In order to successfully execute a project from its initiation to its closedown phase, a project manager must have the essential project management skills. Regardless of the industry or company, these are highly critical and sought-after skills that help in the completion of projects within the defined budgets and timelines. The successful completion of a project depends on the mastering of project management skills by the professional.
Moreover, according to research, the demand for project management is highest for professionals who possess the essential blend of competencies such as a blend of leadership and technical skills along with business acumen.
In this guide, let us learn more about essential project management skills.
What are Project Management Skills?
Project management skills are skills that a project management professional possesses for successfully planning, managing, executing, and finishing projects on time and within budgets. When we talk about project management skills- it includes both soft and hard skills as a project manager’s responsibilities include various tasks that require various soft and hard skills for execution. Mastering both hard skills and soft skills ensures the timely completion of a project without overdoing the budget.
Top Project Manager Skills
Project management skills are necessary for successfully completing a project from its initiation phase to its closing phase. These are highly sought-after skills that allow project managers to complete the projects on time and within the defined budgets.
The demand for talented project managers is greater than ever before as firms attempt to complete complicated projects in hyper-competitive markets. Therefore, the project managers are expected to possess all the important project management skills as these abilities ensure that the entire project group or team performs together to enhance the workflow of the organization and reach a unified goal. Here are some of the top skills that every project manager must possess for career growth and success.
Being able to communicate clearly is the most important skill for a project manager as they have to communicate with the stakeholders, their project team, or other higher management. A project manager should be good at both verbal and written communication to avoid any communication gaps or misunderstandings.
As a project manager, you’ll have to collaborate with a variety of people, including members of the team, other divisions, leadership, and clients. Most projects have a broad list of stakeholders to keep informed, happy, and aligned. And this is where your communication skills come into play. A project manager has to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same business and company goals for work to flow.
The ability to positively lead, motivate and manage the project team is again the most sought-after skill that a project manager must-have. Leadership skills can help the project manager boost the spirits of the team, coordinate tasks, and define a perfect roadmap.
Moreover, a project manager’s entire career revolves around assisting people with projects, and to feel comfortable doing tasks like facilitating meetings, holding people accountable, and enforcing limitations, the project manager needs management and leadership skills.
To understand the project scope, objectives, plans, and tasks, it is important for a project manager to have good listening skills. It ensures the right execution of tasks and completion of deliverables.
Risk management is a skill that every project manager possesses to analyze the impact of the risk and accordingly take calculated risks for the benefit of the organization as a whole. There are hazards in any project. As a project manager, you’ll need to be able to predict the unexpected situations that could jeopardize your project, and also how to reduce the probability of them occurring and react accordingly if they do.
Organizations usually look for negotiation skills in a project manager as it allows them to negotiate terms with stakeholders, clients, or vendors. Negotiation is a critical skill in project management for resolving conflicts and managing stakeholders. Stakeholder demands, for example, are likely to have an impact on the project scope. You’ll have to push back, yet tactfully so that all project stakeholders are satisfied.
Problem-solving skills are crucial for project managers as it helps them come up with solutions for unanticipated problems that could arise during the project process. A project manager should and must have the expertise to solve the project problems because then the project is more likely to succeed. Consider problems to be puzzles that a project manager must solve.
All projects have a specified deadline that the project team adheres to. Therefore, time management becomes a very important skill for a project manager to avoid exceeding the deadlines and increasing the budgets for the project. Moreover, Insufficient time management skills might result in delays and even more serious consequences. Meeting deadlines and delivering on time is fundamental to project management. Project managers must be specialists at managing their own time, their team’s time, and the project’s total time.
Knowledge of Project Management Methodologies
A project manager must be well-versed in project management methodologies. The common methodologies are as follows:
Project Management Software Proficiency
A project manager must have a working knowledge of project management software to ensure smooth operations and a steady workflow in the team. Because there are so many project management software options on the market, a project manager has to identify which software is best suitable for the project and the project team.
Project management is only successful when there is team coordination and management. A project manager should have team management skills to ensure that the tasks are being performed in coordination and the team is productively working together without any conflicts. Great team work enables projects to be successfully completed with unified coordination and efforts from all the members. And to enable team coordination, it is the responsibility of a project manager to ensure that all the team members work in harmony with each other.
Project planning is again an essential project manager skill as project planning lays down the foundation of the project lifecycle in the organization. The Project plan includes various aspects such as planning the project schedule, costs, resources, etc. Because a project plan is the core of the project management cycle, project planning is a must-have skill for project managers. A project plan can determine the success or failure of a project.
A project manager must have cost management skills to manage the costs of the project and ensure that the project remains under the specified project budget. The most important role of a project manager is cost management or control as throughout the project life cycle, it entails developing feasible budgets, evaluating budgets, monitoring spending, and discussing the project’s cost.
When it comes to project management, a project manager can be overwhelmed with the number of tasks at hand and this is where task management skills help project managers ensure the smooth operations of the project tasks.
Critical thinking is important for project managers for thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas or solutions that can benefit the organization as a whole.
In project management, critical thinking will be used on a daily basis by the project manager. And in such cases, it is important to learn how to respond quickly within a set of limits while anticipating the project’s future impacts. Moreover, critical thinking helps you assess facts and information to make judgments in the planning stage, then apply that knowledge when situations change during the project.
Demand for Skilled Project Managers in 2023
According to the PMI job growth and talent gap survey, there is an estimation of a calculated 33% growth of project manager roles by 2023, which will create about 22 million new job openings for skilled and qualified project managers. However, many organizations are facing talent shortages as employers are looking for project managers who possess the core project management skills.
Therefore, there is a growing demand for skilled project managers as employers wish to hire PMs who can implement the various skills for successful project deliveries. If you wish to meet the growing demand, you can start sharpening your project manager skills.
Tips on how to develop Project Management Skills
Here are some ways to develop your project management skills.
You can find various resources that can help you broaden your horizons for learning and understanding the required project management skills. You can get various project management reference books and guides to get started.
Enrolling in a course
When you enroll in a project management training course, you get access to great opportunities where you can learn about project management and at the same time, improve and develop your project manager skills.
You can join project management organizations to get access to tools, resources, and a pool of networks to interact with other project management professionals. A few organizations that you can join are PMI, International Project Management Association (IPMA), and the Association for Project Managers.
Developing your technical skills
To develop your technical skills, you can start familiarizing yourself with the various project management software and tools.
Listening and asking questions
Another tip to enhance your project management skills is to listen to what others on your project team have to say and ask relevant questions to improve both your listening as well as your communication skills.
Check in your team more frequently
To enhance your team-building skills, it is important for you to keep a close check on your team in terms of how everyone is performing, whether any member is facing any challenges, and so on.
Your first and foremost step if you want to enter the project management domain is to develop the necessary skills that a project manager possesses. This guide gives you an overview of the skills that are highly crucial and a must-have for project success. To help you get started, Techcanvass offers project management certification training courses that are conducted by PMI authorized and certified training instructors.
Our PMP certification training course helps professionals attain the required project management skills and competencies. The training course is conducted by PMI authorized and trained instructors, where you can get online/offline access to our instructors, enjoy a question bank with 2000+ questions for your PMP exam preparation, and take the full-fledged mock exams designed to help you understand the exam format, pattern, and question-type.