who is going to deliver materials for the project
or how much the whole project will cost (Kemp, 2006, p.23). The manager has to
be aware of the fact that the planning process is closely connected to strategy,
plan implementation, and logistics (Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37).  

            The
strategy specifies the approach which should be implemented to reach the
specified goal of the project (Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37). The project manager
should focus on the most practical approach in order to achieve the best
results (Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37). Choosing the fitting strategy reduces costs
and boosts productivity which is what the manager should strive for. The
manager should keep in mind that copying historical methods of former projects
can be an acceptable idea, but in some cases it is inefficient to implement
(Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37).     

            The
plan implementation refers to the way of how the strategy is carried out. The
manager needs to make sure the proper tools are used to ensure that there is no
loss of quality (Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37). This is the part of the planning
process where the manager decides who will be doing what, where, and when
(Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37).

            The
next manager´s burden is the logistics which are concerned with the actual
delivery of the  materials needed for the
project. The manager should maintain a project scheduling program in order to
know when to schedule the next delivery (Lewis, 2007, p. 38). Peripheral aspect
of logistics plays a critical role as well. This type of logistics is concerned
with the well-being of the group of people working on the project; food and
housing have to be provided to construction workers if they are involved in the
project for example (Lewis, 2007, pp.35-37).   

            Another
crucial part of being organized manager is to control the plan once it is in
the phase of execution by the group members (Portny, 2010, pp. 232-234). The
manager is required to collect the necessary information, evaluate the work in
relation to the plan, and summarize the discovered findings  When the controlling information has been
processed, the results should be presented to the project´s audience (Portny,
2010, pp. 232-234).

            The
project manager´s quality of the data should contain precise and up-to-date
information to analyze the problems almost instantly. Once the problem has been
identified, the process to solve the problem can start utilizing the proper
measures (Portny, 2010, pp. 232-234).

            Another
part of controlling is the tracking of deadlines, financial resources, and how
effectively the personnel manages their resources (Portny, 2010, pp. 232-234).
The team meetings along with the team reports provide the manager with the
gathered information, specific numbers, and dates. The project manager should
always make sure whether the personnel is available for the meeting (Portny,
2010, pp. 232-234).

            All of the resources involved in the
project have to be monitored and used to its maximum potential (Barkley, 2008,
p. 312). The project manager should have a central resource pool at his
disposal in order to react quickly to potential gaps or inefficiencies in the
resource management (Barkley, 2008, p. 312).

             

           

5                  
Project manager as the person who
delegates

            Insuring
each member is working efficiently should be one of the main focuses of every
manager. The project manager needs to be aware of the roles which can be
delegated to the team members and the ones which cannot (Portny, 2010, p. 201).
The team members are held accountable for their delegated work and are expected
to deliver proper results; therefore, it is manager´s task to assign roles
carefully to eliminate potential mismatches between the member´s capabilities
and the designated role (Portny, 2010, p. 201).

            The
authority aspect of the project can be delegated, but responsibility over the
tasks can only be shared amongst the project members. The full delegation of decision-making
power is possible (Portny, 2010, p. 202).  This way the manager does not need to seek the
manager´s consultation or involvement. However, the project manager is still
obligated to oversee the person´s work so the desired results are truly
delivered (Portny, 2010, pp. 201-202).

            It is
recommended to delegate authority for the following four reasons: to free the
manager from doing other tasks, to have the most competent person make the
decision, to get another qualified person´s views on a problem, to promote
another person´s ability to handle additional duties thoughtfully (Portny,
2010, pp. 201-203).  

            The
tasks which the manager feels the most confident about should be carried out by
the organizer himself (Portny, 2010, p. 203). Also, the assignments which are
not on the project´s critical path should be completed by the manager as well.
Any postponements of the tasks on the critical path present a significant
setback for the whole project (Portny, 2010, pp. 201-203). This way if the
manager has a delay on a task, the project as a whole does not have to face the
danger of being delayed. The project manager should be able to explain every
tasks which is being delegated. An experienced project manager would not assign
a role to a team member which is vaguely defined (Portny, 2010, pp. 202-203). This
is due to the reason that the time consumed required by the team member for
clarification cancels out the benefit of having the task delegated (Portny,
2010, pp. 201-204). 

