Balancing multiple projects at different timelines is difficult. But, when working in a role that requires you to juggle between different projects, there is nothing much that you can do other than adopt a pattern or best practice to complete the project on time. That’s why project managers take up uncountable courses and read-up hundreds of articles to stay up to date and learn new ways to multitask.
Learning plays an important role in a project manager’s work life. They learn new because for the following reasons:
- To increase their knowledge base
- To learn new things to attract the right opportunities
- To understand a new perspective on how things are done
- To realize new ways to finish projects on time
Apart from learning, equipping oneself with time management, communication, and organizational skills will help you (project manager) manage and finish projects efficiently and on time. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the top project management skills that will help you complete a project in time.
Top Project Management Skills
The process of organizing, planning, and delegating resources, tasks, workforce, or duties toward completing a project is called project management. The nature of the project decides the role played by the project manager in it. Experts define project management as the process that requires specific knowledge, skills, tools, and technique to deliver something in the stipulated time. Therefore, to successfully carry out the project management process, a manager should have skills that help in timely completion. Below are top project management skills that will help you complete a project successfully.
Skills Required For Project Management
- Leadership skills
Effective leadership is the cornerstone of a project’s success; project managers must possess these skills for the seamless working of the organization. As a leader, the project manager must be decisive, conscious, and clear about the project’s goal and objective to ensure timely deliveries. Furthermore, they should also be capable of handling derailments, chaos, and conflict with optimism and empathy so that it doesn’t hinder the project.
- Negotiation skills
As a project manager, you will be negotiating with different parties- including employees, vendors, etc. Therefore, having the right negotiation skill is imperative. Managers can instigate innovation, efficiency, and productivity with the right negotiation skills. You can join different certification coursesto hone your negotiation skills.
- Organization skills
Project managers who work in an organized manner have better chances of timely deliveries. That’s why many managers pursue different courses to hone their organizational skills. Understanding the importance of organizational skills helps managers prevent problems and complications. Here are some benefits why organizational skills are an important project management skill:
- Competitive advantage
- Better management
- Team management skills
Understanding team management skills helps project managers to increase efficiency and productivity among team members. Team management also includes listening skills and rewarding best performing team members. Motivating team members for their efforts increase job satisfaction and helps build a special bond with the manager. Increased job satisfaction and efficiency and indirectly proportional to each other.
- Problem-solving skills
Some projects do not have a pre-defined end. They continue for a long period. That’s when the problem-solving skills of the project manager come into use. These project management skills help managers use their analytics skills, forecast problems, and adapt different processes to reduce risk.
- Communication skills
Since managers handle a team of people with different perspectives and ethics, it is important to have good communication skills. It helps in reducing miscommunication and conflicts in the team. Moreover, it helps managers succinctly communicate their thoughts and perspectives to their team members.
- Technical skills
Project managers need to be well-versed with new technological trends. Moreover, they must be aligned with modern and relevant technologies that can make a difference in their company by automating their process and increasing efficiency and productivity.
Learning these skills will help you perform the project manager’s duties excellently. In the next part of the article, we will answer the question of the decade- who is project manager. We will also look into the duties performed by a project manager.
- Project planning
Project planning includes creating meeting plans, statements of work, estimates, timelines, resource plans, and project briefs. As a project manager, you are responsible for ensuring that a project is completed in a stipulated time. Therefore, you must have excellent project planning skills to find answer to ‘what next’.
- Task management
It takes special skills to navigate a project to its completion. Project managers:
- Schedule, monitor, and assess the progress and quality of every task associated with the project.
- Ensure that the workflows run smoothly.
- Decide and execute everything, from making task lists to using different techniques to ensure productivity and efficiency.
- Risk management
Project managers prepare business plans while considering the risks that may arise and ensure that the team executes them properly. These risks could be related to anything from cost to resources.
So, how does a project manager reduce a project’s risk? Project managers manage to reduce the risks by identifying them and then formulating an effective mitigation plan to mitigate their effects.
