There are an unusually diverse number of ways one can become a project manager. While some students opt for degrees in project management, many new managers just find themselves slowly taking on the skillset of a project manager in their current work setting. Furthermore, many solopreneurs and owners of small businesses effectively function as project managers. While these arrangements may work, only through truly defining your role in your business (as a project manager or not) can you really focus on honing your skills and embracing your role.
While it can be hard to pin down exactly what makes a good project manager. A number of general skills are useful in PM roles. Project managers must be able to understand the technical nuances of their trade as well as keep an eye on the bigger picture. They must also be excellent communicators, dealing with a wide variety of team members, higher management, and stakeholders. Another skill quite central to management is your ability to deal in abstraction and turn abstractions into actionable direction. Project management methodologies are abstract by nature, but lead to actionable insights.
While this range of skills may seem daunting, there are a number of diagnostic tools for understanding your project management strengths and weaknesses. A sampling of project management quizzes may be found below:
- Mindtool’s how good are your project managment skills quiz
- PMD’s project management aptitude quiz
- And High Speed Training’s project management quiz
All three are obvious standouts in project management aptitude quizzes. Our favorite is from PMD. A sampling of the questions in the quiz may be found below:
- How do you feel about change in the workplace?
- How good are you at providing feedback others may not want to hear?
- Are you good at bouncing between the “micro” and “macro” aspects of a project?