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  • Mary Ann Brown

How to Shine As A Project Manager

What does it take to go from being a good project manager to a stand-out, fantastic one?

The answer isn’t simply being able to streamline schedules, delegate tasks and balance budgets.

Truly outstanding project managers exhibit collaborative leadership skills like negotiation, evaluation, agility, and strategy every day. They know how to keep the project moving and team morale high; they know where they want to go, are aligned with their customer’s strategic vision, and are committed to moving their team forward collaboratively to a successful outcome.

Here’s a look at the difference between good and great project managers:

Good project managers take care of scheduling, production and communication. Great project managers are deeply involved in building team skills and in the tactical execution of the strategic vision.

Good project managers stay on track. Great project managers know that the track will have some unexpected curves and can create real-time solutions.

Savvy project managers know that a project’s top priority is to help customers and products succeed, and that the definition of such success might look different over time. Great PMs know that the administrative details of their projects have a higher purpose—and they take the time to look up from their plans and schedulers to contemplate the long-range, strategic view.

Good project managers worry about how they’ll get everything done. Great project managers know that collaboration, negotiation and problem-solving are the keys to a successful outcome.

Great PMs are specific about the exact nature of project challenges. They know how to assess fork-in-the-road situations and ask the right questions, such as Is a new vendor needed, or will the current one work if he’s managed differently? Will the customer be happier if we narrow the scope of this project or change delivery dates? Exceptional project managers generate alternatives; they evaluate and collaborate to select the best options without drama or second-guessing.

Good project managers hire talented teams. Great project managers understand “the art of people,” and know how to utilize each person’s skills the right way at the right time.

Great project managers have experience, the right skills, and tools, and they’ve developed some really strong habits. To learn how it’s done, reach out to Mary Ann at

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