For project managers, it can often feel like one of the more complex and difficult careers in the world. It feels as though one needs to be an expert on everything from leadership and communication to software issues and daily tasks in order to effectively manage, delegate and communicate in the position.
But while project managers may require an eclectic and varied skill set, it is not necessary (or possible) to be an expert on every area of the job or the project. You have to be able to identify which skills are most important to your success and focus on developing those above all else.
Project managers must have a varied skillset. If you are not sure which project management skills are most crucial for success, the following list should provide a starting point on which you can begin to focus your efforts. Although the skills and knowledge necessary will depend largely upon your field, your specific expertise, the individual projects, and several other areas, the following areas are crucial for all leadership and management positions.
Any list of project management skills has to begin with leadership. It is the cornerstone of management, and you have to be able to master this before you can begin to effectively manage people or projects. All project management methodologies and training from Simplilearn’s Certified Scrum Master Training to Six Sigma Certification will focus largely on leadership above all else.
However, leadership is also a somewhat generic and vague term, and there are countless individual traits, talents and skills that go into it. With this being the case, it is important to identify your own natural traits that can benefit you as a leader and begin to build your own leadership style.
Another important element to remember is that you want to be a leader is different and more important than being a manager. You need to be able to set common goals, inspire people, resolve conflict, evaluate performance and be a resource for team members and clients alike.
Your overall effectiveness as a manager begins and ends with your ability to communicate effectively. We have learned that so many issues with team members from poor performance to a negative attitude to attendance issues often stem from a lack of communication.
Additionally, many managers will (understandably) get so caught up in trying to communicate how and what needs to be done that they forget communication is actually a two-way street. Listening can be just as important to instructing as delegating.
The results of a project will only be as good as the plan it follows. Proper planning is not just an initial step before beginning work, it must be an active, on-going process that is flexible and adaptable.
Planning for project managers includes several different elements, from time management to resource allocation to risk assessment. Your planning efforts also must include clear, concise and achievable goals for you and your team. This can often go back to effective communication.
The project management skills listed above are only a few of many key areas in which you will need to continuously practice and improve. But if you base your efforts around becoming a better leader, communicating more effectively and planning properly, you will have the right foundation to become even better in your career.