Eight Abilities that every Project Manager must Master

Product Manager Traits

Apart from process-based knowledge that comes with the job, truly innovative project managers need to focus on and improve certain skills and abilities.

Trae Tessmann|
July 28, 2016

Ready to set yourself apart from your co-workers as an innovation leader?


Most Project Managers see themselves as the “innovator” of their department or organization, but it’s one thing to say you’re a proponent of innovation in your line or marketplace, and another to prove it and accept the responsibilities that come with being an innovation leader.


The truth is that too many project managers rely on their education and training to do their job, and grow to shun their inner entrepreneur. As someone who’s responsible for such things as customer validation and minimum viable products, this can be disastrous. Apart from process-based knowledge that comes with the job, truly innovative project managers need to focus on and improve their ability to…


Constantly Learn and Observe

  • Stay current with market and customer trends
  • Seek updates from those both inside and outside your organization
  • Actively research and predict future trends to stay ahead of the curve


Talk with Others

  • Go out of your way to speak with employees from different departments
  • Share your unique vision for current and prospective products
  • Share your knowledge and stay transparent to build trust


Listen to Others

  • Collect feedback from different departments and customers
  • Read and interpret reactions, moods, and non-verbal signals
  • Identify potential difficulties and opportunities in your product and features


Organize Thoughts, Data, Events

  • Maintain your cool while wearing a number of hats (business, engineering, etc.)
  • Leverage software to collect data from every facet of your operation
  • Actively track milestones and deadlines to stay on schedule


READ MORE: Is your Company actually ready to Innovate?


Prioritize Responsibilities, Roles

  • Understand and execute proper innovation project management practices
  • Hold everyone accountable for their unique and crucial responsibilities
  • Execute the short- and long-term vision for your products and company


Take Chances and Risks


Admit Defeat

  • Maintain confidence, but also discipline in killing ideas early on
  • Stick to your metrics before projects spiral out of control and waste resources
  • Learn from mistakes and iterate to build stronger concepts in the future


Share in Success

  • Focus on developing your team for the long-term
  • Build trust and motivation through proper recognition and communication
  • Serve as an innovative leader and helpful resource for your team


How do you promote innovation as a Project Manager? Let us know below!

About Trae Tessmann

Co-founder of Ideawake

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