The Art of Finding and Keeping the Perfect Project Manager

Regardless of its scope, every project needs someone to steer it towards its goals while keeping a big picture view. That’s where a Project Manager comes in, responsible for monitoring progress and ensuring objectives are attained throughout the project’s duration, whether overseeing a small team or a larger organisation.

What qualities are essential for an effective project manager?

Providing a single answer to this question is a challenging task as there’s no universal solution for project management. Different projects demand different skills, management methodologies, and levels of commitment, which may fluctuate based on the project’s particulars.

A Project Manager’s obligations and accountabilities vary depending on the size and geographic diversity of the development team they’re leading. In contrast, directing a small team that’s widely dispersed may necessitate a different approach than managing a larger in-house team.

Management techniques can differ across various fields and even among specialists practising the same discipline. Although several management skills are generally transferable across different projects, the unique intricacies of each project may necessitate a customised approach to management.

Strategic thinking and commercial awareness are crucial irrespective of a project’s size. However, a leader’s effectiveness heavily relies on the team makeup. Autocratic leaders tend to be more effective for larger teams, while democratic or laissez-faire leaders tend to be more effective for smaller teams.

Prior to recruiting a Project Manager to an established team, it’s crucial to take into account the currently established dynamics. It’s important to keep in mind that Project Managers are responsible for determining the direction and strategy for the entire team, which can be seen as divisive by some team members.

Individuals who have struggled in the past with communication or meeting deadlines may see this as a favourable state. Yet, if there is a mismatch in beliefs between the Project Manager and developers, it may prove to be counterproductive.

A team interview, where the potential manager meets with future team members is a tried and tested technique that’s proven to be effective. This can be compared to a first date, giving both the manager and the team an opportunity to assess whether they have good chemistry.

It’s crucial that the Project Manager has proficiency in the processes employed by the team. If your organisation usually follows the Waterfall Method, an Agile Project Manager might find it challenging to integrate.

Where do they look?

The demand for Project Managers is high, especially in highly competitive markets. To ensure you hire a suitable Project Manager and retain them, it’s imperative to offer the necessary resources and an inspiring environment that aligns with their goals and aspirations.

Statistics indicate that IT Project Managers in the US usually receive a median annual salary of about $122,000, with the highest earners receiving up to $145,000 and the lowest earners receiving up to $80,000.

Data suggests that a Project Manager’s salary expectations are mainly influenced by their certifications, experience level, and team size. When choosing a Project Manager, it’s vital to consider the complexity and scope of the project.

It’s crucial to establish a persona that aligns with your business’s demands. Although you may be inclined to recruit the candidate with the most qualifications or experience as an interim Project Manager, it may not be essential for a project that involves a small team of developers.

While salary isn’t always the topmost priority when looking for job satisfaction, it’s still a factor to consider. As per the research of Martin Seligman, a positive psychologist, humans are innately driven to pursue fulfilment. Engaging in activities that bring meaning to our lives can result in higher levels of satisfaction.

The best approach to entice and retain a highly competent Project Manager is to foster an atmosphere that encourages personal growth and independence.

If you delegate a task that is beyond their capabilities, they may feel overwhelmed or frustrated. On the other hand, if the task is too easy, they may become bored or dissatisfied.

By comprehending the specific necessities of the workplace, it’s feasible to offer suitable personnel for diverse roles; less senior managers for simpler jobs, and more seasoned managers for more intricate tasks.

It’s not mandatory to strictly stick to this as a norm. A proficient Project Manager may desire a less strenuous role to spend additional time with their family. For a young business owner, an ideal workplace should offer stimulating challenges and opportunities for development.

Draft a comprehensive job description that specifies the project’s scope, team size, and short and long-term goals. Also, furnish information about the company, its values, and culture.

Occasionally, the finest things in life are right in front of us.

Before actively seeking a new Project Manager, it’s crucial to assess the current staff. Have any personnel shown interest in a managerial position? The perfect Project Manager might already be a member of the team.

To be effective, Managers must possess an extensive comprehension of the projects they oversee and the technologies they employ. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that every technically proficient developer should be elevated to a managerial position.

Naturally, among your senior developers, there might be someone who possesses a track record of:

  • Assuming control during an emergency.
  • Has trained multiple developers with distinct backgrounds
  • Demonstrates a verified capacity to anticipate upcoming events
  • Has exhibited the aptitude to make wise strategic decisions

It’s plausible that you’ve discovered someone with the potential to be a significant addition to the team. Devoting time to cultivate their growth can be a gratifying endeavour. Although it may be difficult in the beginning, with appropriate guidance, instruction, and training, you can witness significant development and progression within the individual.

As they grow together, the company and the manager establish a deep connection through their career paths.

Although lacking extensive experience, this project manager can overcome this with their business knowledge, respect for coworkers, and insight into their necessities.

Outsourcing the Search

The process of locating and hiring a Project Manager may be time-consuming. However, numerous internet resources and professional consultants are available to streamline this process. An industry expert can create an in-depth job description and present a selection of pre-evaluated and fitting candidates for consideration.

A Project Manager who comprehends your corporate culture and values can bring about advantageous modifications that will facilitate the growth of your organisation. Hence, discovering the appropriate project manager for your business is crucial to ensure triumph.

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