Most people think that someone experienced would make a good project manager. This is not always the case. If you don’t triple check everything and watch every detail, you can not be a good project manager even if you have 30 years of experience. If you can’t communicate well, you also cannot lead others. Experienced workers often lack all of the qualifications to be a good project manager. The problem is that a good business model consists of having a good lead programmer on staff to supervise the others.
If you have a team of programmers and the lower level programmers are sometimes a little sloppy, that is acceptable (although not desirable) assuming that the project manager catches all of their mistakes before they go too far. But, if there is any failing on the part of the project manager, the project can not get done efficiently (or at all).
A good project manager needs to know how to:
Estimate jobs, allocate resources, communicate, double check work, regularly confirm ETA and schedules, and more.
The irony is that the project manager doesn’t have to be a good worker, or a worker at all. Many good project managers do not know how to code. They might be able to read code, but they often do not know the language being used in a particular project. Their job is to lead, and not to work. Some people are better at grunt work while others are born leaders.
Just remember the following quote:
Those who cannot do — lead; Those who cannot lead, lead leaders! Those who cannot lead leaders become project managers at dysfunctional companies!
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Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, so should you!
How good are you at estimating jobs?