Project Management Institute

What it takes to be a good project manager

There are two contradictory perspectives on what makes a good project manager: One prescribes personal characteristics; the other asserts problem-solving abilities. This article examines these two perspectives to determine which view is most accurate. In doing so, it reports on the findings of a nationwide survey involving nearly 900 project managers who attended various project management seminars. From this data, it identifies eight common project problems and the sources of these problems; it lists the key skills needed when managing projects. It then analyzes the survey results and discusses how project managers can integrate personal characteristics and problem-solving abilities for the purpose of effectively leading project teams and successfully realizing projects goals. It concludes by suggesting that the problems encountered on projects are not technical in nature but related to human abilities and interactions.
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