The Art of Finding and Keeping the Perfect Project Manager

Every project, no matter the size, requires a leader to provide direction and maintain an overall view. A Project Manager is responsible for ensuring progress is maintained and objectives are met during the duration of the project. They may be responsible for overseeing a small team or a larger organization.

What characteristics should a good project manager have?

It is difficult to provide a definitive answer to this question, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to project management. Each project requires a combination of skills, management techniques and dedication that may vary depending on the specifics of the project.

A Project Manager’s duties and responsibilities will vary depending on the size and geographical dispersion of the development team they are managing. For instance, managing a small, distributed team may require a different approach compared to managing a larger, in-house team.

Different fields, and even different specialists within the same field, can often have varied approaches to management. Whilst certain management skills are often applicable across a range of projects, the nuances of each project may require an individualised approach to management.

Strategic thinking and commercial acumen are relevant to projects of any size. Nevertheless, the composition of the team has a substantial effect on the leading style that is most efficient. Autocratic leaders are more suitable for larger teams, whereas democratic or laissez-faire leaders are more suitable for smaller teams.

When recruiting a Project Manager to join an existing team, it is important to consider the dynamics that have already been established. It is essential to note that Project Managers are responsible for setting the direction and strategy for the entire team, and as such, can be perceived as divisive.

Those who have previously had difficulties with communication or meeting deadlines may find this situation advantageous. However, if there is a discrepancy between the project manager’s and the developers’ ideals, it could be counter-productive.

Team interviews, during which the prospective manager meets their future employees, are an established and effective method. This can be likened to a first date, providing the team and the manager with an opportunity to gauge whether they have a good rapport.

It is essential that the Project Manager is proficient in the processes utilised by the team. If your organisation usually implements the Waterfall Method, an Agile Project Manager may struggle to integrate.

Whence do they seek?

The requirement for project managers is extensive, but particularly acute in highly competitive markets. To ensure you recruit a suitable project manager, and keep them in the role, it is essential to provide the necessary resources, and a stimulating environment that aligns with their aspirations and objectives.

According to data, IT project managers based in the US typically earn a median annual salary of approximately $122,000 per year, with the highest earners making up to $145,000 and the lowest earners earning up to $80,000.

The data indicates that the salary expectations of a Project Manager are predominantly dictated by certifications held, their level of experience and the size of the project team. It is important to take into account the scale and intricacy of the project when selecting a Project Manager.

It is important to create a persona that is in line with the scope of your business. While your initial instinct might be to select the candidate who has the most qualifications or experience as an interim project manager, it is not always necessary to hire an expert for a project involving a small team of developers.

Salary is not necessarily the most important consideration when seeking job satisfaction, but it is still something to take into account. According to the research of positive psychologist Martin Seligman, humans are instinctively driven to search for fulfilment. Pursuing activities that give our lives meaning can lead to greater levels of satisfaction.

The most effective way to attract and retain a highly skilled Project Manager is to create an environment which promotes personal growth and autonomy.

If you assign a task that is beyond their capability, they may become frustrated and overwhelmed. Conversely, if the task is too straightforward, they may become bored or dissatisfied.

By understanding the precise requirements of their workplace, it is possible to provide appropriate personnel for different roles; more junior managers for simpler jobs, and more experienced managers for more complex tasks.

It is not essential to adhere strictly to this as a rule. A competent project manager may seek a less demanding role in order to spend more time with family. For a young business owner, the ideal workplace should provide stimulating challenges and chances for growth.

Create a detailed job description outlining the scope of the project, the size of the team and both short and long-term objectives. Additionally, provide information about the company, including its values and ethos.

Sometimes, the best things in life are right in front of your face.

It is essential to evaluate the current staff before actively searching for a new Project Manager. Have any individuals put themselves forward for a managerial role? It is possible that the ideal Project Manager is already part of the team.

Managers should have a thorough understanding of the projects they are responsible for and the technologies they utilize. However, this does not necessarily mean that every technically adept developer should be promoted to a managerial role.

Of course, among your senior developers there may be one who has a history of:

  • Take charge during an emergency.
  • Has educated a variety of programmers
  • Possesses a Proven Ability to Anticipate Future Events
  • Has shown the ability to make sound strategic decisions

It could be that you have identified someone with the potential to become a real asset to the team. Taking the time to nurture their development could be a rewarding experience. It may be challenging to start with, but with the right guidance, training and education, you will be able to observe the person’s progress and growth.

Having evolved together, the firm and the manager form a close bond via such a career trajectory.

This project manager may not have a wealth of experience, yet they are able to compensate for this with their business acumen, respect for colleagues and understanding of their needs.

Search Outsourcing

It may be a lengthy process to identify and recruit a Project Manager. Fortunately, there are a range of internet resources and professional advisors available to simplify the task. An expert in the field may help to create a comprehensive job profile, and provide a range of pre-screened and suitable candidates to be considered for the role.

Project managers with an understanding of your business and culture can bring about beneficial changes that will help your organisation to grow. Finding the right project manager for your company is essential in order to ensure success.

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