What Makes a Good Project Manager?

What Makes a Good Project Manager is truthfully a loaded question. It obviously depends on what the project is about. For the sake of this discussion, I’ll focus on procuring accounting software. This is something I know too well having been a consultant supporting accounting systems for more than thirty years.

Some people think that a project manager should be a facilitator. That’s the lazy man’s way of saying the person is good at holding hands, tracking the status of project phases and goal accomplishments. To me, it’s meaningless unless the person has a good understanding of the purpose and implementation of accounting systems. Otherwise, he or she is faking it. The person deficient in the technological knowledge is just causing the company to waste time and money. They are doing their own discovery and education while someone else is paying for it. If the company does not mind because they appreciate the organizational skills the project manager brings, then I guess that’s their right.

What about the other side of the coin- the person who is very technologically proficient but fakes the organizational effort to get through the muddy waters? Again- if he or she brings a superior knowledge of the company’s needs and can help make the right decisions, then probably the organizational skills can be overlooked.

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