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7 Must-have Skills of a Project Manager

April 5, 2018
8 min read
skills of a project manager
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It won’t be wrong to say that the landscape of project management has changed much more in the last five years than in the last twenty years. And, so has changed the roles and responsibilities of the man helming these projects – PROJECT MANAGER.

A modern-day project manager is successfully juggling numerous tasks, projects and on the top of it, a lot of people. Even more difficult is to complete them within deadlines and the allocated budget. And, that’s a lot of work to care about. Seemingly, one must possess superhuman powers to bring the enormous work to a successful completion.

As we have already written an article on the roles and responsibilities of an effective project manager, we would highlight the seven must-have skills of a project manager to help you thrive in this competitive industry called project management.

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Here are the seven essential skills to be a great project manager. Let’s go:

1. Effective leadership skills

Effective leadership skills

The first thing that is expected out of a project manager is to form a team of skilled professionals and lead them in the best possible manner. To do so, you have to have impeccable leadership qualities. If you have the knowledge of the nitty-gritty of project management, coupling them with leadership skills would strengthen your repertoire of a project manager.

Project leadership is not one-dimensional but comes with a range of different styles. You can read our post 7 Common Leadership Style: Which type of a leader are you to know more about it. Always remember that leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example.

2. Strong communication skills

Strong communication skills

 

It is essential for a project manager to know its organization’s vision, mission, and goals but what’s more important is to communicate them to team members in a clear and concise manner. You need to have sound communication and interpersonal skills to articulate your thoughts, requirements, deliverables, and expectations to team members, vendors, and stakeholders.

As 90 percent of a project manager’s time is spent on communicating information to others, it’s important for him to take his communication game to a superior level. You could also seek help from various project management and collaboration tools such as ProofHub to facilitate effective communication at work.

3. Problem-solving

Problem-solving

Every project comes with its own set of problems. Some are avoidable while others unavoidable and uncontrollable such as scope-creep, unforeseen risks while others happen due to negligence in planning or execution. As an effective project manager, you must have a systematic approach to solve these problems at the need of the hour.

You can use the five problem-solving steps that include defining the problem, determining the causes, generating ideas, selecting the best alternative, and taking action to tackle problems in an effective way. No matter in whichever industry you are, one must develop skills to tackle issues and problems arising while working on complex projects.

4. Time and team management

Time and team management

There are frequent instances where a project gets delayed due to time management or scheduling issues. Thus, time management and scheduling is the one thing that project managers are overly familiar with. Effective project managers understand that you must be able to manage time well to deliver projects on time.

As a project manager, you have to know how to manage your team well to achieve a common goal with complete harmony and unison. It is helpful in coordinating, delegating and administering a group of team members in a way that promotes teamwork, resolving conflict, evaluating performance and overall progress of both team members and the project.

5. Negotiation

Negotiation

Although negotiation is a part of the communication skills but it does need a special mention as project managers have to negotiate at every step – from vendors to team members. It starts from smartly settling at the best price from the vendor to constantly motivating the morale of team members to keep the project progressing at a good speed.

Oftentimes, project members don’t get along or get into a nasty fight, this is where you need to step in and use your people skills with strong negotiation to avoid letting it come in the way of the overall progress of the work.

6. Personal organization

Personal organization

Many project managers step in the office with their personal problems running in the back of their mind. It’s impossible to give your hundred percent when your personal life is in upheaval. Things like these would restrict you to get things done or organize your professional life. That is why, personal organization is one of the key skills to help you become an efficient project manager.

Personal organization starts with little things such as decluttering your desk to using the right tools to manage projects and time. It helps you achieve a work-life balance that boosts overall productivity and efficiency.

7. Risk management

You can easily gauge how good a manager is with his ability to foresee risks in an ongoing project. Risk management is one of the key knowledge areas in which a project manager must be proficient in and competent at. Risk Management is the process of identifying, analyzing and responding to risk factors throughout the life of a project and in the best interests of its objectives.

Considering this, the number of project managers embedding risk management is increasing day by day to reap the full benefits of this approach. If you aspire to be known as a great project manager, learn and educate yourself about the risk management while handling projects.

Quick tips to help you become an effective manager

  • Write down project details
  • Identify project and team requirements
  • Take responsibility with full authority
  • Gain your team’s support
  • Define critical project milestones
  • Keep the communication lines open
  • Choose the right tool to manage projects and people
  • Avoid scope creep
  • Manage project risks
  • Test deliverables
  • Evaluate the project

Conclusion

There are several factors that determine the success or failure of a project. As you are hired to manage projects and bring them to a successful completion, make sure you up your game with these tips.

If you think we have missed out on important skills to be a project manager, feel free to comment down.