Good project management is one of the keys to running a successful business. As such, an unskilled and inexperienced project manager can cause a business substantial damage.
Are you looking to become a project manager? Unsure of which project management skills you need to brush up on? Here are 9 that everything PM should have.
The absolute most important skill for any project manager to have is leadership. If your team members lack confidence in your ability to facilitate the project, they’re going to try and take matters into their own hands. This will result in a combative and inefficient team that’s scarcely able to complete quality work.
Not only do you need to be a verbal leader, informing each team member as to his or her responsibilities within the team, but you must also lead by example, demonstrating to each team member what is and isn’t appropriate behavior.
PMs must guide large groups of employees, each of which has his or her own talents, temperament, and personality. While a PM doesn’t have to be best friends with each one of his or her employees, he or she does need to know how to communicate with them. Failure to communicate with even one employee can set your team’s workflow back substantially.
Not only do you need to be able to communicate in person, but through email and by phone as well. Project-based work relies heavily on communication and will falter without it. Read about the project economy now.
As was noted above, work teams consist of various different employees with various different temperaments and talents. As such, conflicts between team members can be quite common.
One of your jobs, as the project manager, is to engage in negotiation with members on your team so that they remain happy and continue to deliver quality work. If you fail to negotiate fairly, you’re bound to dishearten one of your team members. This can lead to a lack of effort, resulting in reduced workflow efficiency.
The point? You need to know how to negotiate. You need to know how to solve problems without alienating one or more of the parties.
4. Cost Management
Projects cost money. However, at the same time, project budgets are generally pretty tight. As such, as a project manager, you need to know how to operate in as cost-effective a manner as possible.
In other words, you have to possess good cost management skills.
Cost management is rarely something that a project manager will be instantly good at. It’s the type of thing that requires time and real-world experience. Nonetheless, by learning how to allocate money and budget properly, you can put yourself in a fairly good position.
5. Risk Management
Every project carries a risk of some kind. The more complex a project is, the more risk it takes on. And the more risk a project takes on, the more it needs a reliable project manager to keep it all together.
This is known as risk management. It refers to the way that an individual combats problems during a project. Good risk management is all about minimizing problems so that they have as little impact on the project as possible.
This takes place both before and after the problem has occurred. So, it requires a bit of estimation on the project manager’s part. While risk management skills tend to improve with experience, they start with proper planning.
6. Resource Management
In order to carry out a project, you need to acquire a wide variety of resources. As you might imagine, these resources will be provided by a wide variety of suppliers.
As the project manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that these suppliers are delivering the resources you need, and at the time that you need them. If resources aren’t delivered on time, your workflow can become disrupted, thus negatively affecting your efficiency.
As such, it’s important for you to become resource-minded. Establish a system wherein you’re communicating with suppliers on a regular basis. This way, you’ll keep mishaps to a minimum.
7. Scheduling Ability
Another important practical skill for a PM to have is scheduling ability. Not only must project managers schedule meetings and deadlines but employees as well.
And it’s important to note that scheduling is more than just throwing some dates on a page. The schedules you put together can have a massive impact on the projects you carry out.
For instance, by failing to schedule a meeting at a key point in a project, you could allow a team-wide miscommunication to fester. Not only could this slow the project down, but it could also result in conflict between team members.
8. Critical Thinking
It’s rare that a project goes exactly as planned. Something untimely always seems to happen, putting the entire team in a pickle until it’s sorted out. As the project manager, you need to know how to handle these situations.
One of the biggest attributes needed when handling an unforeseen circumstance is critical thinking skills. You must be able to assess the situation, figure out where it went wrong, and come up with the ideas necessary to fix the problem.
If your critical thinking skills are poor, you have no legitimate shot at being a project manager.
9. Task Allocation
The last skill needed to be a project manager is the skill of task allocation. You need to be able to identify your team members’ strengths and then assign them specific tasks based on those strengths
For instance, you don’t want to hand a writing task off to someone with a questionable grasp of the English language. You don’t want to hand a customer service task off to the quietest and most awkward person in the room.
It’s important for you to understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can play to those strengths and minimize those weaknesses.
Time to Polish Your Project Management Skills
Now that you know which project management skills are necessary, you can start adding them to your arsenal. The more you focus on these skills, the more polished a project manager you will become.
On the search for similar information? Our website is the place to be. Browse our other articles now!