There’s most likely not a project manager around that would say his or her job is an easy one. In fact, project management can prove to be quite a challenge for even the best task-oriented person. From initiating the project to closing the project, a project manager’s job is ongoing and full of skills needed to see the project through successfully. A successful project manager also has the duty of making sure strong relationships are created and maintained across the company or organization he or she is working for. Let’s look at ten important proficiencies every project manager needs to consider working on to create a successful and long-lasting career.
Leadership: The Make it or Break It Skill for a Project Manager
Obviously, if you wish to succeed as a project manager, you’re going to have to have amazing leadership skills. You will be, after all, in charge of leading your team and seeing them through successful projects. Along the way, you may or may not run into problems. But if you do run into any problems, it’s your leadership skills that will shine through in those times of adversity. Leadership not only requires one to literally lead their team, but also have the skills it takes to solve problems and help get the project back on track and running smoothly. It means being able to motivate and mediate when necessary. And it means being able to positively manage not only the tasks at hand, but people as well.
Critical Thinking: Being Levelheaded and Objective on the Job
The skill of critical thinking is vital when it comes to leading your team and responding to any conflicts or problems that may arise during a project. It’s also important to have strong critical thinking skills when evaluating a decision or issue being made that may affect how the project turns out. Critical thinking is the ability to be objective and unbiased regarding a decision or judgement. It’s being impartial when having to resolve an adverse situation and handling it with a well-guided and impartial process.
Communication: Being Able to Convey What You Want Clearly
Being able to communicate well and efficiently is a skill every project manager will need to possess to be able to run a successful project. Also, being able to communicate well with your team and clients goes hand in hand with having strong leadership skills. That’s because a strong leader must also be a strong communicator. You must be able to adequately articulate instructions to your team and have clear communications with anyone else associated with the project you’re working on. Effective communication skills also come in handy when it comes to networking and connection with others on a one-on-one or group setting like meetings and presentations.
Risk Management: Knowing and Handling the Prospects of Risks on the Job
Pretty much any project one works on is going to come with potential risks. So, when it comes to planning a project, the project manager must be able to assess those risks and address them before they could turn into actual problems during the project. Anticipating risks before starting the project means planning carefully and doing your research. It’s important to make sure you’re not only able to assess potential risks, but also have a plan in play to control that risk should it come up. Of course, not all risks can be prevented. So, risk management also included being able to handle risks you’d hadn’t anticipated in a timely manner so that it doesn’t adversely affect or slow down the project.
Cost Management: Knowing all Aspects of Your Expenses
Without the money needed for the project, that project isn’t going to even get off the ground. Having strong cost management skills is pertinent to be a successful project manager. One of the first things involved with planning a project is figuring out a budget. You’ve got to be able to not only make sure your project’s budget is viable and can meet the practical needs required, but also control the costs throughout the project so that you don’t go over budget. This means being able to efficiently predict any unforeseen costs that may arise as well as making sure you and your team are always staying within the budget.
Task Management: Making Sure Your Team is Always Being Productive
Being a good task manager is another essential skill needed for a successful project manager. This means creating, assigning, and managing tasks and jobs that will be needed to complete the project at hand. A great task manager is one who is able to efficiently collaborate with your team and prioritize tasks as they come up. It also means communicating with your team to keep tabs on when tasks have been completed or if a certain one is running behind.
Scheduling: Getting that Project Schedule Time frame Determined
A project manager’s schedule is probably one of the most important parts to running a successful project. And that means that a project manager’s scheduling skills are a vital key to making sure everything runs smoothly and on time. This means setting up realistic time frames for various tasks at hand and keeping those tasks on schedule so that the project remains on time and finished in a timely manner.
Negotiating: Being Prepared for Ongoing Negotiating Needs and Conflict Resolutions
Being a good negotiator is a skill that goes hand in hand with the skill of communicating. If you’re an excellent communicator, you’ll probably have no problem with negotiating. But sometimes negotiating can get complicated. Negotiating as a project manager tends to present itself in two ways. First, you may have to be in ongoing negotiations with shareholders invested in the project as well as other companies who may be putting their resources into your project. Second, you’ll have to be able to negotiate with your team should any conflicts arise during any point in the project. Having strong negotiating skills will help ward off the potential for a problem escalating into something that could threaten the project’s progress.
Quality Management: Keeping Your Promise in Delivering a Topnotch End Result
Quality management tends to be the most overlooked needed skill for a project manager, but it’s an important one that you should be aware of. Because as a project manager, it’s your reputation on the line if the end results of your project end up being low-quality. Having excellent management skills means that you’re able to oversee the ongoing project and make sure the product or service promised lives up to its high standards. It also means making sure your team is maintaining the quality of the project their working on as well.
Having Fun: Keeping Things Light in the Middle of a Stressful Project
Having fun may not seem like an important skill for a project manager to have, but it’s actually a great way to help diffuse tense situations and keep your team at ease whenever stressful deadlines are looming. Having fun can help lift low morale within the team, while having a more lighthearted approach to a stressful situation can help ease tensions and result in better productivity among your team. That doesn’t mean you’re expected to be a comedian. It just means don’t be afraid to infuse a little humor and lightheartedness into the workplace as a project manager.
When it comes to being a successful productive project manager, don’t be afraid to hone these ten skills when it comes to running your projects. There’s always room for improvement and if you’re aware of these top skills needed to help your projects succeed, then you’re well on your way to maintaining a long and successful career in project management.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps you better manage your projects. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…