Project management skills are fundamental in many professions. We have compiled 5 essential project management skills for every professional wanting to scale up at the workplace and be a great project manager.
5 Project Management Skills You Need to Succeed
1. Project management skill: Being able to prioritize
Project managers have full responsibility for overseeing the progress from start to end of several projects, from daily meetings with stakeholders to make sure that everything is delivered to the client as smoothly as possible. Hence, prioritization is key to achieve great results.
It is not a skill you learn from one day to another as it requires experience and learning to manage time effectively to meet restricted deadlines in most cases.
For example, by assessing how important is for clients to get a new feature if working with a SaaA product.
Let’s say is a mobile app that helps users to find the nearest public toilet in the local area.
There are several feature requests by existing customers already, one for a feature to filter by “neighborhood” and another one that allows users to set up manually “location” in case users are traveling there in a short period of time.
Lately, there has been a higher amount of requests for the last feature as the summer season is approaching and more travelers are visiting the city.
A project manager that prioritizes his team’s success would evaluate the customer’s need and highlight why is important to build the last feature in the app to the team members.
2. Project management skill: Is always eager to learn and ask questions
When not knowing exactly how or why something needs to be done, asking questions is key to understand and learn more about the project.
Good project managers know that they don’t know everything and are always willing to acknowledge this and learn from their mistakes.
This also helps project managers to be seen as reliable and earn respect from their team, knows as “buy-in”
Asking questions such as “Why do you think the task can be done in this way?”; “Explain the reasons on why this strategy will help to achieve the project successfully”, etc.
3. Project management skill: Leadership
This skill is related to number 2. A good project manager knows how to motivate his team and find out what are the pains his team is currently experiencing to look for potential solutions to the issues.
Leadership is very important because managing projects require managing people at the end of the day.
The team should see in the project manager a source of support and example which will help them to perform better on the projects.
For example, acknowledging mistakes and being openly honest about it to motivate the team when difficult times arise.
4. Project management skill: Think ahead to prevent unnecessary risks
There are risks for any project from start to end. Project managers need to plan ahead of time for a variety of aspects.
From budget allocation to allocating different tasks to teams, risks for delays, employees’ sickness or overspending budget are always present, so a good project manager will take the necessary precautions to minimize these risks.
Naturally, things can go unexpectedly wrong so instead of avoiding risks is about minimizing them.
For example, by having an extra pool of employees for the highest sales season the project manager minimizes the risk of customer complaints due to lack of staff. (i.e. retail shop)
5. Project management skill: Being organized
Probably for a project manager, this is one of the most important skills after leadership and prioritization.
Communication can lead to problems in the long-term so it is crucial for project managers to use an efficient software management system fully capable of meeting the needs of the organization.
By using a project management communication system, organizations have improved their communications workflow greatly but surprisingly only 22% of small businesses are using project management software compared to 11% that do, according to a survey conducted by Capterra
More project management resources:
- Project management user research report by Capterra
- What makes a project manager successful
- Project management professional certification
- Top project management certifications in 2019
- Project planning: what and how to do it effectively