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Project Management

8 Signs You're Already a Project Manager

Stephanie Gonzaga
November 6, 2014
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You may not realize it, but you may already have the qualities of a good project manager.

Beyond rounding the team up for meetings and keeping a close watch on the timelines, being a project manager means you value clear communication, flexibility, and teamwork.

These are essential to the success of any project, regardless of how expansive your PM experience is.

Still not sure if you can manage dynamic teams and projects of all sizes and scope? Here are eight signs you’re already a good project manager:

Sign #1: You take the time to get to know your team and how they work.

You understand that a project isn’t about you and your workflow. You understand that knowing how to communicate with your project team and establish a system that works for everyone is crucial to the project’s success.

With a structure that accommodates the team, you’re able to get everyone on board to focus on what’s important: meeting goals and accomplishing key project tasks.

Sign #2: You love keeping people in the loop.

You don’t cringe at writing weekly status reports to your clients. You look forward to regroup sessions with your team to talk about what’s happening, what has been accomplished, and what steps to take next.

You know that ongoing communication is vital and necessary so mistakes are minimal and milestones are met. (click to tweet)

The good news is human beings are hardwired to communicate, and so the skill is innate and only needs to be exercised on a regular basis.

Sign #3: You can identify and establish parameters.

As exciting as promising the moon and stars can be, you make sure that everyone works within the scope of the project. This way, you’re able to set reasonable expectations, feasible tasks and goals.

Sign #4: You are present and prepared for anything.

As deadlines approach, you check in regularly to see if the team will be able to deliver on time and if there are questions or problems that need to be addressed.

You are ready to receive constructive feedback and deal with the pressure of delivering on time, even if it means realizing mistakes have been made and doing everything possible to correct them.

Sign #5: You can confidently speak on behalf of the team.

Clients will want you on the phone or at a meeting at any time to discuss progress, updates, and changes that need to be made. Because you’ve a well-defined scope and you’ve checked in with your team on a regular basis, you’re able to take those calls or attend those meetings with information to share with them.

Sign #6: You’re not so easily swayed when new requirements or questions crop up.

A client, partner, or team member may approach and pitch you with new ideas, requirements, or questions.

You’re open to hearing these new ideas, but make sure to keep in mind the original scope of work and project requirements. If they align or improve on the original scope, you are willing to discuss things further. If not, you’re not afraid to turn down those ideas and present valid reasons for doing so.

Sign #7: You seek out and consult with the experts.

You know your limitations as a project manager. You know that when clients have specific concerns, you seek out the right people and consult them about them. With their level of experience and knowledge, you embrace that they’re the best people to answer those questions.

Sign #8: You cheer others on and congratulate for a job well done.

Your role as a project manager goes beyond monitoring progress and checking in on deadlines.

You “own and support the process” of putting together and bringing the project into fruition. You cheer your team members on and congratulate them for every successful milestone met, yet at the same time you’re not afraid to ask questions or raise issues that you may anticipate from your client.

It's more than just management.

If you haven’t already guessed it, these eight signs show that project management isn’t solely about managerial skills and know-how.

The work of a project manager is making sure the team knows exactly where they stand, what their roles and responsibilities are, and who to go for immediate questions and concerns.

By being present, mindful, and aware of your limitations as a PM, you can lead your project team to success from Day 1.