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Roger Chou, PgMP, PMP: What is a good project manager?

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What is a good project manager? This is something I constantly ask myself. It’s also something my colleagues, friends and students, constantly ask me. Being able to lead a large-scale project? Capable of managing multiple projects at the same time? Or completing major, important national projects?

This April in Taiwan we held our first annual “Ten Outstanding Chinese Project Managers” Awards ceremony. The Award winners and candidates were examples of what defines a good project manager.

In general, most of the projects that caught the selection board’s attention were:

1.       Completed within budget and on time, sticking to their scope and quality;

2.       Realized the client company’s business objectives or ambitions;

3.       Benefited the economy, society, or the local community.

If you are a manager and your project fulfills these conditions, then you can be said to be a good project manager, regardless of the size of your project.

What is also worth noting is that all the ten Award winners had something in common: commitment and determination. Their background, personal education and work history, all showed they were individuals who when they committed to doing something, would do all that was possible to get the work completed – even when others wanted to give up. The drive to succeed seems to be a necessity for a good project manager.

I also realized during the Award selection process that project managers are a driving force in our society. Their constant, ongoing completion of projects silently keeps our economy active and competitive. Whether these are large-scale telecoms projects (like the installation of our country-wide internet broadband network) or small-scale ecology projects (reducing the carbon-emissions of homes or businesses), they are all doing important work that improves our society and our economy. And all this work lies on a foundation of professional project management.

It is only by their planning, execution and management skills, as well as their commitment and determination, that any project can be completed efficiently and effectively.

So, to all you managers silently toiling away over your projects, possibly thinking “these Awards are nothing to do with me!”, I would like to praise your work: as a project manager, you, as well as our ten Award winners, are the real driving force in society. Never underestimate how important your contribution is!

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