What It Takes to Be a Good Project Manager

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Date Submitted: 11/08/2014 11:15 AM

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Project Management (PM) entails being proficient at a wide variety of tasks, disciplines and can test even the most capable of mangers. B.Z Pozner the author of the reading exercise what it takes to be a good project manager explains that there are two schools of thought when contemplating the skills needed to be a successful Project Manager. The first theory contends that a person must possess extraordinary skills to make one stand out among his or her peers, traits such as aggressiveness, confidence, poise, decisiveness, resolution and entrepreneurship to name a few (Archibald, 1976). The second theory suggests that finding managers who possess all of the previous skills may be unrealistic. Instead scholars in the subject of management Roman & Badaway suggest that we focus our attention on the critical problems managers face and source the right people accordingly.

Research analyzing the demographics and issues that affected project managers was conducted during nationwide seminars. Some notable demographics that Pozner (2012) mentions were that the average PM was a “37 years old, male, had 9 subordinates, and was responsible for a small to moderate sized project” (p. 141). Additionally two questions were posed to the PM’s 1. What factors or variables are most likely to cause you problems in managing a project? 2. What personal characteristics, traits, or skills make for “above average” project managers…? The survey discovered eight problems which appeared commonly among answers: Resources inadequate, unrealistic deadlines, unclear goals, team members uncommitted, insufficient planning, breakdown of communications, changes in goals and resources and internal conflicts between departments/functions. The second question regarding skills showed that managers valued: Communication, Organizational, Team building, leadership, coping & technological skills to achieve success in Project Management. Finally Pozner compares set of skills to the set of...