Project managers are in high demand across a variety of industries. Why? They’re professional organizers — and, let’s face it, most businesses need more organization. This is especially true for marketing agencies, which have a lot of moving parts: a growing list of clients, various types of projects, and team members with different levels of expertise, to name a few.
So, what do project managers do, exactly?
Project managers keep projects on track. They have an understanding of project goals and requirements, establish and manage project scope, create timelines and monitor budgets, evaluate resources and assign tasks and responsibilities accordingly, monitor projects and clear roadblocks, and streamline communication between team members.
The best project managers have a variety of qualities that help foster the timely and high-quality work clients covet. Here are the top five:
Effective leaders advocate for all stakeholders to ensure needs are met. Leadership skills are essential to project management because account managers, copywriters, designers, and developers all look to their project manager to keep the project moving, organize all the deadlines and deliverables, and make sure we keep costs in line and timelines on track.
Time management & organization
Time is of the essence. Time management and organization go hand in hand. Since project managers are juggling many projects, timelines, budgets, and team members, these skills are put into practice on a daily basis.
Project managers have the foresight to see issues that haven’t happened yet, in addition to ones that come up. Hiccups are inevitable, therefore a project manager must be able to resolve any issues in an inventive and effective way. Problems are opportunities to learn from and improve in future projects.
Adaptability is an essential project management skill. The industry is constantly changing, so we must stay informed and adapt as necessary to ensure success. A fitting example is the remote-work world we live in today. Working from home felt disorienting at first, but we learned to communicate via online chat systems and video conferencing calls.
Project managers encourage motivation throughout a project’s lifecycle among team members while adhering to the timeline and ensuring high-quality results. After all, who doesn’t like to hear “Great job, the client loved it!” after all the hard work? In addition, when dealing with complex situations such as receiving unexpected feedback, project managers are masters at keeping their cool and adjusting as needed in order to provide the support their team needs.
A good project manager knows that one of the most important aspects of this role is to be an effective verbal and written communicator. Every person communicates differently, which means a project manager also has to become adept at mastering the different communication styles among team members.
Project managers interact with a variety of people every day, so it’s important to foster trust and rapport with them. They should be concise and clear when communicating with internal teams but, remember, before asking about the status of a project, a simple “How are you? What’d you think of House of the Dragon last night?” often goes a long way.