            After
having all the tasks delegated, the project manager needs to supervise the team
members in order to achieve the optimal results because of the inherent risk created
by the act of delegation (Portny, 2010, p. 205).  One of the acts of supervision is  that the manager has to be available to answer
questions of the team members regarding their delegated task. Another important
point would be the performance of the members which should be checked for
quality by the supervisor (Portny, 2010, p. 205).       

            The
degrees of delegation vary and the roles do not have to be assigned to the
individuals on a wholesale level, but can be also done in a partial manner
(Portny, 2010, pp. 204-205). For example, the manager has the authority to
appoint the individual to do an analysis on a certain situation, then have them
develop the course of action which should be taken, and then let the leader
know the results of their work (Portny, 2010, pp. 204-205).  Another example  of partial delegation would be to come up with
a specific plan to resolve a situation, but the individual would execute his
plan only once the project manager gave the direct approval to do so (Portny,
2010, p. 203).       

 

 

 

 

 

 

6                  
Conclusion

            Every
project´s success depends heavily on the competency of the people involved. The
project manager as the person in charge has to be a person of sound
communicative and listening skills due to the fact that misinterpretations of
messages result in mistakes which slow down the progress. In case of quarrels,
the manager should be able to step in as a mediator resolving the issue and
restores order. Another important skill of a good project manager is concerned
with the leadership. The manager should have the ability adjust the leadership
style for a project to fit the different personalities of team members. As the
project´s leader, there is a variety of powers which can be utilized and it is
the manager´s task to use them appropriately to ensure the team´s productivity.
Organizational skills are also mandatory in order to execute the project
manager´s job to its fullest potential. Such tasks as the plan implementation,
strategy, or the logistics are  the main
responsibilities which the manager as an organizational authority needs to keep
in mind. Scheduling group meetings and making sure the personnel can attend
them is yet another vital point which the manager needs to address as the
organizational authority. In addition to the aforementioned skills, the project
manager is the person delegating roles and 
tasks; therefore, it is paramount the manager knows how to distinguish
between tasks which are more suitable to be delegated to the team members and
those which should be executed by the manager. Clarification of the delegated
roles and assignments should be provided at demand to the team members to
ensure smooth progress of the project. All of these named qualities are a part
of the findings of this research. This seminar paper utilized secondary
research to find  the results regarding
the qualities of a good manager. The limitations of the results are inherently
present due to the reason that there is a vast spectrum of qualities which a
solid project manager should possess besides the skills the paper covered. The
results are only a fraction of all the possible traits. However, the aim of
this research  was focused on finding the
most pivotal characteristics a  good
project manager should have. Further advanced 
research analyzing project managers should be conducted due to the fact
that the society may benefit as a whole 
from the findings´ applications 
which can speed up the process of projects while potentially saving
valuable resources.  Trying to find the
most common inefficiencies in the behavior of project managers can serve as a
suggestion for further research whose findings can be used to develop more
suitable answers to the topic.

7                  
References

            Barkley,
B. T. (2008). Project management in
new product development.

                        New
York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

            Dinsmore,
P. C., & Cabanis-Brewin, J. (2010). The
AMA handbook of project    management
(3rd ed.).

                        New York, NY: AMACOM.

            Kemp,
S. (2006). Project management made
easy.

                        Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur
Press.        

            Lewis,
J. P. (2007). Fundamentals of project
management (3rd ed.).

                        New
York, NY: AMACOM.

            Portny,
S. E. (2010). Project management for dummies
(3rd ed.).

                        Indianapolis,
IN: John Wiley & Sons.

            Verzuh,
E. (2016). The fast forward MBA in project
management (5th ed.).                    Hoboken,
NJ: Wiley.

            Williams,
M. (2008). The principles of project management.

                        Melbourne,
Australia: SitePoint Ltd.