What are the most important skills of a project manager? A very tedious job, project management is accompanied by numerous tasks that project managers need to do right, including project initiation, planning and execution, control and closure. What makes it even more challenging is when such are delegated to teams who are given a set of goals, a timeline and specific budget. To make matters a bit more complicated, you as project manager, have to see to it that everything goes smoothly to ensure your project’s success.
Now this might sound overly optimistic, but such can be achieved. Project managers have the necessary skill set to achieve these goals. Among these are the staple technical, business and management capabilities, along with a few soft skills, which are needed as project managers deal not only with processes but with people as well. In project management, strong organizational relationships is required in order for success to be achieved. They also have a slew of tools that are accessible and affordable, as pointed out in this project management software guide.
However, such skills need to be accompanied by the necessary tools that make project management much more easier. The purpose of project management software is primarily to automate processes, promote collaboration and foster communication among team members. These technologies have been rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, the global project management software market is expected to reach more than $1 billion by the year 2020.
Indeed, project managers’ skills have become a very important commodity for businesses of all kinds nowadays. This is owing to the fact that current project management trends require them to step-up their game. Such trends, if met head on and strategically by project managers could spell success for projects.
In this article, we’ll answer the question, “What are the most important skills of a project manager?” to help you improve your project management capabilities and, in effect, achieve your 6-figure income goal. We will also detail some examples of project management software that are currently available in the market.
Project managers require a variety of skills to be able to effectively do their jobs and ultimately benefit both their respective organizations and project stakeholders. These capabilities can be gleaned from experience and take years to master. However, they offer great benefits that could significantly contribute to managers’ career development. The following are some of the best project management skills that project managers should possess:
The issue of project leadership has always been and always will be a focal point among businesses. This is why it is undoubtedly at the top of a project manager most important skills. This skill enables project managers to come up with corporate visions and lead teams effectively. Boosting this skill will greatly improve project managers’ career advancement.
Communication goes hand-in-hand with leadership skills. To be an effective leader, one has to be able to make clear what project teams must do. However, communication is not limited to the project team, it also applies to all stakeholders, including vendors, contractors and customers. Such can be done though the use of technologies such as reporting tools, chat or file sharing. Such tools facilitate person-to-person and group communication alike.
Another one of project manager most important skills is the ability to create project schedules cannot be undermined. However, it has been established that many project managers are lacking in this skill, an area where improvements are greatly needed.
The proliferation of unique projects have resulted in project managers becoming more adept at risk management. Unlike common projects, which are often outsourced or assigned to less seasoned project managers, these unique undertakings entail more complicated efforts that only mature project managers are capable of handling. Having this skill is a sign of having control over your project. Besides, its an effective way of assuring project sponsors that their investments are in good hands.
Project managers who have excellent negotiating skills are likely to resolve conflicts that may arise among project stakeholders. This could lead to the formulation of ideal scenarios that could prove to be amicable to all concerned.
The ability to manage contracts is very useful in maintaining relationships with suppliers. As every project involves material supply, such skill really comes in handy for project managers. Managing purchases is basically the cream of contract management. As such functions have previously been handled by finance departments, relegating it to project managers makes the process much simpler.
Needless to say, most members of project teams need guidance from project managers and the most effective way to do this is by coaching. Having this skill will enable you to make up for employee shortcomings such as inadequate project experience and therefore, need coaching. And besides, coaching has been proven to help students to significantly boost their performance.
An essential project management skill, cost management is of critical importance to most businesses. Failure to comply with this need could hurt organizations who run on tight budgets. Project managers who are knowledgeable in this area have the ability to deliver projects not only on time but on budget as well.
It is a fact that critical thinking is the basis of all sound decisions and corporate decision is no exception to this rule. Project managers who consider the pros and cons of potential answers to specific problems, practice critical thinking. This skill separates those who are adept at managing issues from those who are not. Development of critical thinking skills require practice and tools that can help you logically structure arguments prior to coming up with a decision.
