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4 traits of highly effective project managers

By Fi Darby

Project managers are great planners and organisers but their role is even more pivotal than this. They provided the all-important link between the vision of the project sponsor and the achievements of the project team. 

If you're considering a project manager career in Australia, you're going to need certain recognised traits. We take a look at these, and how online training can help you improve on your existing experience. 

What traits do I need to become a project manager?

1. The ability to make strategic decisions.

Strategic decision-making is the basis of all effective project management. As a project manager, you'll be required every day to make key decisions that'll have a significant impact on your team, as well as the success of your project. Some of these decisions will be more critical than others but all will have an impact. This is where your existing strategic business skills, experience and training can really come into play.

Poor decision-making skills can result in missed opportunities, unnecessary expense and sometimes even project failure. If you're currently in a career that requires you to gather information, consider consequences and evaluate situations, you'll already have developed some of the expertise required to be a good project manager. 

2. Plenty of enthusiasm and motivation.

motivated team

You're going to require lots of enthusiasm to be an effective project manager. Not only will you need to keep yourself motivated through the tough times, your team will be relying on you to do the same for them. However, successful motivation takes more than general enthusiasm. Communication, confidence-building and mutual respect all play a key part.

It's worth remembering that overblown enthusiasm can sometimes be a demotivator. It's important to get the balance right here. If you're looking to work in project management, you're going to need to be really clear about expectations and goals. You're also going to need to be great at providing constructive feedback. Whether your project is progressing well or has hit an interruption, your innate motivation skills, and previous team experience will be really useful in this people-based career.

3. Some experience of managing change.

Once you learn to expect change, it can't hit you too hard when it happens. Great project managers understand the influence of change and build contingency into projects to help deal with it. Change can come from all directions. Your project sponsor, your contractors, and unexpected external factors can and will have an influence on the progress of your project. By managing these changes effectively and keeping a disciplined focus on the big picture, you'll be able to keep a project moving forwards, whatever happens.

Change is a constant in all business roles, so you've probably already got skills in this area. Think about how your previous careers have given you the confidence and expertise to presume and deal with the unexpected. Put these experiences together with some training in change management processes and you'll have the makings of a great project manager.

4. A healthy balance of creativity and logic.

We tend to think of ourselves as either creative or logical. However these two qualities are not as mutually exclusive as you might think. You need both to be a great project manager. Creative ideas only provide workable solutions if they fit into a logical framework. Logical processes are only effective if they include some space for creativity when issues arise.

The most successful project managers combine creativity and logistics with great results. If you have experience in creative problem solving but also enjoy working with logical processes, then you should definitely include jobs for project managers in your current careers research.

Are project management courses worth it?

colleagues brainstorming together on projects

If the traits above sound like you but you can see some areas where you could learn and improve, we have good news for you. Online project management courses allow you to study at your own pace, in a timeframe to suit your current work and home situation. We believe our nationally recognised qualifications can help boost your project management career progress, whatever your current education level.

BSB40920 - Certificate IV in Project Management Practice

If you recognise some of the traits above and a career in project management is tempting to you, this course is exactly what you need. Giving you the opportunity to polish to your existing skills, as well as pick up some important new ones, our BSB40920 - Certificate IV in Project Management Practice is the online course you're looking for.

During this 12-month course, you'll learn the fundamentals of project management. These will put you in a good place to apply for job roles such as project analyst or project administrator. With a focus on the skills and knowledge required to contribute to a project's scope, this course includes units on project time management, critical thinking and influential communication.

BSB50820 - Diploma of Project Management 

Of course, you might already be enjoying life as a project manager but looking to increase your skills and competitive edge. If you are, or if you already have plenty of business experience, we have the online course you need. Flexible enough to fit in with the thrust and hustle of project development life, our BSB50820 - Diploma of Project Management will help you take that next step in advanced skills and expertise.

During this 12-month course, we'll give you the opportunity to develop applied and technical skills, as you develop your project management flexibility across a variety of settings. As well as studying a wide range of units including those on project risk, project integration and people performance, you'll develop a useful and ultra-practical set of 'work-ready' skills in a simulated workplace. With this online qualification under your belt, you'll be able to consider taking the next step forwards in your project manager or project contract manager career.

Make the most of your experience and ability today

The role of project manager is currently one of Australia's highest paying jobs. By enhancing your previous job experience with formal training and qualifications, you'll ensure your project manager application gains the recognition it requires to get you a job interview. 

Online training is just what you need to kick start your project management career either here in Australia or on the international playing field. 

Get in touch with our team today to find out more about our range of project management courses.
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