- Critical thinking
Often, project managers encounter conflicts or situations that require them to form a judgement about an issue. Herein, you must be able to choose ‘what’s best’ based on logical reasoning. This needs you to be a critical thinker who can make decisions based on logic, not assumptions.
- Active listening
To become a good leader, you must be a good listener because it helps you connect well with your team members. Furthermore, it helps develop a good relationship with your clients and manage key stakeholders’ expectations effectively. Listening to them allows you to anticipate their needs and empathise with them, thus, strengthening your bond with them.
- Research skills
An excellent project manager must have solutions for all the challenging situations that may arise throughout the project’s lifecycle. That can be gained through deep research.
Therefore, to be equipped with in-depth knowledge, project managers must find answers to common or unique problems. It helps them fill the gaps between the knowledge they possess and the knowledge required to complete the project.
- Interpersonal skills
A project manager’s ability to collaborate with different parties, establish and maintain a relationship with them and complete projects more efficiently is called Interpersonal skills.
These skills are essential as they enable the project manager to develop and nurture relationships with clients, vendors, and team members. Transparent communication between different parties improves the team’s overall confidence, increasing their morale and performance.
- Conflict Management
Strong conflict management skills help leaders nestle a team with high efficiency and productivity. These skills are also essential to fix stalled workflow and project discrepancies or address other internal or external setbacks.
- Project management approaches and methodologies
Project management methodologies are the rules and procedures that guide you to manage and organize your projects to ensure their optimum performance. Different project management methodologies are suitable for different situations. Knowing the fundamental differences can help you pick the best one for a project.
Some common approaches to project management include waterfall, agile, and a traditional, sequential approach. Within these approaches, there are many methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, Lean, etc.
As a project manager, you are responsible for solving budget-related issues that might arise in a project. Therefore, you must know where the costs will pile up and how to prioritise tasks and delegate resources to reduce costs. It will help in making sure the project doesn’t go over budget.
- People skills
Your role as a project manager is to complete different types of projects successfully. You need to foster collaboration and openness and resolve potential conflicts to ensure that projects are completed on time.
Therefore, it is essential to have people skills to understand your staff and their problems and issues.
- Project management tools
Technology plays a vital role in project management. It makes collaboration, work management, planning, and communication convenient. A project manager must be well-versed in different project management tools.
Here are some of the frequently used project management tools:
- Google sheets, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc., are used for collaboration
- Trello, Jira, and Smartsheet are used for managing work across different departments
- Digital calendar and Gantt charts are used for scheduling purposes
- Email, chat, and video conferencing software are used for communication within the organisation
Creativity is a skill that machines cannot imbibe from humans. Therefore, creative thinking is a project management skill that helps you gain competitive advantage over others. Additionally, it helps you in managing projects that are unique and novel and need out-of-the box thinking.
So, as a project manager you must nestle creativity and uniqueness in the way you fulfill different responsibilities.
Who Is A Project Manager?
A project manager is a person who can balance multiple projects with different demands efficiently, without any toil or hassle. They are talented and skilled people who run a team of executives and interns who perform various duties that help a project reach its end without peril. Many companies realize the importance of project managers, which is why the demand for project management-related roles is high.
A recent survey by the Project Management Institute estimates that there will be 87.7 million people working in different project management related roles by 2027. Therefore, if you are planning to make a career in project management, then here’s all you need to know about their duties. In the succeeding part of the article, we will discuss what a project does in an organization.
What Does A Project Manager Do?
Here’s what does a project manager do in a day:
- Communicating with team members
- Discussing with stakeholders about the status and other important details about the project
- Tracking the progress of multiple projects
- Solving, and identifying issues emerging in the project
- Time management and budgeting-related issues and responsibilities
- Ideating and conducting different team-building activities
- Planning duties, and tasks for team members
To learn different technical skills, managers take up different courses in project management. Emeritus India has partnered with prestigious Indian and international institutes to offer some of the best project management certification courses to update aspiring managers with new and emerging skills and knowledge.