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Free of charge: How to Choose the Right Project Manager

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Companies often lack internal staff capacity, expert knowledge or project management experience, so hiring a freelance project manager makes sense. In this exclusive article, project manager Adrian Neumeyer describes the professional and personal qualities that a project manager for your project should have and how to best select the candidate. (PDF, 4 pages, 311 kB).

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Unformated preview of the document: 'How to Choose the Right Project Manager' (Part 1):

How to Choose the Right Project Manager
As an energetic entrepreneur you will know the feeling of having plenty of orders, but
struggling day after day to try and fulfill them. Project management is a vital core skill, and a
lack of expertise and experience will significantly hamper your growth.
In cases where leadership skills are required, the commissioning of a project manager on a
freelance basis can often be your best option.
So, how do you choose the right project manager and what should you be on the lookout
for?
The Right Profile
Personal qualities are essential, because after all business is about people. A good project
manager should meet the following criteria:
● Highly organized
● Born problem solver type with drive and initiative
● Excellent communication skills
● Comprehensive knowledge base of the task at hand
Let's take a look at each characteristic in turn.
Amazing self-organization is the foundation
Every project is an inherently a complex task. Countless deliverables, many people involved,
and a tight schedule all make your project a difficult undertaking.
Every organization needs a project leader who creates the necessary structure and leads
the way to the goal everyone is working towards..
It goes without saying that the project manager should be equipped with excellent
organizational skills. This is more than just the ability to lists tasks and schedule
appointments, it’s about making sure what needs to get done, gets done.
Your project manager should yearn for organization and lead the way in making it a reality.
They will likely use lists in their private life whether shopping, packing their bag for the gym,
organizing transactions, or laying out their own goals. Be prepared to get to know your
candidates by asking them how they structure their day, both in and out of work. How do
they organize their email, structure their tasks, and address large projects with tight
deadlines?
A Good Project Manager Is A Problem Solver
At some stage every project gets into trouble. Things happen that you might not have
expected and haven’t planned for.
It is during these times that your project manager will really earn the respect of the rest of the
team. They must lead by example, finding solutions and workarounds on an ad hoc basis
until the ship has been steadied.
How your candidate deals with difficult situations can be seen by asking them about previous
challenges they have encountered with a project: "Give us an example of a difficult situation
you have found yourself in and how you dealt with it." How they perceived the situation at the
time, and then acted accordingly, will tell you a lot about their character and what they’ll
bring to your organization.
A high level of leadership and problem-solving ability will be revealed by the fact that the
project manager keeps calm and concentrates on only the those things that they can
influence. They must always seeks solutions and be able to reflect on their own performance
and behavior.
On the other hand a weaker project manager will be ruled by emotion and unable to
separate what they can control from what they can’t. They’ll rave about their own
performance when things are going well, and look for someone to blame when times are
tough. This is bad for business, and bad for the morale of the rest of your staff.
Your suspicions should be raised if they are unable to identify any major issues and difficult
situations they have faced. They’re either prone to glossing over problems, or significantly
lacking in experience. Both are a serious flaw.
How to Identify Good Communication Skills
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important qualities a project
manager must have. It is especially important to focus on this in the interview.
The communication profile you are looking for includes two core skills:
● The ability to actively listen to others
● Being able to clearly express one's own thoughts and opinions
It is also important to recognize that interpersonal communication is a minefield and
misunderstandings and interpretations are a key part of the puzzle.
Every good project manager knows this from their own experience, and will take measures
accordingly. For example, rather than simply sending emails, they would communicate with
the recipient via phone call or in person to make sure that they haves understood the
message in its entirety.
Communication skills are comparatively easy to judge because you can communicate with
the candidate yourself and assess them in person.
Some people immediately feel understood because they listen and ask the right

Unformated preview of the document: 'How to Choose the Right Project Manager':  Part 2

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