3 Key Qualities That Make You A Great Project Manager in 2024

By Lumify Learn Team  |  July 1, 2024

Project management is a challenging, yet rewarding career path – best suiting those with a natural flair for leadership, problem-solving, and business strategy. Those in this field focus on seeing business projects to completion, and helping manage finances, schedule, quality, resources, and potential risks. The industry offers clear and expansive career progression, with varying projects of all lengths, types, and sizes that form an incredibly dynamic and innovative employment sector.

With Australia's ongoing digital transformation, there is a growing need for project managers with expertise in managing complex technological projects. The healthcare, professional services, and construction industries are predicted to experience the largest boost in project management hires. And by 2027, the country is expected to see an additional 100,000 project manager roles to fill the spike in demand.

This means that 2024 is the best time to pursue a career in the sector. This blog will list the top three qualities that project managers must possess and how enrolling in a course at Lumify Learn can help.

A Strategic Business Mindset

A project manager must possess excellent business skills and strategic abilities. This includes being able to plan for risk and effectively mediate issues as they appear. Professionals in this field are excellent problem-solvers, skilled in thinking on their feet and addressing a wide variety of unexpected disputes, problems, and conflicts during the project lifecycle. This involves the ability to understand organisational objectives, helping them pre-emptively manage risks and plan accordingly towards their ultimate goals, while also accounting for the nitty-gritty details, such as individual tasks, subtasks, and milestones.

However, critical thinking must be balanced with creativity – another strategic business skill of any project manager. Not only do they have the capacity to analytically plan and execute each step of their given assignment – but they’re also capable of thinking “out of the box” and implementing new (and possibly more effective) ways of achieving their targets.

Additionally, the best project managers remain stakeholder-focused at all times, regardless of personal bias needs or bias. Stand-out candidates in this field are professional businesspeople, and as such, are able to separate their personal matters from their commitment to project stakeholders.

Business projects have also become more complex, with companies now having to account for internal and external factors that can negatively impact a project. This includes legal restrictions, remote project issues, international conflicts, and economic factors. While the field continues to value those with the ideal soft skills, the formal project management training to address these aspects is now a widely recommended advantage.

Excellent Leadership and Communication

The ability to successfully manage a project comes with fine leadership and communication skills. Project managers must demonstrate the ability to effectively lead, motivate, and inspire their teams. This involves the ability to properly delegate tasks among workers, leveraging those with specific knowledge and skills for appropriate, well-suited roles within the project. You must also ensure that each team member clearly understands what is expected of them, as vague responsibilities can often lag or cause conflict amidst project progress.

To build a high-performing team, leaders need to be adept at motivating individuals and fostering a positive work environment. It’s important to give generous credit when and where it’s due and encourage workers to give their best work at all times. Leaders must also actively listen, as this enables them to get feedback and become more aware of blind spots, risks, and limitations that may hold a project back.

What's more, building trust with sponsors and stakeholders is equally important as motivating your team, as they are also invested in the project's success. This strong foundation will make it easier to secure their buy-in for necessary adjustments to scope, budget, or project details.

Finally, excellent communication is a must. A successful project manager must be able to clearly articulate their ideas, helping accurately guide their team towards their final vision. This includes being able to explain technical concepts in plain language for those who lack specific business expertise. The ability to effectively discuss, persuade, and negotiate helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and have the same understanding of project expectations.

Perseverance and Adaptability

Lastly, successful project managers possess high levels of perseverance and adaptive capabilities. Should issues appear in the project lifecycle, these professionals can easily weather them through. They are willing to face problems head-on and can remain composed under pressure.

Additionally, with the increasing emergence of new technologies, those in the field must learn to adapt and implement these tools in their work.

According to a 2020 survey by the Australian Institute of Project Management and KPMG Project Delivery Performance in Australia, 69% of businesses in the country are using project management software to improve the management and control of programs and projects.

In some industries, this technological change is mandatory by regulation. For instance, building commissions now require digital models to be submitted to local governments, ensuring their design and engineering procedures are up to standard.

And in the manufacturing sector, the integration of technologies like Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing has transformed manufacturing processes by enabling real-time data collection and analysis, resulting in optimised processes, improved quality, and reduced costs.

As such, professionals must upskill accordingly and ensure their abilities are relevant, competitive, and employable in an increasingly digitised landscape. Fortunately, there are now plenty of online training and certification options to help one advance their industry knowledge and skills as necessary.

Become a Project Management Pro with Lumify Learn

With increasing demand for workers and digitally-relevant skills, the project management field offers plenty of new, expanding opportunities for those aspiring to enter the field.

If you aspire to become a project manager, it's ideal to take a course like Lumify Learn’s Certified Project Management Professional. – In this 3-month program, you will learn the technical methodologies of Scrum, AgilePM, and PRINCE2, specific frameworks now commonly (and internationally) used in today’s businesses.

The course is delivered completely online by Lumify Learn's expert trainers and mentors, allowing you to easily balance your studies with your other commitments. Once you complete the course, you can join our Lumify Edge program, an exclusive career support service that will help you fast track your IT career.

Join an ever-growing sector in Australia today, and enquire with us on the course.

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