Introducing the most important project management skills
Introducing the most important project management skills. Project management is not an easy task. In fact, project management includes several not-so-simple tasks; including starting, planning, executing, controlling, and closing a project. The tricky part is when the project is assigned to a team of your choice with specific goals to achieve a specific timeline within a set budget.
You have to do all these things successfully. For this, the best project managers use robust project management tools to keep all aspects of their projects organized.
Project managers need a variety of skills, including technical, business, and managerial skills, as well as a number of soft skills. Project managers deal not only with systems and processes but also with people. Successful team management is based on building and maintaining strong relationships throughout the organization.
But this is only one aspect of the various tasks of the project manager. In the following, we have collected 16 skills needed by every project manager. There are certainly more, but if you have these 16 skills, you’ll lay the foundation for a successful career in project management.
Leadership is a fundamental skill that some belief is inherent in people and cannot be taught. But we think everyone has the ability to learn how to apply proven leadership skills and techniques.
As a project manager, you are not only responsible for fully overseeing the project and making it successful, but you also lead a team to achieve that goal. This requires motivation and intervention when necessary. Remember that project leadership comes in many different styles, one of which will suit your personality. Leadership is more than managing tasks; Because it requires people management skills.
Communication is aligned with leadership. You can’t be an effective leader if you can’t articulate what the team needs to do. But you’re not only supposed to communicate with your team, you need to have clear communications with everyone involved in the project, from vendors and contractors to stakeholders and customers.
Whether it’s through reporting tools or enhancing collaboration with chat, file sharing, and other methods for tagging work-level discussions, you need both systems to facilitate communication. These tools also help people communicate one-on-one and in group situations such as meetings and lectures.
We will now examine some of the hard skills required by project managers, the most important of which is project planning. The only way to achieve project goals in the time frame that has been approved is to break that goal down into tasks in a timeline.
Planning is the most important thing a project manager does: setting a realistic plan and then managing the resources to execute it so that the project can be successfully completed on time. There are many tools that can help with this process, including a Gantt chart, which provides a visual representation of the program with tasks, how long they will take, dependencies, and milestones.
4- Risk management
Doing anything is a risk. Planning a project, whether big or small, carries risks. It is part of your job to identify these issues before they become problems. Therefore, before implementing the project, you must identify, assess and control the risk.
The better you manage project risk, the more likely your project will be successful. Of course, you cannot predict everything that may happen during the project life cycle. Unforeseen cases will arise, so you need to create a process to handle such cases.
5- Cost management
You can’t do anything without paying for the project. You have created a budget. The first task is to make sure that the budget is realistic and can meet the financial needs of the project. Then you have to control these costs through project implementation.
Cost control is easier said than done. Unless you’re lucky enough to work for an organization with an unlimited budget, you have certain financial constraints and will most likely be given a very limited budget. It takes a lot of skill to figure out how to make the most of these limited financial resources.
Negotiation skills are a subset of communication, but they are important enough to merit an item on this list. Negotiation is not just about getting the best price, although that is part of it. Leading a project means you are constantly negotiating.
For example, you will likely receive requests from stakeholders that can affect the scope of the project. You have to push them, but diplomatically so that all parties involved feel they are getting what they want. Then there are the inevitable conflicts that will arise among team members or other people involved in the project. If you have strong negotiation skills, you can resolve these disputes before they become bigger and threaten the project.
7- Critical thinking
Project managers are not the only ones who can benefit from this skill. Most of us do not think but react and follow a series of answers that we have been told or taught. This is not a bad thing, But it’s good to know when to give it up.
Critical thinking simply means being as objective as you can in analyzing and evaluating an issue or situation in order to arrive at an unbiased judgment. This causes you to act on feelings or received knowledge. Isn’t that what a project manager should do? When working on a project, you face problems every day and you have to make unbiased decisions. The only thing guiding your decision should be the best option for the project.
8- Task management
Here’s another technical skill every project manager should have. If we consider planning as the cornerstone of project management, it is the mortar duties that hold everything together. You are going to create, assign and manage thousands of small tasks; Some of them will depend on others, which means that mismanagement of this process can seriously affect the success of the project.
You can look at tasks as a to-do list, which isn’t wrong, but as complexity increases, you need tools to help you manage these tasks more efficiently. You should have features in your task management tool that foster team collaboration, help you prioritize, and notify you immediately when tasks are done or behind schedule.
9- Quality management
Quality management is a skill that is often overlooked by project managers and should be given more attention. Quality management involves monitoring the activities and tasks required to deliver the product or service at the level stated in the project documents.
It’s basically a part of your job that you probably never gave a name to, or even worse, you neglected due to meeting deadlines. Sticking to a schedule is important, but it’s useless if that schedule produces something that’s preliminary.
10- A sense of humor
You don’t have to be a comedian, and there’s certainly a time and place for humor, but a sense of humor might be one of the most essential skills on our list, even though it’s a soft skill.
That’s because humor actually provides a different perspective. It allows you to see a problem differently. Humor de-stresses you and your team, and only when tensions are resolved can smarter actions and ideas emerge. Humor also helps to lift spirits. You will work as hard as your team, but that doesn’t mean your work environment has to be boring. You can adjust, or at least influence, the workplace culture to boost employee morale.
Rushing through a project or getting frustrated won’t solve anything when things don’t go according to plan. While time is a constraint, if you rush through the process, you’re wrong. This will frustrate you, which will lead to more damage.
Projects take time. From research to planning, they should be thoroughly explored so that they can be easily implemented. This does not mean that problems will not arise. Issues always arise; Whether it’s a change request, a protesting team member, or stakeholders with high expectations, things will get exponentially worse if you’re impatient.
12- Technical skills
Technology is constantly evolving. As you get used to one tool, another takes its place and you’re back on the learning curve. However, it is wrong to stick to old ways of doing things just because you are used to them. Tools have moved from the desktop to the Internet, and while it’s not what you’re used to, it has countless benefits.
If you struggle with traditional Gantt charts, the world will change for you when you start using cloud-based project management software. Also, communication has moved from email to text messaging tools like Slack. In order to stay connected, you need to get on that platform and learn how to speak, so you can be a successful project manager.
13- Process management
Ability to map critical and control processes in the project ecosystem.
What are the most important processes of your company? For many people, business processes include:
- Launching the project
- Project Submission
- Reviews, reports, and evaluations
Therefore, process management is a way to catalog all these processes, monitor them and circulate information as needed.
Ability to do the right thing at the right time.
As a project manager, a huge part of your job is to determine what other people are doing and keep them informed about it. But knowing how to manage time is equally important.
The problem is that important tasks are often confused with urgent tasks. If necessary, analyze your current tasks with the 80/20 method. In this case, if you have limited time, you will make sure that you dedicate your time to doing important things.
Successful project managers also respect their teammates’ time, so being able to confidently read people’s body language is also important.
Documentation is the recording of a process so that it can be accessed, reviewed, and repeated by others. It is important that the project manager knows how to document and knows what is needed to avoid wasting time and energy.
So how do you learn to document and focus and set appropriate limits? This is a challenge that every project manager must face.
16- Project control
It is the responsibility of the project manager to keep the project(s) within schedule and budget. Almost every project tests these imposed constraints. Scope creep, unexpected obstacles, and other obstacles try to limit time and cost.
Project control involves data collection and analysis by project tracking tools and dashboards in order to predict and influence the financial costs and time required for a particular project. Once the constraints are confirmed, it’s the project manager’s job to make sure they don’t go off track.
Every project manager knows that no project is “100% perfect”. There is always more to be done. Appropriate controls help to set limits for the project so that ultimately there is no ambiguity.
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