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10 Project Management Skills for 2022

This is just one reason why it’s pivotal to identify leaders with the requisite project management skills for shepherding an initiative to the finish line.

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Summary: Today, businesses grapple with complex initiatives and many different factors in the project management process. Combining project management tools, human skills, and methodologies is key to your success.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), 9.9% of every dollar is wasted due to poor performance (2018).

Think about that. Almost 10% of your carefully allocated project management budget is ripped to shreds simply because team members lack the necessary skills to complete the assignments.

This is just one reason why it’s pivotal to identify leaders with the requisite project management skills for shepherding an initiative to the finish line.

Why are project management skills critical?

Today, businesses grapple with complex initiatives and many different factors regarding the project management process. Thanks to digital advancements, there is an abundance of project management software to help. But this is a double-edged sword to some extent. While the tools are an asset, there is also a risk of overreliance on the software, lulling organizations into complacency and making them believe they don’t need to emphasize human traits and characteristics.

In truth, however, it is a combination of project management tools, human skills, and methodologies that’s key to your success.

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Ten project management skills to master

1. Communication

Project managers must have exemplary ability to communicate their objectives, both verbally and in writing, and ensure understanding from team members, clients, and stakeholders alike. From the briefest email to a comprehensive proposal, every communication must be thoughtful. You should be able to articulate what you mean succinctly and clearly, and the recipient of the communication must understand immediately.

2. Planning

Project management cannot involve guesswork. You must be able to formulate an educated, informed opinion about the resources required, the time you need, and the critical personnel for bringing a project to fruition.

Of course, this is more than an innate skill, and you also need to understand how to best use the tools you have at your disposal to plan and predict outcomes.

3. Budgeting

Budgeting falls under the umbrella of planning, but it is still a different skill that demands math prowess. To budget for a project, you will need to take into account factors like the resources you need and the timeline and identify potential problems. You should be able to forecast expenses and plan accordingly.

4. Management and Leadership

Management is in the title of this profession, but that doesn’t mean everyone has the management skills to lead a team successfully. Remember, too, that leadership and management aren’t identical. As a project manager, you’ll need both skills.

It would help if you clarified strategic goals, explaining how an individual project fits into the business vision. You should also help team members understand how they fit into the bigger picture. Additionally, it would help if you were equipped to navigate and manage the unique relationships related to the team’s progress and plans.

5. Negotiation

Project managers work with clients, team members, vendors, and others. There are stakes involved at every level, and each individual involved has a vested interest in the project’s success. But sometimes, there are competing responsibilities. As the leader of the project, you must be able to negotiate.

With solid negotiation skills, you will keep everyone aligned with the overall vision and work toward your team goals.

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6. Knowledge of project management methodologies

Agile, Lean, Waterfall, Scrum. These are just a handful of the thousands of project management methodologies in existence today. While it’s impossible to familiarize yourself with every methodology available, it’s essential to understand the most widely-used approaches. That way, you can determine the best one for a particular project, team, and business.

Many project management methodologies have associated certifications, so if you determine that one is most appropriate for most of your projects, it’s a good idea to get certified in the approach.

7. Adaptability

Things rarely pan out precisely as planned, even when you put a considerable amount of planning into a project. A project manager must pivot and change course when unforeseen circumstances arise. Adaptability is critical for navigating a complex landscape, full of challenges and opportunities alike. That way, they can keep moving forward despite any obstacles that stand in their way.

8. Interpersonal skills

Project managers work with a variety of personalities. For some, it can be challenging to navigate the many diverse traits and behaviors of individuals on their teams, along with the characteristics clients bring to the table.

That’s why these professionals need to be equipped with strong interpersonal skills. This allows them to ensure that they will work well with stakeholders and team members and enable them to facilitate better relationships within their teams.

