6 Qualities That Make a Good Project Manager

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As my esteemed colleague noted in an earlier blog on Project Management, it takes a special kind of person to want to step up or into a role that has potential for high stress. But there are those of us who do want to see a project come to fruition and be able to “take it over the line” and get one “under our belt” with a successful Go-Live. So who are these people?

To tell you the truth, good project managers are closet DIY junkies who look for a fix by entering someone else’s world and attempting to make it structured, capable, organized, and eventually successful, whatever condition of the project may be in. What are the qualities of these people you ask and does YOUR project manager have the right stuff?

Some of the qualities necessary for a successful Project Manager:

  1. Assertiveness – You must be able to feel comfortable asking the hard questions whether discussing a budget item, a missed or understated timeline or an unprofessional customer or colleague. Think of it as having crucial conversations.
  2. Discipline – there are tools that help with being disciplined but at the end of the day it is all you. Keeping up with the details, setting time constraints, following through, and always maintaining a consistent “can do” attitude; these are the pillars to managing a project.
  3. Communication – To me, good communication is one of the top qualities necessary to be a successful anybody. You have to be able to convey, sometimes in many languages (from tone of voice, body and written), what is required to accomplish the task. This could be in a small group or team environment or at an Executive level board meeting. You have to project confidence and understanding of the project, issue or concern.
  4. Acute Awareness -  You must be aware of where your project is at all times. You may not have the luxury of a single project and may be working on multiple. Focus is everything and staying ahead is the name of the game. Whether that is in reference to risks, timelines, tasks and reporting, all items that need follow-up and motivation.
  5. Planning – Give yourself and your customer the right amount of time each week. You always need to cover the deadlines, but don’t put yourself in a position where you are always playing catch up. Too many late nights and not enough sleep makes a Project Manager become the unemployed Project Manager.  Take the time to gather your thoughts each week and think through the next couple of weeks. You cannot prepare enough.
  6. Team Building – There is no “i” in team. Enough said.


A quality not often used, for multiple reasons, is the ability to ask for help. Even the most successful Project Managers need others to help them succeed. It is how you learn. No one will ever be perfect, but you can come close!

If you look further, you will find many articles about tools to educate and help understand what the role as a Project Manager is, and how important project management can be in an implementation. This is important as you move forward in your implementation and start to acquire the guideposts to your success.

Future and existing blogs will expand on the role of the Project Manager. Check out more tips that have helped our team to succeed and I hope that will offer additional insight into your pursuit of outstanding Project Management. Here’s to your success!

Nicholas Burton is a Project Manager out of the Kansas City branch of Stoneridge Software, a Fargo, ND, and Minneapolis area based Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV partner. Burton's Microsoft Dynamics history includes being a Dynamics AX user, working at an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) and Microsoft partner firms. He has a unique perspective on the product and the Microsoft Dynamics channel from a variety of angles. If you're beginning the search for a Microsoft Dynamics Partner in the Midwest, check out stoneridgesoftware.com. Inquiries can be made to [email protected] or 612-354-4966.

by Stoneridge Software

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