Monday, 14 May 2018

Top 5 Must-Have Skills For Project Managers

Project Management
For every $1 billion invested, companies in the US lose $122 million due to bad management. Here's the thing: building a plan from scratch and taking it to an end, while respecting both the deadlines and the original budget, isn't for everybody.

Thanks to the new technologies, projects have more chances to a happy end. But, software alone isn't enough to put things on the right track. You need to be a killer project manager to keep up with challenges -- to deliver high-quality results, fast, and without spending more than your clients or your company can afford.

Whether you get your PMP certification in San Diego or any other part of the country, you need more than passing the exam to become a great project manager. Here are five skills you must develop as a PM to turn every new project into a success.


Effective Communication

Effective Communication

Communication is vital for a successful project. That's why, as a project manager, you should know how to talk to your colleagues, clients, and superiors. Better yet, when your team communicates efficiently, it's easier for everybody to finish their tasks in time and to make the right decisions inside the group.

However, effective communication goes beyond sending explicit emails and organizing efficient reunions. You need to master a wide range of abilities in this field:

  • Learn to listen. A good project manager asks for feedback and looks to all team members.

  • Ask the right questions. You can avoid a lot of delays and communication errors when you take the time to understand what's happening inside the team.

  • Update the team on a regular basis. As a project manager, you must know everything about progress and new milestones. By informing all the team, you get to gain more trust, motivate your staff, and increase productivity.

  • Encourage efficiency. When you communicate with your team, you should always stress the importance of doing things the right way -- instead of rushing them to finish faster.


Time Management

Time Management

Time management is the key to increased productivity and efficiency. That's why your job as a project manager is to organize and plan all the activities to make sure that your team delivers on time.

To develop killer time management skills, you need to focus on these three elements:

  • Planning. For every project large or small, preparation is everything. Project managers who take the time to define all activities and to estimate durations are more likely to respect deadlines and bring the project to an end.

  • Setting reasonable, clear goals. 37 percent of projects fail because they lack clear objectives. You need more than a guideline to make things right. Set measurable goals, with realistic deadlines. Getting ISO certified, for example, can take months. If you're hurrying your staff, you risk losing more time fixing errors in the long run.

  • Prioritizing. It's fundamental when you need to avoid distractions and focus on the critical things. Not all tasks are equally necessary to the success of the project. Make sure you don't keep all the team blocked just because one member is behind schedule.


Problem Solving

Problem Solving

The most important skill of a PM is the ability to come up with solutions to a crisis. Machines and complex AI software can improve workflows and increase productivity, but they can't make decisions for unpredicted problems -- and as long as you work in this business, there's always going to be something to solve.

You must learn to get to the bottom of any problem, identify the causes and come up with innovative solutions. The faster, the better.

Your problem-solving skills can keep a project going even in the hardest times. Plus, your ability to analyze and evaluate the situation (and to take action) can save your client significant resources.


Risk Management

Risk Management

In 2017, the US government lost $32 billion due to failed IT projects. Whether you're working with small or large companies, there's always a risk for things to go wrong.

That's why your risk management skills are essential for any project. You must learn how to identify opportunities and how to make the most of every challenge during the project.

In many situations, you can identify risks early in the project. Discuss scenarios with your team members and learn to read between the lines, when watching numbers. This way, you can see possible risks right from the beginning and counter them effectively.

Opportunities always come with risks. It's your job as a project manager to evaluate and decide if the reward is worth the risk. And, what measures can help you reduce it to minimize the damage.


Leadership

Leadership

As a PM, you must inspire, motivate and communicate on a permanent basis. All eyes are on you, expecting guidelines and solutions.

Besides self-confidence and self-esteem, you need solid knowledge and experience to be a good leader. From stakeholders to clients and team members, everybody expects you to make decisions and implement them.

You must be the person who works hard, listens to everyone, and has an accurate answer to any question. Everything less than that and your peers will stop following you. The success of any project depends on how you use your leadership skills for the best.

Being a good leader means having all other skills -- competent, excellent communicator, empathy, problem-solving, team builder, to mention some. Plus, you must know how to use these skills to improve your team's results. Because a good leader always works with an efficient team!


Did you find this article helpful? Are you a project manager? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments in the comments section below.

Related Related articles:
Top Personal Skills That Will Stand You In Good Stead In Business
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How To Best Increase Efficiency And Profitability In Your Business

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