9. Time management

We only have 24 hours in a day, and unfortunately, that’s not enough for many of us. But time management allows us to “stretch” these few hours and minutes we have and maximize their value. That’s why this is such an essential skill for anyone to have, particularly when it comes to intricate projects. Time management is a huge part of project management, from meeting deadlines to tracking progress.

10. Industry-specific skills

Most project managers specialize in particular industries, such as technology or construction. To understand the intricacies of projects in their field, they should familiarize themselves with the skills, knowledge, and particularities of that type of business.

Some industries even have certifications specific to their ambitions. If you have the time and resources, this is an excellent investment for your career and can open up doors to future success.

Project management demands a variety of skills and knowledge to complete projects successfully. A quality professional will have these competencies and others, bringing the very best to your business.

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Business

Transforming Goals into Actionable Results

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Transforming Goals into Actionable Results - Planning Template

Organizations universally set goals and strategic plans each year, aiming to grow revenue, increase efficiency, or launch innovative offerings. Leadership teams devote extensive energy to developing future visions, five-year horizons, and stretched objectives to motivate their workforce.

But the hard truth remains: lofty ambitions alone rarely catalyze actual change. For transformational plans to spark tangible impacts, organizations must bridge the gap between theoretical strategy and on-the-ground execution.

1. The Planning Disconnect

Many goal-setting approaches prioritize inspiration over implementation. Leadership defines desires for the future: – become a $1 billion revenue company, penetrate emerging markets, and transform customer experiences through AI. Such ‘aim-big’ mindsets spark energy and provide directional guidance amid uncertainty.

However, most planning exercises fail to detail the nitty-gritty work required to achieve audacious results on the ground. People walk out of annual meetings jazzed about the future but without playbooks for activating it day-to-day. Vague aspirations then struggle to be converted into economic value.

2. Finding the Right Strategy

An OKR planning template offers one methodology to overcome this strategy/execution divide. OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, provide a template to cascade high-level goals into measurable, actionable metrics at every organizational level. This connects future milestones with present-moment decision-making, ensuring teams work synergistically towards overarching ambitions. With a strong goal architecture in place, inspiration more seamlessly fuels activation.

3. Why Actionability Matters

Transforming lofty aspirations into step-by-step execution plans brings several advantages:

  • Alignment: With clear OKRs spanning functions, teams can coordinate priorities, resources, and timelines effectively. This fosters organization-wide momentum versus siloed efforts.
  • Motivation: Breaking ambitious objectives into bite-sized key results is less daunting for individuals. Granular metrics maintain motivation amid long horizons.
  • Focus: Concrete next steps prevent distraction from organizational shiny objects that capture attention yet deliver little value.
  • Accountability: Quantifiable measures allow all stakeholders, from frontline individuals to CEOs, to track progress and course-correct in real-time if lagging.

With a strong goal architecture in place, inspiration more seamlessly fuels activation. But we still must apply rigorous execution principles—communication, tracking, agility, and celebration—to generate the hoped-for results.

4. Driving Change in Complex Systems

Large enterprises are multifaceted systems, with interdependent elements spanning processes, technology, and people. This complexity makes driving macro-level outcomes uniquely challenging. As legendary management thinker Peter Drucker noted, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Turning broad organizational change into economic returns requires carefully targeting the vital few interventions that catalyze outsized results. OKRs help leaders thoughtfully assess and sequence the projects that will structurally reinvent operations, remove friction from value chains, and upgrade talent capabilities over time. With clear transformations roadmaps in place, big goals become more grounded amid real-world constraints.

5. Sustaining the Journey

Finally, cascading OKRs across the hierarchy sustains strategic focus as leaders come and go. They provide continuity through inevitable ebbs and flows in the volatile, uncertain business climate. With institutionalized processes for regularly resetting, communicating, and reviewing objectives and key results, organizations stay centered on the handful of big bets that matter most while retaining the flexibility to evolve tactics as needed.

Annual goal setting is table stakes for contemporary organizations. But without concerted efforts to turn those goals into measurable action plans, little changes amid organizational complexity.

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