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10 Essential Skills for a Project Manager

10 Essential Skills for a Project Manager

Three people sat around a table.

‘Project manager’ is a broad job title used to describe an individual who is responsible for planning and overseeing projects, and ensuring they are completed within certain time and budget constraints.

Key Skills required for a Project Manager

A project manager should act as a liaison between a team of workers and company stakeholders, providing a direct line of communication between these two factions and ensuring everyone in a given company is aware of the goals and vision for a certain task or project.

A project manager can work in a variety of industries, and across multiple verticals at once, including, but not limited to: HR, IT, construction, business development and marketing.

A project manager provides an essential role for businesses, and demand to pursue project management as a career has surged in recent years. The following article will discuss the core skills required for a project manager and the ability levels needed.

1. Leadership

This is a crucial ability for a project manager position – the power to lead a team and coordinate dozens of workers spanning across different sectors of a given business is extremely important for the role, which helps to maximize efficiency and achieve goals within a timely matter.

A natural leader and good project manager should be able motivate a team through strong human relations and direct communications.

2. Communication

It is important to show effective communication as a project manager to connect with stakeholders and team members.

Connecting with stakeholders and team members is a significant aspect of project management, and a good project manager must be able to speak confidently and have a natural ability to communicate complicated information in a direct and understandable way. This can be achieved through reporting tools, newsletters, file sharing, intranet, face-to-face meetings or online conferencing.

Clear communication also helps to negate misunderstanding and create clarity of thoughts and expression, bringing employees closer together.

3. Organisation

The key skills for project management associated with organisation include time management and scheduling, as they both help deliver projects most efficiently. Making good use of time and staying on top of basic tasks can be the difference between a successful project and a failure.

4. Risk Management

A project manager may face certain difficulties when projects become more complex and unique, and risk management is a key skill to tackling these challenges and controlling the risk.

A key understanding of statistical and data analysis can be crucial in allowing a project manager to anticipate, and eventually mitigate, certain risks.

5. Critical Thinking

Being decisive and analytical is also of great importance. This skill can be built through experience, and a good project manager will be able to oversee an entire project without bias and make decisions based on logic, not emotion.

6. Negotiation

In business, negotiation skills are important in both informal day-to-day interactions and formal transactions between external sellers, third-party providers, and distributors, for example.

Strong negotiation skills is integral to driving costs down and improving the quality of a given task on a shoestring budget. Some of the best negotiators are invaluable to the company they work for due to the money they save and relationships they build.

7. Coaching

Skills in coaching will help improve team skills, performance and engagement levels, whilst also building self-confidence and increasing productivity overall. These are all crucial aspects to the success of a project.

8. Task Management

Task management entails creating tasks lists, delegating tasks to team members and tracking progress. Everyone will have different strategies for keeping this in check, such as task prioritisation, check lists and task management tools.

Task management is very important in improving productivity and organising workforces.

9. Quality Management

Staying on track of tasks and cracking down on time management is important, however it’s meaningless if the quality of the work is not up to standard.

Quality control includes the process of overseeing and checking the tasks completed fit the specification but is often neglected, which affects stakeholder satisfaction.

10. A Sense of Humour

Project Management is no easy feat and to get through the processes, relieve stress and work through issues, you need a good sense of humour. A good sense of humour is one of the best skills for a project manager as it can also help to see from a different perspective and encourage a tolerant working environment. A good sense of humour is an excellent source of morale, which helps reduce frustrations during long, complicated projects.

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