10 Must-Have Project Management Skills

10 Must-Have Project Management Skills

Project management is essential in many industries, so mastering the skills is a must. Here are ten project management skills you should have to succeed.

Did you know it took about 400,000 people across the US to get American astronauts to the moon?

Behind every human achievement, there are a lot of individuals who fulfil disparate tasks. And behind all those people, you need project management to delegate and organise them. All it takes is one project manager who lacks important project management skills to upend the efforts of their subordinates.

No matter what sorts of projects you're doing, there are some core soft skills that you need. But without project management courses, you may not have been introduced to these pillars of managing people.

In this guide, we'll discuss the ten must-have project management skills that you need for any endeavour.

Project Management Skills:

1. Time Management

Time is the most precious resource we have, and it's the resource we tend to waste the most. We procrastinate or fail to prioritise tasks in order of importance. Whatever the reason, poor time management leads to missing deadlines and having to cram at the last second.

The key is to evaluate tasks on the basis of the following principles:

  • Priority: how soon do you need to complete this task
  • Size: how many people need to be assigned to this task
  • Effort: how long do these people need to spend to fulfil the task

Scheduling tasks helps to focus efforts. Avoid making employees pivot from one task to another on a regular basis. Learning these time management skills can result in successful projects completed with time to spare.

2. Goal Setting

Goals are the best way for anyone to visualise the end result--and set a course for it. Goals help to measure your progress along the way. They provide a litmus test for how well the project is going, and how you can improve.

Set SMART goals. These are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

3. Strong Collaboration

In most projects, you have different teams working on different assignments. These teams have their own team heads, their own culture, and their own rhythm. Disconnects between teams can stall progress and lead to conflicts among employees.

Collaboration is all about understanding the idiosyncrasies of each team and its members. It's about knowing which communication styles work best, and what sorts of incentives they need to collaborate. A successful project manager has a deep understanding of their employees and knows how to put them together like a puzzle.

4. Problem Solving

There's simply no way to anticipate the roadblocks that will occur during a project's lifetime. All of these roadblocks will provide inconveniences that force team members to take a new approach. But you can't solve problems with just grit and determination alone.

Problem-solving involves:

  • Critically analyzing the problem from a distance
  • Determining the best course of action to solve it--and avoid reoccurrence
  • Taking the knowledge from this problem to solve future issues

5. Conflict Resolution

Conflicts will arise even in teams with the best cohesion. While you can't avoid conflicts, you can learn to mitigate and de-escalate them.

Listen to the concerns of all affected parties. Help all parties to understand that this is a team effort and that compromises may be necessary. Avoid punishment where possible, instead opting for reassignment or other solutions.

6. Leadership Skills

There are a lot of leadership styles, but not all of them are effective. Strict, draconian leaders can suck their employees dry of motivation and inspire resentment. Pushover leaders tolerate misbehaviour and lacklustre performance.

Leadership means riding a fine balance between these two things. It means making decisions that will not make everyone happy. A good leader listens and takes subordinate opinions into account, but understands that they will have to bring down the hammer from time to time.

7. Organisation Skills

Just as important as time management and delegating tasks is organising yourself and your efforts. It's easy to let things get cluttered, or multi-task between many different apps.

Learn how to streamline your efforts so you can get more done with less. Hire an assistant if necessary to keep your affairs in order. 

8. Communication Skills

All it takes is one misheard sentence or one poorly-phrased email to cause miscommunication. Miscommunication means people get the wrong idea and may take offence.

A good manager is clear in their speech and uses simple language to communicate things. They repeat if necessary, and have coordination meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.

9. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a skill that sometimes seems like it's going out of fashion. And unfortunately, managers and higher-ups lack it just as often as regular employees. 

Critical thinking isn't just a list of skills or a process. It's a mindset you cultivate over time. You remain sceptical of simple answers and ask pertinent questions to dissect issues. 

10. Adaption

Similar to problem-solving, new situations may arise that change everything. You may have to work with people you detest and be in distracting, loud environments.

Adapting also means making the best of new developments related to the project. You may have to make do with less or accommodate late work and employee absences. You can't control these things, but you can adapt to them when they happen.

Take Project Management Training Today

Project management skills are often the difference between happy clients and a flagging business. Skills for project management range from adapting to new situations, to solving unique problems. A project manager exhibits good people skills, communicates well, and manages their time for maximum effect.

Advised Skills teaches everything from enterprise architecture to cyber security. Our Project Management courses are second to none and will make you an invaluable asset to any company. Check out our courses today and sign up for the one you need.

Advised Skills Research Team - Blog Author 
The Advised Skills Research Team is a professional group dedicated to investigating and publishing information on the latest trends in technology and training.
This team delves into emerging advancements to provide valuable insights, empowering individuals and organizations to stay ahead.
Their work significantly contributes to the ever-evolving landscape of technological education and workforce development.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Project Management Skills

  1. What are project management skills?
    Project management skills refer to the abilities, knowledge, and techniques that individuals use to effectively plan, initiate, execute, monitor, control, and close projects. These skills encompass a combination of soft skills, such as leadership and communication, and hard skills, like scheduling and risk analysis.
  2. Why are project management skills important?
    Effective project management skills are crucial because they ensure that projects are completed on time, within scope, and within budget. They help in setting clear objectives, efficiently allocating resources, managing potential risks, and ensuring that all team members are working toward a common goal. This ultimately leads to successful project outcomes and satisfied stakeholders.
  3. Which soft skills are most essential for project management?
    Some of the key soft skills for project management include leadership, communication, problem-solving, negotiation, and team management. Effective project managers also possess emotional intelligence, adaptability, and the ability to motivate and inspire their teams.
  4. Are there tools or software that can help develop or enhance project management skills?
    Yes, numerous tools and software are designed to assist project managers throughout the lifecycle of a project. Some popular options include Microsoft Project, Trello, Asana, JIRA, and Basecamp. These tools can assist in task tracking, resource allocation, time management, and collaboration. Additionally, there are various training platforms and certification programs, such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), which offer courses to help enhance project management skills.
  5. Do you need a formal education to acquire project management skills?
    While a formal education can provide foundational knowledge and introduce best practices in project management, many skills are also developed through on-the-job experience. Numerous successful project managers have started their careers in different fields and transitioned into project management. Certification programs, workshops, and seminars can also provide targeted training for those looking to develop or refine their project management skills without pursuing a formal degree.
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