Contributed by Sara Williams
Leadership. Financial tracking. Data management and analysis. Risk management. Organization. What are all these terms?
These are just a few of the roles and responsibilities fulfilled by the project manager. Yes, you read that right. A project manager’s job is overwhelming. It is all of the roles combined into one. This does not mean you need to know and master every bit of these. But, there is surely a list of project management skills that you should tick off before getting started. Instead of just gaining knowledge in bits and pieces, you should have a piece of in-depth knowledge about these few skills.
Project managers are the most important assets for a company. They play a key role in maintaining the gap between clients and the company. So, to get through this role, here is a list of 10 essential project management skills that one must possess.
Essential Project Management Skills you Must Have in 2021
No matter how much experience you have, every project is different. And to deal with these projects, the project managers must possess some skills.
According to statistics, about 47% of the projects do not succeed. The sole reason being the failure of project management. So, to tackle these hurdles that come along the way, here is a list of project management skills that help you tackle things seamlessly.
1. Communication and leadership:
These surely have to be on the top. If the project manager does not know how to communicate well, they will not be able to put their point across to their team. Effective communication leads to the reduction of possibilities of misunderstandings. According to reports, 1 out of 5 projects ends up failing because of ineffective communication.
Here are some of the tips to consider to deliver your ideas well:
- Keep your language clear and concise. Do not complicate stuff. Ensure that the information is delivered well.
- While communicating, take inputs from all your team members. Make healthy discussions, and allow all members to share their ideas and concerns.
- When conducting a meeting, ensure that you note down the minutes of the meeting. This will ensure that the team remembers everything further saving a lot of time.
Another very important aspect for a project manager is to possess leadership skills. Even after a good financial amount, many projects fail. The key reason behind this is the absence of a good leader. A good leader knows what decisions to make and what is right for the project. This not just helps the project flow seamlessly, but also helps in dealing with problems well.
Here are some tips to consider while leading the team:
- Before initiating the work, understand the project requirements well.
- For every task you assign, clarify the goals and how it is to be achieved.
- To enhance the quality of your work, take inputs from the team. This will improve the overall performance.
- Always appreciate the members who perform well. This will motivate them further to level up their work and skills.
- Do not be biased while solving any issues. Understand everyone’s perspective.
No, we are not talking of technical terms here. The project manager need not have an in-depth knowledge of web development or coding. Instead, they must have a fine hand on the basic skills required for project management. Considering the competency in today’s world, they must know how to tackle any digital issues well. Some of these tech-savvy skills include emailing, documenting, budgeting, presentations, and other such management skills.
This will help the project managers carry out their tasks efficiently. Considering the global scenario, almost all operations are taking place on virtual platforms. And basic knowledge of digitalization is the need of the hour.
3. Data analysis and statistics management:
When devising a plan for any project or for that matter, for your business, what do you look into? Indeed, the answer is data and statistics. The project manager must be well aware of the statistics and data insights for strategic project planning. This helps in making data-driven decisions for the project processes. What, when, how, what is the problem? All of these questions can be answered with insightful data in hand. For any business, the analytics and data are an asset. They help in continuous business optimization. Alongside, they also help the project managers to understand the variations that take place.
4. Financial management:
What if you run out of all your funds? Well, the business will stop. Budget management and cost control are the key aspects to get the project going. The right budget helps in providing quality deliverables to the clients. Focus on every minute detail to spend every penny with the utmost care.
Here are some tips you can follow for financial management:
- Detailed planning:
Define all your tasks and goals clearly. This will help in regular project tracking and avoiding budget overrun.
- Regular project updates:
Provide your clients with project updates regularly to track the budget and time. This will help you attain the feedback and make any changes if required.
- Cost-related metrics:
Track the cost related metrics to gain clear insights and improvise the strategies if and when needed.
5. Expertise in the respective field:
Knowledge is never enough. In the constantly adaptive world, the trends are always changing. This makes it important for the project manager to be well-updated with their respective fields. They must know what is going on, the changes taking place and how they can incorporate them into their project. What’s even better is to integrate the subject expertise with your strengths. This will surely turn the tables and help you tackle your project well.
6. Time management and organization:
For the smooth execution of tasks, time management is essential for all organizations. This does make the team feel overwhelmed or create chaos. One of the key ways to organize the tasks is by documenting everything lying ahead of you. Not just this, for the strategic implementation of the plan, the project manager must prepare an agenda. This will help them track whether the activities are completed in time.
7. Risk management:
You cannot avoid risks. All you can do is handle them well. Risks can occur at every step of the project. So, it is a good idea to identify and manage risk in the project. This will help you in managing them smartly and increase the project success rates. A skillful project manager must understand where anything can probably go wrong. This will allow the implementation of the strategy effectively. One of the wise ways to tackle a problem is to use a risk management tool. This will help you solve your problems by leaps and bounds.
8. Decision making and critical thinking:
The approach of the project must always be, ‘You have a problem?’, ‘I have a solution’. Well, simple! Isn’t it? A single decision in the business or for a project can either make or break the project. The project manager must be able to respond well to the needs of the situation. A structured approach and critical thinking towards problems yield positive results. You must be able to weigh the pros and cons of the situation. This will help you in taking the appropriate decision to cope with these issues.
9. Quality management:
Of what use are all the efforts if they do not live up to the expectations? Project managers must make the quality of the project their priority. Deliverables and budgets are secondary. You cannot compromise on the quality of the project at any cost.
Here is a list of things to maintain the quality of the project:
- Explaining the vision:
Before project execution, let your team know what you expect. This will help them work at par with the quality and deliver accordingly.
- Proper delegation:
Once you know the vision, distribute the tasks accordingly in your team. Consider the skills of the team members to get the best results.
- Monitor team performance:
Constantly track how each member of the team is performing. This will help in maintaining the quality of the work and also avoid the work to fall back.
10. Strategic planning:
What is a project without planning? Strategic planning is all about building the framework of the project. This not just helps in carrying out the project effectively but also tackle all organizational challenges well. It involves bringing all the ideas into action. Alongside, for any business having several projects, strategic planning and improvisation is a skill that can be mastered with time.
To summarize, project management plays a crucial role in every business. If you are planning to become a project manager, you can upscale your capabilities by adding these skills to your list. After all, you want to deliver the best!
Author Bio: Sara Williams
Sara is a Content Writer at PeppyBiz. She is not only a creative writer but also paints a beautiful canvas. She makes sure that you are left with no doubt about keeping up with marketing and sales.