The 4C's of an Ideal Project Manager

Program and Project Management


Mellacheruvu Adi Saasthry
Director, India

The 4C's of an Ideal Project Manager

To be excellent, a project manager should be:
- Communicative - Communication is the artery of any project and information is the blood that should flow seamlessly. The PM has to be communicative to all levels of the organization who are involved. It is not just to be communicative, but communicate effectively the right information at the right time to all the stakeholders of a project.
- Collaborative - Projects are a joint intellectual effort of many minds. The PM should lead any activity in a project and should take a collaborative approach. For example when adopting this approach, the PM is involving the client in project activities from the beginning, indirectly getting a buy-in. It becomes easier for the client to take decisions in any activity and overall it saves time in the project.
- Committed - This can make or break lots of decisions and has a tremendous impact on the project, and on the relationships and trust between the PM and various other constituents. A PM, once committed to a deliverable or a milestone, can never go back. By sticking to a commitment he builds relationship and trust.
- Creative - Customers are quenched with creative meaningful ideas that help them to meet the business or competitive market needs. The PM should be in the forefront with creativity in dealing with client’s problems or requirements. Also, he should be creative in leading the team. Problems do creep in a project, but the PM should be creative with array of new ideas to deal with them.


Foure-Joopen Helga, France

Add Extra C's: Coordination and Concentration

The four C's indicated above could perhaps be complimented by two others which are: - Coordination,... Sign up

Management Consultant, Belgium

The Ideal Project Manager is a Leader

Mr Saasthry, I like your points, what you tell us is that a good project manager should also be a l... Sign up

Leonard Stewart, United States

Add Extra C: Cool

I would add another C: Cool, as in cool under pressure. A PM must respond to many pressures with ap... Sign up

Asad Ali
Manager, Pakistan

Add Extra C: Caring

Agreed, but I would add yet another C for Caring, because it is one of the most important sources fo... Sign up

alice fernandes, Kuwait

Establishing an Ideal Project Team

Very good points are listed but very rare to find all of these in one person. Every person has some ... Sign up

Shankar Lakkaraju, India

Caring / Empathy

@Asad Ali : I agree with Caring; without empathy towards "your" team nothing can be achieved. Feel t... Sign up

Mohamed Hisham, Sri Lanka

The Ideal Project Manager

It becomes clear reading the above that the subject of project management includes team work, leader... Sign up

umesh bahadur, India

Add Extra C: Couragious

Great. I would like to add courage in taking decisions and to stand up to criticism when things do n... Sign up

Frank Yost, United States


@Asad Ali : I could not agree with you more. People are losing sight of what it means to be a true l... Sign up

Macil Eddy, United States

Add Extra C: Centered

What about centered as in centered on the end goal, and not the project itself. It seems that faile... Sign up

Accountant, Kenya

Extra C: Cost Effectiveness

Cost effectiveness is also key. Cost-time tradeoffs are to be considered. For example, certain proce... Sign up

Madan Gopal Agarwal
Business Consultant, India

Behavioural Traits for a Good Project Manager

Good and useful summary of behavioural traits for a good project manager. As such, any job needs te... Sign up

Prof. Dr. Karl Kuhn, Azerbaijan

4 C's are Good, But Other Qualities are Needed as Well

I agree that these are prerequisites supporting project management excellence. But they are not suf... Sign up

wil son chnyamurindi

To Succeed as a Project Manager

Over and above all else, the PM should visualise the goal, motivate himself/herself through interim ... Sign up

Tom Smulders
Business School Marketer, Netherlands

The 4C's of a Project Manager

Very good points, I wish I had realized it earlier in my career. I understand now what the reason is... Sign up

Mark Song
Manager, China

Add Extra C: Customer Oriented

I would like to add another C: customer-oriented. Sometimes most PMs would like to focus on products... Sign up

aurelian cojocaru, Romania

Project Manager should be C-L-E-A-R

To complete the picture, there is also the CLEAR acronym for a project manager: - Credibility - you... Sign up

Ioannis Chassiotis, Greece

Requirements for Effective Project Manager

The above mentioned 4C's can equally apply to effective management & leadership in general. And of ... Sign up

James Kimani Mwaura
Manager, Kenya

Project Management Tools

On a basic level, the project manager should also be able to use tools for project management such a... Sign up

Shadrack Ashibo Atanda, Kenya

Project Manager Traits

I totally agree with the above C's.. enlightening! If I had known all this earlier, then my organiza... Sign up

Rannona A Rantao, South Africa

Project Manager and Transformational Leadership

I agree with the various comments on the required C's as ideal traits for a project manager. I'd li... Sign up

Roller Saint Pierre, Haiti

Ad Extra C: Culturally Oriented

What about "culturally oriented". A PM must understand the organizational culture in which he is ope... Sign up

Robin Lahiri, United Kingdom

On Extra C: Centered on Goals

@Macil Eddy: I couldn't agree more. In many organisations, especially where "project management" be... Sign up

Mohd Alduwaihees
Strategy Consultant, Kuwait

Add Extra C: Candid

I would like to add another c (candid) telling the truth in evaluating the different stages of the p... Sign up

Marco Brandimarte
Project Manager, Italy

Add Extra C: Coherent

Coherence increases reliability of relationship and leadership. If a PM is coherent, it's easier for... Sign up

