• Jackie Tilston

5 habits of well-respected Project Managers


In my 14+ years of working with other project managers at large organisations, I’ve noticed some common habits amongst the PMs who are well respected. They have nothing to do with Agile, Prince2, or any other methodology. In no particular order...

  1. The Project Plan is under constant review. The Plan should never be static. It should get more detailed every day. Before you move into a new phase of the project e.g. when moving from Build to Test, a good project manager doesn’t accept the plan that was made at the beginning, they work with the project team to make the upcoming tasks more detailed.

  2. Track everything. Most PMs I’ve worked with set up a tracking spreadsheet at the start of each project. On this spreadsheet, they track EVERYTHING. IT components, status of deliverables, Purchase Order numbers, phone numbers. Their spreadsheet is open at all times. No piece of information regarding the project is left in emails, it’s all kept in one easy-to-access place.

  3. Consistency of project status updates. Project status updates with the team should be slightly more frequent than the people delivering would like! Once the schedule is in place, never cancel, follow a set agenda, always send an update afterwards.

  4. Don’t assume anything. Successful PMs don’t assume it’s done. Don’t assume people have read your email. Don’t assume they’ll do the actions in your email! Check everything. Twice. If someone says “it should be fine”, it almost certainly won’t be, and more work needs to be done to understand the thing.

  5. Be friendly. Good PMs know the importance of creating a friendly atmosphere on the team. They don’t bully, they don’t blame, they don’t panic, they don’t shout. It's only work.


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