CMU School of Drama

Friday, March 10, 2017

10 skills you need to become a great project manager

TechRepublic: Project managers must exhibit a broad range of talents to bring teams together and help organizations reach goals. This often comes down to great collaboration and people skills, said Marty Brodbeck, chief technology officer of Shutterstock. "The skills to be an effective project manager are universal in nature for everyone across all industries," Brodbeck added. "They are skills that can—and should—be worked on and developed in various ways across your career."


Angel Zhou said...

The most striking aspect of this article is the fact that it does not specify what kind of project manager it is talking about – it keeps its information broad enough to apply to all kinds (theatrical, technical, business, etc.), and all of the points it makes make sense regardless of department.

I am interested in becoming a technical project manager myself, which makes this article all the more intriguing to me. Though I will keep in mind the words in this article, I almost wish its writer was more evidently versed in the subject herself – in her description, Alison DeNisco calls herself a “Staff Writer” and does not indicate any previous experience she has had in project management, thus causing me to want to take the article’s words with a grain of salt.

As for the 10 skills it mentions, I do not believe I disagree with any of them. Risk management was one that I also never thought of myself, the article makes a good point for why it is a key skill to possess as a project manager.

Kelly Simons said...

This article was very helpful in understanding some of the tools I’ll need when I become project manager. I’m glad to see that the number one tool is empathy. The article states: “Empathy is the most important skill for any customer-facing role, according to Justin Gray, CEO and founder of LeadMD. "As project management serves two masters, the customer and the internal team, an empathetic mindset is all the more critical," Gray said. "If you can effectively put yourself in someone else's shoes, you will do everything better—time management, expectation setting, logistics—everything." I think understanding your workers and being able to connect to their feelings and frustrations will make everyone working for me happier, including me. The less push back a project manager has from their workers the more productive the entire office will be. When I am project manager I will be sure to remember this article as a reference.

Marisa Rinchiuso said...

I thought this article was very insightful and unique; I always seem to read articles like this that always say "communication" "teamwork" like a broken record, but I thought this article provided a more in-depth view of project management. One facet that I thought was very unique, but utterly necessary was risk-management. It seems like something that you wouldn't initially think of but is intrinsically involved with managing a team, especially on a large-scale. I loved that the number one tool was empathy. In my IDeATe class, we had a project manager from Dadeleaus come speak to us and he expressed a similar sentiment. He said that you don't always need to know how everything works, but you must have an appreciation for all the work that gets done. I think that is especially true in the first year as a DP because you get to experience everything and understand the work that each department has.

Cosette Craig said...

Arcade is afoot and this article is incredibly relevant. I like that this article opens with empathy because a lot of articles try to boil down management into calculated behaviors that follow patterns but sometimes being a good listener and kind person is just as important as the paperwork you produce. There's so much grey area when it comes to managing. You can have all the tools and tips and advice in the world but the best way to know how to handle a situation is with prior experience. If you've done something similar or applicable and you can pull the good out of the solution and evaluate the bad, you can adapt it to the problem you're currently facing. That's what makes arcade tough. Because we have practically no experience managaing anything so everyone is playing it by ear. Hopefully we can all learn from mistakes we make and apply them to shows we work on later.

Chris Calder said...

All 10 of the topic discussed in this article are definitely the makings of a good project manager. Begin well rounded and have all the qualifications that a project manager needs can sometimes be a challenge but if you can manage to work well with a team and have the knowledge of what you are managing you will be able to find success. Out of all the things they require students to do throughout the 4 years at CMU, I think management is the place for the most growth. Not only does it take practice to get better but no one can expect to wake up and be an amazing manager. You need to experience problems and people before you become a number 1 project manager. So the major takeaway from this article for me is that I don’t expect to be an amazing project manager overnight but with the training I am receiving at CMU, there will be many opportunities for growth.

John Yoerger said...

I think this is a great article that should be sent around to all of the DPs as we are working on Rube and Arcade. Many of them I have already encountered lacking in these skills (including myself). The article is so clear and I think one of the best project management articles I've ever read. One of the most interesting is item 10, business acumen, because this is certainly something I'm having to use when communicating with Susan about the status of our Arcade Project. She isn't so accustomed to project management terminology so I've found myself rephrasing to make sure it is clear to everyone involved. And that isn't a bad thing, it is just something interesting to keep in mind that sometimes the reason communication is lost between groups is that there is just misunderstanding of terminology and that's something that everyone needs to keep in mind. Overall, I thought this article brought up a lot of good points, incl. the expectation management portion. That is something that some people in our class need to read over really well.

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