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.
Ten project management skills to master
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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