If you think that project management is an easy job, then try to identify and count how many project manager’s skills you have. Do not know even where to start?
Each project has own specific goals, defined timelines, and determined budget. Project managers’ key responsibility is to manage them successfully.
Project managers are dealing with systems, processes and also people and they should create and maintain strong relationships across the company. So what are the core skills and characteristics that make project managers real professionals?
Here we compile 11 skills essential for every project manager. There are certainly more than 11, but if you have this basis, it will be enough to build a successful career in project management.
11 Project Manager’s Skills that Contribute to a Successful Career
1. Management means leadership
The leadership role means leading, managing and motivating a team, setting the vision, coaching and inspiring team members. A project manager should be able to get team buy-in, resolve conflicts, set goals, and evaluate performance. Being a leader also means keeping everyone on the team in line.
A well-educated project manager as a team leader provides a vision and a product roadmap for success and serving and empowering the team to get there.
Learn more about the skill: How to Become a Super Boss: Developing Leadership Skills
2. Communication and negotiation
The ability to communicate well means understanding and being understood. Communication is the key to many doors and the effectiveness of a project manager’s communication has an impact not only on the project team but the customers too.
Project managers with advanced communication and negotiation skills are an asset to their teams as they seek to resolve conflicts by finding the best scenarios for everyone.
Learn more about the skill: 5 Steps to Master the Art of Negotiation
3. Planning and scheduling
Ability to schedule is a core project management skill. However, many project managers do not pay much attention to it.
Organizing tasks in the right order and hitting the right outcome at the right time are the major parts of a project manager’s job.
Project managers should always care about scheduling and along with it, monitoring progress as the project moves forward and making tweaks. In fact, planning is about finding ways to do all that you need to do as efficiently as possible. Fortunately, today managers can fully rely on smart online project management software that make their lives easier.
Learn more about the skill: What Is the Difference Between Planning & Scheduling?
4. Time management
Being aware of how to manage own time is rather important for any team. Project managers determine how proficiently their team members will spend their working hours.
Often project managers do not know what to do with important and urgent tasks. One of the best solutions is to apply Eisenhower’s prioritization matrix to nail the difference between urgent and important. Besides, you may try other great prioritization techniques and frameworks, available online.
Project managers should always respect their teammates’ time and be able to delegate responsibilities or rearrange schedule as necessary.
Learn more about the skill: 11 Tips on How to Manage Time and Improve Deadline Management Skills
5. Critical thinking
Critical thinking also belongs to the core project manager resume skills and helps managers to make the right decisions and weigh up the pros and cons of solutions to problems before choosing the right ways.
It’s a good idea to improve critical thinking skills through practice and by equipping yourself with special approaches and tools to structure arguments logically and see things from all angles before making the final decision.
Learn more about the skill: How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills
6. Risk management
There are no projects without possible risks. If the problem happens, everyone around wonders if the project manager could have foreseen and prevented the risk before it became an issue.
Often project managers fail to consider risks as seriously as they should. The best way is to stay on top of the project by controlling risks and actively mitigating against them as far as you can. For this aim, it is worth to have a prepared risk plan template.
Learn more about the skill: 5 Ways To Manage Risk
7. Budgeting and costs management
For every project managers, it’s also important to understand the numbers and create own tracking mechanisms to define how much the project is spending.
Managers without the cost management skill will be at a disadvantage because budgets are tight. Make sure you improve your budgeting talent to deliver your projects within the cost constraints and by managing the project finances intelligently.
Learn more about the skill: Project management: 5 tips for managing your project budget
8. Contract management
Many projects in different industries involve working with suppliers. Contract management means being able to actively manage all procurements.
Many companies have their finance departments that get this sort of work done, however often project managers should also pick up the slack when it comes to procurement.
Learn more about the skill: Effective contract management. The seven golden rules.
People involved in project management should be good at coaching as well. Team members may not have much project experience, so you will have to coach them to top performance.
Learn more about the skill: Why Coaching is an Important Skill for Leaders
10. Quality management
Being good at quality management ensures PMs that they deliver a product that is fit required goals.
Projects quality assessment is one of those processes that should be definitely involved in the priority of project managers. The better the project quality, the better value you are offering stakeholders. The more satisfied they will be.
Learn more about the skill: Quality & Regulatory Management
11. Managing meetings
Meetings drive project teams’ work and solve various problems. Any meeting should result in clear action being agreed.
The skill of managing meetings is also important for project managers. It is about being able to read the body language of team members and stick to the agenda.
Learn more about the skill: How to Run a More Effective Meeting
Keeping work organized and the team informed is critical to any project manager. The skills mentioned above are what you need to achieve these. To be an effective project manager, you have to create realistic project plans and budgets, manage tasks and schedules, estimate time and effort, prioritize and so on.
Hopefully, these skills will be incorporated into your work. They will help you become the best project manager you can be.