An effective project manager should also be adept at task management. This skill involves the ability to come up with task lists and delegate them while keeping absolute control over the project. To be able to harness this skill, one must learn the process of making lists. Strategies for ensuring that one is constantly on top of such list should also be developed. This is known to ensure that project completion time is always on time.
Although this may sound absurd, this skill is definitely no laughing matter as far as project management is concerned. In fact, a good sense of humor is one of the most important skills that a project manager could possess. Aside from allowing one to see a problem from an alternative point of view, it is effective in relieving both managers and teams’ stress. Relieving stress allows key people to focus on generating ideas as opposed to working in a tension-filled environment.
As project management reaches new heights, project managers should be abreast of new developments in the field. Having the right skill set and tools does not necessarily denote success, one should likewise be on the lookout for changes in the area of project management. The following highlights current project management trends that managers should be aware of.
There are a lot of project management to choose from out there. These more popular tools are well known to fulfill the purpose of project management software. The following are examples of project management software. Their features, functionalities and pricing will be discussed.
A leading collaboration and communication application designed for project management teams, monday.com syncs all data in a single location and facilitates decision-making for team members and agents alike. It streamlines contributions, boosting teams and departments’ performance. Progress data is assembled and displayed logically and can be understood by all users. The platform likewise ensures that users get to have the needed incentives to help with tasks and assignments, even those not related to their roles. The interface is neat, well-organized and designed for collaboration. Its simplicity eliminates the need for formal user training, letting you use the app upon installation. However, the vendor thought it prudent to compile training materials for those who want them. What’s even better about monday.com is its scheduling feature, which can be used for both task and project management, helping you get rid of paperwork. monday.com is available in a variety of pricing plans starting at $25/month. For those who want to evaluate the software first, you can sign up for monday.com free trial here.
Online project management software Wrike is designed to speed up projects both in co-located and distributed teams. It is highly-flexible, allowing for team collaboration from a single location. Using the software, you can prioritize, schedule, discuss and monitor both work and project progress in real time, all it takes is but a few clicks. The solution sports a myriad of business collaboration and information management features that are bound to boost your business.Wrike’s easy-to-use navigation feature makes project management easy for both managers and teams. It likewise has top-of-the-line security measures that make sure that only project-relevant individuals have access to vital information. Its mobile applications let you track project progress from your mobile at any given time and place. The software’s three-pane layout enables you to view important data, allowing for a clear view of project operations. It also allows you to work on subtasks or move across different projects. Wrike is sold at a variety of pricing plans starting at $9.80/user per month. If you require only basic functionalities, a free version is available.
One of the most popular software of its kind in the market today, project management tool Asana allows for better communication and collaboration among project team members. It lets users create projects and tasks within projects with ease while being able to monitor them from browsers and devices. The app eliminates the need for email and third-party systems for communication. You can easily share notes, upload multi-format attachments and organize tasks using the solution.Asana streamlines workflows and ensures timely delivery of communications and tasks. It automatically sends notifications to users, inviting them to check, follow, like or comment an update. More advanced features include task relating, following and prioritizing completion and change management. Customer support is excellent, with highly-skilled technical teams on standby to address your concerns. Asana can be purchased at different pricing models starting at $9.99/member per month.
This task management platform simplifies delegation of responsibilities by automatically scheduling tasks based on calendar events. When tweaks are made to your calendar, TimeHero automatically shuffles project timelines accordingly. This means all employees can focus on working on the project itself than wasting time on administrative tasks. Additionally, this solution provides great transparency on the progress of ongoing projects, thus enabling you to quickly realign deadlines and prevent employee burrnout. For the management side, it comes equipped with a forecasting tool that helps you quickly spot which projects are at risk of meeting the deadline. This allows you to act appropriately to eliminate or lessen overdue tasks.
So there you have it, the most important project manager skills need to possess to boost their game. You can work on some of this skills as can they work to your advantage. Possessing these capabilities will not only benefit your organization but your management career as well.
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