Five Essential Skills All Project Managers Must Have
Effective project management is more than just about degrees or qualifications (those matter too, of course), but in reality, your ability to lead your people and fulfil your responsibilities matter the most.
Your timing and technical abilities are essential, but as a project manager, you must also make your project team feel motivated, appreciated and trusted under your leadership.
These soft skills of project management help you get the most out of people and ensure that things run smoothly.
Interestingly enough, the State Of Play In Project Management Report states that these broader business skills are often lacking in project management professionals. As a result, these PMs find it challenging to navigate complex dynamics despite being excellent at technical skills.
Soft skills are vital because you’ll rely on them when things become unpredictable or when it’s time to give harsh feedback to a staff member.
That’s why, if you are to become an accomplished project manager, you must put in the necessary time and effort to acquire these essential skills. You can either go for project management online courses or a diploma in project management.
Here’s a quick rundown of practical project management skills.
5 Skills Needed To Be An Exemplary Project Manager
The following are some of the most important talents of a successful PM:
Communication And Collaboration
38% of project managers rate this skill as their priority, and there’s a good reason for that.
A project manager’s job includes communicating orders, visions, ideas, goals, and solutions. You often find yourself working with people from diverse backgrounds and with different personalities and values.
The only way to get anything done is to prioritize communication.
Of course, the main concern is always to streamline project workflow, and for this, you need to ensure that all the team members and stakeholders are on the same page. Also, make sure that your team members work towards a common goal while keeping you in the loop about all the alterations and issues.
It’s also important to be flexible with your communication style: tailoring it consistently to connect with the right audience. You cannot be an effective leader without articulating your ideas, plans, and directions to the team.
Over the course of your career, you’ll often be tasked with facilitating face-to-face communication. Having confidence in your abilities in such situations can help you stand apart from the competition.
Also, make sure you have good command over chats, emails, sharing files, or holding discussions with other team members; a transparent communication system will serve you every step of the way.
Problem Solving Abilities
Project management involves a defined problem-solving framework that is applied in critical situations to get the desired results.
All projects have their inherent problems and impediments; it’s possible to avoid some of these while others are uncontrollable.
To be an effective project manager, you need to develop problem-solving skills to solve any real-time critical issues that affect the health of your project. For this, you’ll have to be proactive about seeking out potential complications and mitigating a crisis before it happens.
Assess each issue in detail and try to reach the root cause of the problem. Once you recognize the source of the case, think of all the possible solutions that can be applied to the problem and weigh their pros and cons.
Go for the best solution, implement it, oversee the solution’s efficacy, and determine its strengths and weaknesses. So regardless of the type of industry you work in, problem-solving skills will help you dodge curveballs that can come your way while working on complex projects.
Working in a team with people of different temperaments, perspectives, and ideas can sometimes get out of hands, affecting the project’s delivery and performance. You will be aware that negotiations can worsen such situations if not done in the right manner.
Such situations involve putting your demands in front of the stakeholders or solving the project’s team members’ inevitable conflicts.
This is why project managers must be highly intuitive negotiators who know what the other party wants to achieve out of a particular situation. You should know when to hold your ground and stand your point or compromise in favour of the project’s execution.
To become a successful negotiator, you need to be empathetic to the other party while emphasizing your point. If you can master this skill, you can negotiate your way through the budgets, schedules, overhead costs, and other essential expenses.
Strong Leadership Skills
Strong leadership skills are a must for all project managers out there.
As a leader, you are expected to do more than just motivate and inspire. Many times, it will also mean acting on your authority, enforcing the tenets of quality work and holding your team accountable for their mistakes and achievements.
This is why you need to make sure that you understand the difference between managing your team and leading them to success. Leadership comes in various styles; select one that perfectly aligns with your personality and values.
Once you learn to appreciate the intricacies of successful project management, combining your technical prowess with leadership skills will strengthen your authority as a project manager. You don’t have to possess inborn leadership skills as they can be easily worked upon, but you need dedication and the discipline for managing others.
As a leader, you will be responsible for maintaining transparent and open processes while doing every possible thing to help your team get the job done. For this, you need to develop a strong sense of integrity while instilling compassion for your team members.
Even if you are well known for your ability to dissolve conflicts and drive, you cannot succeed if your project isn’t complete by the deadline. Since it is the project manager’s job to oversee the life to ensure that the project gets completed on time, failure to do so establishes that you are not an effective project manager.
This makes time management abilities just as necessary as all other soft skills. You need to manage every minute spent on the clock to not only make sure that your projects are set to achieve their deadlines but also to set an example for your team members. They’ll respond positively to a manager who completes work on time and avoids procrastination.
Additionally, an efficient project manager must have the ability to minimize distractions while improving the productivity of the team members during crucial processes.
It’s critical to learn to deal with critical issues or any other disturbances that might throw you off-track so that your project timeline remains on its predetermined schedule.
Project management is an intensive job that requires a vast skill set. These skills work as core competencies that companies use to hire the best project manager who holds a combination of knowledge, experience, and the right skill sets for a specific project.
Since project management is constantly changing with more responsibilities, you need to remain updated on all the necessary skills to adapt to these changes. This shows that you are dedicated to your job, and you will do everything to be successful in your profession.
If you are in Sydney, Melbourne or anywhere nearby – you can enrol in project management courses online Australia from a reputable online institute to learn all the skills mentioned above and gain knowledge on other topics.
This is where the MCI Institute comes in. We offer a certificate IV and a diploma in project management that establishes and sharpens your skill sets to become an accomplished project manager.
Visit the MCI Institute website now and view all the essential skills they teach in the online project management courses.