Good vs Bad Project Managers [part II]

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt),

People think differently about what makes a good or bad project manager. In Part 1 we considered six qualities that I have found to make someone a good project manager. The following are seven more qualities needed in addition to those baseline PM best practices.

  1. Available and Responsive Appropriately. Whether on the go or at their desk, they are available for others to access, to ask questions and give input. A good manager is responsive and doesn’t ignore emails or calls; phone calls and emails are promptly replied to. Some people don’t set appropriate boundaries for themselves, and become bad project managers that can’t get anything done, simply because they can’t say no. Good project managers schedule time to get work done and have appropriate systems in place for people to access them.
  2. Collaborative. I feel it’s really important for PMs to collaborate with people so that they get different perspectives other than their own. It doesn’t necessarily mean they act upon the input. The really good PMs I’ve seen collaborate and take information from others.
  3. Decisive. Good managers take information and make decisions promptly and appropriately to get things done.
  4. Resolute. Making decisions is not necessarily getting things done, but being resolute is. They know their go-to people and know how to get things done on their team.
  5. Communicate. They communicate effectively. They know their team members and stakeholders, and a communications plan is in place. They use strong and effective language, whether for presentations, email or in person. They effectively give information to others, and more importantly, indicate what information they need back, creating a great communication feedback loop.
  6. Delegate. They know how to delegate appropriately. A lot of times managers are promoted through the ranks and find it difficult to get away from their area of expertise, so try to do the old job plus the new job, or maybe multiple jobs. They end up doing too much and become the bottleneck. A good manager knows how, when and to whom to delegate effectively.
  7. Lead Teams / Manage Projects. Good project managers know the difference between leading teams and managing projects, and can do both effectively. A lot of times managers try to manage the team, but people don’t like to be managed, they like to be led. People like someone to set the vision and fuel the passion. If you can do that, you influence the team to follow you.

If you found these tips from Jennifer Whitt, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at


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