A project manager plans the project, allocates resources, handles relations with customers and users and tries to keep the project running smoothly. A good project manager takes care of administrative details, allowing the rest of the project staff to focus on their responsibilities, and functions like a kind of “umbrella”, keeping the team safe from fallout from above.

Important characteristics for a successful project manager are communication skills, the ability to make realistic plans, and good knowledge about the skills and limitations of her project staff.

Some examples of good and bad project manager types can be found in the software developer bestiary.

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