Nzuza, South Africa

On: Client-oriented

@Mark Song : Mark, I agree. As a project manager, you are employed by the client to help them impro... Sign up

francisco, Brazil

Consider Replacing Collaborative by Cooperative

I think, instead of, collaborative, you should put cooperative, because cooperative is larger and go... Sign up

Coach, India

An Ideal Project Manager: Before the 4 C's

I would rate leadership as the most essential characteristic of an effective PM. After all the PM is... Sign up

Mellacheruvu Adi Saasthry
Director, India


Thank you to all of you, it pays really to enrich our thoughts, and experiences, I am delighted with... Sign up

Maia de Lourdes Larrea, Ecuador

On Extra C: Care / Caring

@Asad Ali : For Saasthry's 4 C's, the most important thing is to have behind all of these a high mot... Sign up

Business Consultant, Germany

Caring? Project Manager must be Passionate too

Talking about caring... from my point of view a projct leader must be passionately fighting for his ... Sign up

Andile Ace Kwakweni
Project Manager, South Africa

4 C's of an Ideal Project Manager

Just about every "additional" comment and "counter" argument that flows from the original contributi... Sign up

Alexander Weihs, Germany

Extra C: Coach

I like these 4C's and would like to suggest another one: coaching for team members and executives.... Sign up

Alberto, Spain

The Project Manager Should Be a Good Finisher too

I agree with many of above opinions. Additionally I think that the ideal project manager should be a... Sign up

Ana Gonzalez

Culture Matters

@Roller Saint Pierre : I agree. Culture is another C even though is not a characteristic itself (Ed:... Sign up

Oscar Pinto
Project Manager, Portugal

Add Extra C: Competent

I would like to add another C. Competent: a competent leader possess in-depth practical and theoreti... Sign up

Manager, Ireland

Add Extra C: Consistency

How about consistent? What I mean is that a PM must always stick to the project management process. ... Sign up

Maria Montero
Coach, Venezuela

The Human Part!

I agree with everything said here. In my short experience with project managers I have learned that ... Sign up

Oscar Tobar
Consultant, Guatemala

4C + Time, Costs and Quality

I agree totally with these four fields of a PM´s behavior, but supported with knowledge of the stric... Sign up

John A. Williams
Project Manager, Netherlands

4C's are Keys to Success in Project Management

It's good to see that more attention is being given to the 'soft side' (relational and situational a... Sign up

Joel Nicaragua, Nicaragua

On Courage

@Umesh Bahadur: You are totally right. What we always find in the field are questions like: "Are you... Sign up

Ana Lilly Sander Padilla, Mexico

So.... The 12 C's of a Perfect Project Manager...

I was reading all of your your comments, and I thought most additional traits that were mentioned ar... Sign up

M Johnson
Management Consultant, Australia

Combine 4 C's of an Ideal Project Manager with the 7S as a Checklist

I like this. Perhaps the 4 c's could be combined with McKinsey's 7 S's in a matrix to provide a chec... Sign up

nan zeng, China

Using the Cs for Selecting a Project Manager

In my opinion, it is necessary to determine the features or competencies a PM should posess by takin... Sign up

Anwar Saleem, Pakistan

Caring - Passionate > Motivating

@Bergmann: caring here doesn't mean pampering, caring here stands for motivating. When a leader is o... Sign up

Reshma Sreedharan
Teacher, India

Extra C: Conscientious

The 4 C's mentioned are the core of being a successful project manager. But conscientiousness is al... Sign up

Anwar Saleem, Pakistan

Technically Prepared - Skilled

@Maria Lairet: I agree, being technically prepared or being competent is a must, but competency is o... Sign up

Dilip Khanal
CEO, Nepal

More Project Manager Traits...

It seems that we are stuck with Cs as Shaastri initiated the discussion. I think being conversant wi... Sign up

Business Consultant, Germany

Caring & Passionate

@Anwar Saleem: Yes, your are right. I agree with this meaning of 'caring' emotionality, passionatel... Sign up

bhusan, India

Essential Traits in the Form of 12 Cs

@Ana Lilly Sander Padilla: I think you summarized the discussion well in the form of 12 Cs. Each an... Sign up

Heather Jones, New Zealand

4 C's in Practice?

The C's sound good in theory, but how do they actually work in practice...... Sign up

Consultant, India

Creating Team Spirit

The 4Cs are definitely the most important qualities. I believe also Caring & Cool are equally impor... Sign up

Paolo Mazzoni, Italy

Managing Customer's Change Requests

All interesting and valid opinions. In my experience I think one of the most valuable is the PM's ab... Sign up

Mahmoud, Saudi Arabia

Catalyzation ~ Caring

I would like to add Catalyzation which is very near to motivation process. I believe it's more powe... Sign up

Sam Oum
Director, Cambodia

Add Extra C: Concluding

Concluding is also one of the most important C's for project management...
Ed: thanks Sam, nice... Sign up

John Moses
Manager, Nigeria

Extra C: Current

In my own opinion, the list is ending. Apart from being communicative, collaborative, committed and ... Sign up

Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Thanks for This Nice Discussion

Thanks Mr. Saasthry for the 4C's and all other contributing members for the Additional 8 C's (or eve... Sign up


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