For companies to stay ahead in this highly competitive market, having excellent project managers is a prerequisite. As a result, there’s a massive demand for project managers.
But the keyword here is “skillful.” Companies need people who can manage their projects efficiently and effectively and achieve milestones for the company. More than your degree, companies demand your skills. To become the best project manager, you must be able to do more than just finish tasks on time. You need essential skills to help you and your team to deliver the best outcome setting to the company for success.
In this post, I’ll talk about some essential yet underrated project management skills you need to succeed.
Let’s dive in.
Underrated Yet Essential Project Management Skills
Your goal as a project manager is to arrange and execute work efficiently while helping your team do the same. And to do all of that perfectly and provide value to your team and, most importantly, your company, you must have some skills that make you stand out. You require some soft skills along with some technical skills. So that you can push through any situation. Here are a few essential yet underrated skills you should acquire.
From instructing and motivating your team to meetings with stakeholders, project managers are constantly communicating. To succeed in project management, communication skill is an absolute must-have. According to Cesar Abeid, a project management podcast host – 90% of the time, all they’re doing is communicating.
Project managers must constantly talk with clients and stakeholders to get important client briefs and rally them to the team. So having exceptional communicational skills is critical. This ensures everyone is on the same page, streamlining the workflow. You also need it to motivate your team and help them out if something isn’t going how it needs to.
To drive home its importance, you also must know the pitfalls of not having this skill. A report shows that about 29% of projects fail due to poor communication skills. So, the entire company’s chances of acquiring and completing a project rest on how well you can communicate with the clients and your team.
Considering you have to communicate with clients and your team and share ideas and goals daily, communication is a crucial skill.
Organizational skills are one of the most crucial skills for your project management career. It’s one of the determining factors of whether you’ll succeed. But worry not, it’s a skill you can work on and get good at. It’s all about planning.
The best way to instantly get better at organizing is to create a central location to keep everything your team needs — documents, key points from meetings and briefs, and organizational tools. According to a study, an average employee switches around 10 tools daily. A central location can slash that time and ensure everything runs smoothly.
Next, break the task into chunks. Rather than having everyone lose their minds on a big project, break it into small sub-projects and assign them to your team members. It ensures everyone has one goal they can focus on and deliver in due time. Creating a timeline for the sub-projects also improves the overall workflow.
Leadership skill is quintessential for every project manager. As a project manager, you must guide, motivate, and coach your team members. For that, strong leadership skills are a must. You must lead your team properly to ensure the project is delivered successfully.
Being a leader means more than just telling your team members what to do. Helping them develop crucial management skills and expressing how valuable their contribution is to the project is all part of being a leader. Having empathy and a high level of emotional intelligence is also part of leadership skills.
To get better at leadership, try being more empathetic toward your team members, appreciate their contribution to the project and make them feel more valuable, and help them with things they get stuck on. All this motivates them to perform better at work.
You also need to have an eye on how everything is proceeding. A combination of all these helps you improve your leadership skills.
Although critical thinking and problem-solving are important skills for any profession, it’s especially crucial in project management. As a project manager, you’ll find yourself in rather tricky situations more often than you’d like. And the whole company will rely on you to get out of that situation and get a positive outcome. So, you’ll need exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills to get out of a pickle.
The best way to get good at problem-solving is by approaching problems objectively. Eliminating bias and analyzing data and facts to evaluate your options to decide the best step is how you can solve a tricky situation efficiently.
To Wrap It Up
These project management skills may be underrated but are quintessential for your project management career. And the best way to get good at them is to by practicing them every day. Try to implement these as habits in small chunks and then scale up from there.
Contributed by Ben Richardson
Ben Richardson is a director of Acuity Training one of the UK’s leading providers of classroom-based Excel training.