As a project manager, you sometimes have to create and perform miracles in the shortest possible timeframes. You have to juggle tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis, trying to make sure that management, your team members, and your clients are all kept happy.

While being a successful project manager can be highly rewarding, it also comes with bucketloads of responsibility, because if things don’t go according to plan, it will be your head on the chopping block.


To help you make the most of your career in project management, we have compiled a list of habits and characteristics that all successful project managers have in common:


1 – They are proactive

A good project manager is forward-thinking, and anticipates obstacles before they arise. As a proactive manager, you ensure that measures are in place that will not only reduce the risk of problems arising in the future, but also minimise the impact if problems do arise.


2 – They focus on the customer

A successful project manager’s main aim is to ensure that his or her clients are happy at all times. He or she listens carefully to the clients’ needs and expectations, and implements measures to ensure that those needs and expectations are met.


3 – They are decisive

Successful project management requires a good balance between decision-making and consulting. Good project managers know how to find this balance. They also know how to make quick decisions when the situation requires it. They understand that with each decision, they will be held accountable for the outcome, and they act accordingly. Project teams are also more likely to respond well to project managers with strong decision-making skills.


4 – They focus on solutions

People who excel in project management know that problem-solving is an essential part of the job. They have a natural ability to focus on finding solutions. Good project managers don’t leave issues unattended in the hopes that they will disappear.


5 – They involve their team members

A good project manager understands the importance of encouraging teamwork and involving others in the execution of the project. He or she maintains open communication with team members, allocates tasks according to each person’s area of expertise, and encourages co-operation and collaboration throughout the project.

As Helen Keller said:

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

6 – They adapt to change

Anyone can set goals for themselves, but it takes adaptability to achieve those goals. Successful project managers accept that things do not always go according to plan, and they are willing to adapt their project plans in response to changing circumstances.


7 – They review their performance

Good project managers continually review their performance, with the aim of achieving improved results in the future. By reviewing their performance on an ongoing basis, they ensure that they do not repeat past mistakes, and that they identify areas in which they can develop their skills to manage projects even more successfully in the future.


Become a successful project manager

By developing the characteristics above, you, too can become a successful project manager. Remember that achieving success as a manager does not happen overnight – it takes many years of training and experience to build up the knowledge and skills involved in managing projects effectively and efficiently.


Find out how you can become a successful project manager