Project Management: How to be a successful project manager

A successful project manager is someone who can visualise the entire project from start to finish, and have the ability to deliver this vision.

Great project management means much more than delivering a project.  Keeping a project on track from start to finish involves a lot of plate spinning. There is the need to deliver on time, within budget and scope.

Skills Required to be a Successful Project Manager

The Project Manager’s Role

The project manager must be someone who can command respect from a mix of seniorities and can get action from them.  They should be capable of:

  • Planning and communicating all aspects of the project
  • Obtaining the right people for the right task at the right time
  • Motivating the project team through shared decision making and trust
  • Leading by example, taking a back seat when appropriate
  • Using technical and management skills to control the project
  • Problem solving
  • Monitoring quality and costs efficiently, without excessive bureaucracy

The Four Main Stages of Project Management

Project management involves a non-routine set of tasks or a new development that can be managed separately over a specific period of time.  To evaluate the ‘quality of outcome versus time versus costs’ factor in any project, you will need to break the project down into four sequential stages:

Project Definition:  where you develop the original purpose or need for the project into a detailed definition of the three parameters and the outcome they will produce.  You then design an initial strategy to achieve the outcome you have defined.

Project Planning:  where you break the project down into a sequency of activities, detail specifications for each of these, agree objectives with the person responsible for each activity, budget for resources required and create a project summary sheet for use during the implementation stage.

Project Implementation:  once work begins, your role is to co-ordinate progress and control quality, time and costs using your plan, get and give feedback on progress, inspect results, negotiate for resources, and resolve any conflict or problems threatening to delay the progress of your project.

Project Completion:  you will need to check quality against the specifications, ensure that all objectives have been met within planned times, and provide an analysis of budget outcomes.  Your final responsibility is to report results to senior management and other interested parties, giving recognition to your project staff for successes achieved.


Remember that project management is about practical achievement not permanent systems.  Do not let the definition and planning stages smother the progress of your project under useless layers of paperwork.

Ready for your next project?

If you require any further support on how to make your next project successful, please feel free to get in touch with us today. We are happy to discuss this topic with you and provide a personalised plan to help you develop your project management skills in order to become an effective and successful project manager.