An effective Project Manager has to be a strong communicator and leader. They must be open minded to change and far sighted for direction. An effective Project Manager needs to ensure the project team have a synchronized mind-set and vision. Ensuring the team is on-board trusting your planning skills and decision making ability is key to the success of project delivery.
A Project Manager must have the courage and ability to make a clear decision and decide on direction in the face of conflicting demands. To be an effective Project Manager, the following skills are required:
Being an excellent communicator, both verbally and written are essential tools for an effective Project Manager. You must be able to reason with conflicting demands and to listen to all parties involved. Most projects will introduce change into a company and the Project Manager must facilitate all of the negotiations between the affected departments and teams. A clear project plan and presentation(s) will aid in the communication of both good and bad news and will help ease any misunderstanding from all stakeholders.
Part of the communication will require the Project Manager to set a clear picture of the direction of the project. The immediate future of the project will rely on a clear direction and plan from the Project Manager. An effective Project Manager will have the next 6 - 8 weeks planned out to show the direction of the project to all the stakeholders involved and will be a baseline indication of the project status. This must be regularly updated to show the progress and confirm that the direction is being followed as planned.
The Project Manager must have a clear vision of the goal of the project. This must be communicated tot he stakeholders and the project team to show that the Project Manager is in control of the final deliverables. A clear vision will include the steps of how the final goal will be achieved, but the smaller details must be given the appropriate level of attention in order to achieve the final output.
As the project progresses, the motivation of the team can become stretched. Some decisions will be required along the way and the project team may become de-motivated by issues that arise. It is the role of the Project Manager to keep the project team delivering and motivated throughout the project. At times, the team may be overloaded with work and other times they may be under-utilized, so as an effective Project Manager you must check and amend the plan to utilise your team. I personally tend to breakdown the project into many smaller deliverables, which means that each day, or week, the team is constantly delivering and progress can be seen, which is motivation within itself.
The final point I make, is to care. As an effective Project Manager you must have apathy with your team. Problems arise and the Project Manager must be there as an effective listener to understand and deal with the issues as they arise. You must care for both the project team and the deliverables. You must care that the deliverables are at the expected quality of the customer's expectations and for the overall delivery of the project.
To summarize to be an effective Project Manager you must have excellent communication skills and care about your team and deliverables.