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Assessing Your Project-Management Skills

An effective project manager has specific skills and talents. Before you begin a project, take this quick self-evaluation to determine your project-management strengths and weaknesses. By answering the following ten questions, you can get an idea of what areas you need to spend more time on so you can be as effective as possible. Good luck!

Questions

  1. Are you more concerned about being everyone’s friend or getting a job done right?

  2. Do you prefer to do technical work or manage other people doing technical work?

  3. Do you think the best way to get a tough task done is to do it yourself?

  4. Do you prefer your work to be predictable or constantly changing?

  5. Do you prefer to spend your time developing ideas instead of explaining those ideas to other people?

  6. Do you handle crises well?

  7. Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?

  8. Do you think you shouldn’t have to monitor people after they’ve promised to do a task for you?

  9. Do you believe people should be self-motivated to perform their jobs?

  10. Are you comfortable dealing with people at all organizational levels?

Answers

  1. Although maintaining good working relations is important, the project manager often must make decisions for the good of the project that some people don’t agree with.

  2. Most project managers achieve their positions because of their strong performance on technical tasks. However, after you become a project manager, your job is to encourage other people to produce high-quality technical work rather than to do it all yourself.

  3. Believing in yourself is important. However, the project manager’s task is to help other people develop to the point where they can perform tasks with the highest quality.

  4. The project manager tries to minimize unexpected problems and situations through responsive planning and timely control. However, when problems do occur, the project manager must deal with them promptly to minimize their impact on the project.

  5. Though coming up with ideas can help your project, the project manager’s main responsibility is to ensure that every team member correctly understands all ideas that are developed.

  6. The project manager’s job is to provide a cool head to size up the situation, choose the best action, and encourage all members to do their parts in implementing the solution.

  7. Self-reliance and self-motivation are important characteristics for a project manager. However, the key to any project manager’s success is to facilitate interaction among a diverse group of technical specialists.

  8. Although you may feel that honoring one’s commitments is a fundamental element of professional behavior, the project manager needs both to ensure that people maintain their focus and to model how to work with others cooperatively.

  9. People should be self-motivated, but the project manager has to encourage them to remain motivated by their job assignments and related opportunities.

  10. The project manager deals with people at all levels — from upper management to support staff — who perform project-related activities.

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