How to be a Great Project Director and Manager


There are a lot of responsibilities in being a project manager. The organization of very important projects relies on you and you need to be skilled in managing people and resources to achieve an ultimate company goal. So, how can you be great on the job? Nicolás Liso, PMP® gives us his insights.

What does a project director do?

A great responsibility rests on project managers. They are responsible for managing the available resources to reach a specific objective, which will be the conclusion of the project in question. As such, they need to be organized and focused on objectives and analytics to get the best results.

Project directors are also known as project managers, project leaders or project coordinators. In any case, each decision made by these professionals will directly affect the project and will be focused on minimizing the risk. 

What does it take to go from being a good project director to a fantastic one?

The answer is not simple. Project management involves several areas, and being able to simplify schedules, delegate tasks and balance budgets is not an easy task. 

The truly outstanding project directors exhibit collaborative leadership skills such as negotiation, quick evaluation and effectively strategizing a team. They know how to keep the project moving and boost the team’s morale. They know where they want to go, and they are aligned with the strategic vision of their clients. They are committed to advancing their team as a whole to achieve a successful outcome. 

How to be a great project manager or project director 


1. Always improving their skills and their team

A good project manager is responsible for programming, production and communication. Great project managers are deeply involved in the further development of the team skills and in the tactical execution of the strategic vision.Ernest Hemingway wrote: “Never confuse movement with action.” This sounds true for the best project managers, who can adapt to continuous changing information, who know how to get the best out of their team members, as well as when and how to encourage them instead of micromanaging and pressuring them. 

2. Flexible and adaptable to sudden changes

Great project managers can maintain the calm in the eye of the storm and act in a collaborative and decisive way, knowing that nothing is constant but change. These days, it is extremely important to be agile. Agile project managers are flexible enough to make rapid changes in plans and ensure that incremental progress is measured and achieved.While good project managers stay on track, great project managers know that the road will have some unexpected curves and solutions that must be created in real time. In the end, that’s exactly what project administration is all about. 

3. Offer a long-term strategic vision

Smart project managers know that the main priority of a project is to help customers and products succeed, and that the definition of such success can be different over time. Great project managers know that the administrative details of their projects have a higher purpose, and they take time to look into their plans and contemplate the long-term strategic vision. 

4. Collaboration and negotiation – main tasks in your day to day work

Good project managers worry about how they will do everything. Great project managers know that collaboration, negotiation and problem solving are the keys to a successful outcome. The best PMs have strong negotiation skills and know how to collaborate effectively to achieve the goals of the organization. They are also experts in the four phases of negotiation:

• Preparation (compilation of documents, data and facts to present the case)

• Disclosure of information with all the team or interested persons

• Negotiation (focusing on common interests and objectives)

• Closure (making sure that all stakeholders are really “on board”) 

5. They are decisive when it comes to finding solutions

Good project managers care about results. Great project managers are highly qualified in problem solving and know the steps to follow to achieve a positive outcome. Great project directors are specific about the exact nature of the project’s challenges. They know how to evaluate difficult situations along the way and ask themselves the right questions. 

• Is a new provider needed or will the current one work if handled differently?

• Will the client be happier if we reduce the scope of this project or change the delivery dates?

Exceptional project managers generate alternatives, evaluate and collaborate to select the best options for the project at hand.

6. They know that the team is as important as they are

Good project managers hire talented teams. Great project managers understand the art of people and know how to use each person’s skills in the right way at the right time. A truly collaborative project director knows how to use the specific talents of each team member and can use the right kind of experience to solve specific problems and find solutions.

Great project managers know that getting everyone to participate in the strategic vision of the project will make the best teamwork emerge, and that this type of alignment will be the engine of effective communication and an overall successful project.

Best wishes for a lot of success for all those PMs out there!


Do you work in project management? What do you think makes a good team leader? Let us know in the comments below!

Nicolás Liso Fabbri

Nicolás Liso Fabbri works as a project manager in the oil & gas industry, managing projects in an integral way. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry, of which 10 years involve project management. He has a postgraduate degree in project management and is certified as PMP® of PMI®. Besides projects within the oil & gas industry, Nicolas now works on projects linked to renewable energies, which are taking great relevance globally.

By Nicolás Liso Fabbri

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