Whether you’re already a project manager or simply hoping to become one, you might be wondering exactly what it takes to excel in this job. While becoming a brilliant project manager nearly always entails plenty of knowledge and experience, it also includes a number of soft and hard skills anyone can expand and improve.
If you want to learn more about this role and how to achieve success at this job, here are some of the most basic skills every good project manager should have:
In an effort to keep each project running smoothly, with no lapses or oversights, every good project manager needs to be highly organised. Not only does this include keeping everything related to the project clearly labeled and easy to find, but it also means compartmentalising projects, prioritising tasks, multitasking, and efficiently documenting everything for future reference.
If your team ever has trouble finding something important, finds it difficult to delegate and prioritise responsibilities, or even struggles to meet deadlines, that could be a clear sign you need to enhance your organisational skills in order to achieve success.
Every project will come with a certain budget, and it is your job as a project manager to ensure the project stays within the set financial guidelines. For that reason, budgeting is among the most important project management skills, which requires a deep understanding of business finances.
If your projects constantly meet the predetermined budget, or even come under it in many cases, then you can be certain you are doing a great job at budgeting and managing projects.
Juggling between the expectations of a client and what your team can realistically deliver is another important aspect of a project manager’s job. In an effort to encourage everyone to agree on the same products, solutions, and outcomes, a good project manager needs to have the ability to negotiate everything from the deadlines and the pricing to the smaller project details.
To know whether you are negotiating successfully, see if you can manage to get the desired outcome or simply satisfactory results from every negotiation you enter, without creating any estrangement or tension.
Project planning skills
A good part of project management will be facing a certain goal, finding effective ways of resolving issues, and creating a realistic plan for reaching the desired outcome, all of which requires great project planning skills. If you want to improve these skills or expand your knowledge, signing up for professional project management courses is always a good idea.
Whether your goal is to learn how to create and manage events, plan and control projects, manage risk, or simply make projects work, professional training will provide you with the best skills, capabilities, and usable knowledge needed for becoming a successful project manager.
While these skills might vary from one project to another, every good project manager must have enough experience in the field of work their team is currently doing. For instance, if you are managing a software team developing an app, having at least some basic app development knowledge and experience of your own will be crucial for managing the team efficiently.
Only by being skilful in the type of work you are currently doing can you be certain you are succeeding at your job as a project manager.
Team management skills
After all, one of the most important aspects of a project manager’s job is overseeing a team. Your goal is likely to bring individuals together, align their personal goals with the company’s, and move them forward in the same direction, towards collective success.
That is why a good project manager has to know how to effectively manage a team as well, including delegating responsibilities, evaluating performances, handling conflicts, and coaching each team member in an effort to help them improve their own personal skills, among other important soft skills every project manager should have.
Flexibility and adaptability
Regardless of how great you are at your job, there will always be circumstances you can’t control and issues along the way that simply won’t go as planned. For that reason, an efficient project manager needs to be flexible and agile, knowing how to deal with unexpected circumstances and adjust in a way that allows them to easily continue with the project.
In case you and your team can quickly adjust when facing a change in details, budgets, project deadlines, and similar aspects, then you can be certain you are flexible and adaptable enough to achieve success.
Being a great project manager evidently involves plenty of experience, extensive knowledge, as well as a number of essential project management skills. However, success can still be achieved in this field simply by learning and improving on the necessary skills mentioned above.
About the Author
Lilly Miller is a Sydney based writer and researcher, who is a devoted contributor to several blogs and magazines. Yoga lover.