Project management can be quite challenging and requires expert technical skills for project manager roles. It is a combination of several jobs amalgamated into one role, be it initiating, planning, performing, controlling, and closing projects. Project managers are not just responsible for planning projects but also for arranging a team and managing tasks related to said project, expenses, and time. Skilled project managers usually take the help of extensive tools for project management to keep every project aspect in order. However, despite using various software for project management, project managers as individuals require the skills and knowledge about project management to execute tasks and get them done.
Types Of Project Management Skills
Project managers might require the help of additional project management tools, but they also need good project management skills. Types of project management skills have been listed below:-
1. Project Management Hard Skills:
Hard skills are the technical skills acquired from education and professional training for project management. While managing a project, hard skills are integral. They are the ones that actually deliver project management expertise to the candidates in relevant roles. However, other than just technical skills, it also comprises all the know-how required in planning, scheduling, and managing projects.
2. Project Management Soft Skills:
Soft skills cannot be acquired via formal education or professional training. They can constitute someone’s characteristic traits or be developed throughout the years.
3. Personality traits:
These cannot be defined as skills. They are more like personality traits that are crucial for project manager roles.
10 Key Project Management Skills
1. Leadership skills
The ability to lead a team is a core skill for a project manager to have. Leadership skills can be greatly influential to the rate of projects being successful. A leader must have the skill to influence, motivate and lead a team to optimize proper workflow. To help the company attain the desired result by directing the team’s energy towards the ultimate success of the assigned project. Leadership skills are not just about ordering people and expecting them to follow diligently. It is more inclined toward guiding and inspiring people to achieve greatness and reach their highest potential in their job roles. The most important task project managers need to perform is motivating the team members assigned to them. There can be various leadership styles, and each leader has their own way of leading their team. Expert leaders must adapt their style as per the requirements of the project they are leading. Leaders always strive to mitigate all constraints they or the team members might face.
2. Project Management Methodologies
Project management methodologies form the base foundation for efficient project management. Different industries are more adaptive toward different methodologies based on the project’s requirements and the available resources. As a project manager, you are required to research and determine which methodology works best for your targeted industry and strive towards becoming good at implementing it in your workplace. Various practices that have been considered the best and have paved their way to becoming the fundamental methodologies of project management are as follows:-
- Waterfall methodology
- Agile methodology
- Lean methodology
- Adapt project framework
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A Project Manager must have stellar communication skills because a large percentage of their job involves communicating with company seniors, stakeholders, team members, and in some cases, even clients. Clients and stakeholders of the company have high management expectations from PMs, and they need to fulfill them to ensure the project’s success simultaneously. Management of stakeholders in projects can even become a daunting challenge. Hence, communication is an integral tool to meet success. Project managers need to master this skill to be efficient be effective in their work to avoid being inefficient and causing confusion, overbudgeting, and even missing deadlines.
Successful communication includes being able to establish a good relationship with teammates, inspire them, manage conflicts, coordinate and encourage a harmonious working environment, and most importantly, have the ability to comprehend and solve challenges that your coworkers can face. Hence, listening and understanding skills are also vital elements of communication skills.
4. Problem Solving
A project can never be problem-free despite its size; therefore, a project manager’s job is to handle these problems with ease and find efficient solutions to overcome them. Problem-solving skills require you to have a structured approach to said problems, gather relevant data, find relevant information from the data and analyze in accordance. The critical and quick-thinking skills required by project managers can be enhanced and lead you to acquire the right frameworks, become more structured and increase your attention to detail. Problem-solving skills are the most important and most sought-after qualities of project managers.
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5. Data Analysis
Data analysis is an in-demand skill for project management because it enables you to survey and assess the execution quality consistently. It helps measure your project’s efficiency by ensuring the required adjustments or enhancements. This skill aids in the better collection and effective analysis of data. You might also need to learn certain tools related to data analytics to enhance your decision. Some of the integral data analysis skills that you will need as a project manager are as follows:-
- MS Excel: Microsoft Excel is a popular software used for data analysis and basic management tasks and is widely used by project managers worldwide. Advanced MS Excel skills that make management easier include VBA lookups, macros, pivot tables, and the like.
- Strong Mathematical and Statistical Skills: Having a solid base in mathematics enables you to comprehend complicated formulas and mathematical concepts such as calculus, linear algebra, and probability, which significantly helps in data analysis. Statistical skills that help understand large datasets primarily include correlation, regression analysis, factor analysis, and the like.
- Data Visualisation: Most of the time, creating a visual of complicated data helps highlight important insights and makes communication easier when it comes to communicating the analysis results.
Planning is a core skill for project management. Project managers need to be exceptional planners to strategize and prioritize project work, tasks, and workflows. Each project has limited resources, time, and budget. Efficient project managers need to plan and strategize, keeping these three factors in mind for the successful execution of the project within the time allocated to it. As a project manager, you are required to have stellar skills in time management to prioritize and allocate the right resources to each project. To ensure this, the project manager needs to comprehensively understand team members’ strengths and weaknesses and how much they can contribute. This enables the proper allocation of resources and forecasting before the execution of the project.
7. Risk Management
It is important to strategize and minimize the potential risks that can lead a project to fail. However, even though some risks cannot be eliminated, they can be minimized. An efficient project manager takes calculated risks to minimize risks. To effectively manage risks, project managers need to ensure that the potential risks are forecasted and communicated to the individuals and teams.
Budgeting and financial control are two of the most integral roles of a project manager. Project managers are involved in everything from creating budget estimations, analyzing the financial limitations, chalking the expenses, negotiation, resources management, and expenditure.
9. Technology Tools
It is integral to have in-depth knowledge about the right kind of technological tools that make the task of managing easier and enhance efficiency. These tools can be used for planning, documentation, collaboration, and analysis, including PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and Word.
10. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking in project management is about listening, comprehending the issue, and conducting thorough research to make an informed decision. As a project manager, you need to be a critical thinker to overcome the hurdles you can potentially face in every project.
Project management, therefore, is a crucial element of most high-end businesses and organizations that deal with multiple projects. The skills required for the effective management of projects go hand in hand to see to its successful and hassle-free execution. Project managers, therefore, have handsome pay packages because of how in-demand their skills are. If you are an enthusiast of this particular field, you can sign up for the Advanced General Management Program from upGrad and upskill yourself to become an efficient and indispensable project manager.