10 Essential Skills You Need To Become A Project Manager
You love organising things, have a creative mind, and you are good at communicating. All of these are skills required to excel as a project manager. Of course, there is much more to becoming a success than just these three skills but don’t worry as we are going to show you 10 essential ones you require if you want to be the best of the best.
- Project planning
It perhaps goes without saying but if you want to become the best project manager out there you need to be good at actually planning projects. We are talking about planning every aspect of the project you are working on from the big to the minuscule.
To gain skills in project planning you might want to take the PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner course which includes a section on planning in the syllabus, including planning techniques.
You know when you have mastered project planning when you are always ten steps ahead.
One of the key skills of any successful project manager is being able to schedule. Without proper scheduling, you will have no idea of who is doing what and when they are supposed to do it.
As a project manager, you are the one responsible for setting milestones, determining when things should be done and deciding which tasks are dependent on other tasks. What sets a good scheduler apart is laying everything out clearly and concisely so everyone knows what they need to do and the timeframe they need to do it in.
- Reading, writing and arithmetic
The three Rs are essential skills you need as a project manager. While you might think you have a good level of reading, ask yourself if you could read a proposal for a project and immediately comprehend all of the legal and technical issues within the text you read. Could you write a solid brief for a project that any of your team members could understand? At the same time, can you verify or catch any math errors?
One way to sharpen your skills in reading is to read anything and everything daily to hone your skills along with practising arithmetic skills and writing on your computer using one of the free helpful writing software add-ins or just relying on the built-in corrector in Word.
- Managing risks
While we cannot predict the future and what might happen, we can develop skills for managing risks. Risk management generally comes with experience; however, you can boost this skill by reading books on risk management and talking to other project managers with more experience than you do.
Risk management comprises identifying, evaluating, and avoiding risks that may crop up in your project. This means identifying any risks and working out a plan to avoid risk before it can derail the project.
TSG Training offers the APM Project Risk Management level 1 course. The course determines knowledge and understanding of project risk management at the foundation level and is essential for anyone who wants to improve on this skill.
- Technical skills
As a project manager, you typically have to be a jack of all trades and specialise in certain things. The number of technical skills you possess makes a huge difference in whether you are considered to be average or an expert.
Technical skills cover a wide range of things, such as writing copy, being able to design, writing code or being able to wireframe a product.
A good project manager has to have excellent research skills. It is only by researching that you can understand the bigger picture. This not only applies to researching the project you are working on but also to knowing the systems and platforms you and your team use so you can have informed conversations with suppliers, clients and stakeholders.
Try to become an expert in just about everything digital, for instance, everything from Apache to algorithms and Weibo, and clients will love you.
As a project manager, an essential skill is being diplomatic. This means you can influence, negotiate and collaborate in any tricky situation. Being able to negotiate to ensure that all parties involved are satisfied is the key and is what makes you stand out.
Any successful project manager will know that finding a middle ground is essential. If not handled tactfully, discussions can become counterproductive.
- Being a coach
No, we are not talking about coaching football or any other sport. We are talking about being able to talk to your team and bring out the best in them. As a project manager, you need to draw out their full potential by such as giving positive feedback, showing them how they can grow, listening to any concerns they have and talking them over and to a point, allowing them to make mistakes to help them grow and develop their skills.
Leadership is a skill that project managers must have to be a good project manager. As a manager, you have to lead and manage others on the team, motivating them, inspiring them and setting visions. An excellent course to take to boost leadership skills and other things is the Managing Successful Programmes Foundation & Practitioner course.
Do you know how to prioritise? If you want to be successful in your career as a project manager, you need to excel at it. Not only do you have to be able to manage and prioritise your own time, but you also need to determine how your team will spend their time. You need to prioritise so that the right thing is done at the right time and no urgent tasks on put on the back burner while you deal with important ones. A time-tracking tool and task tool can help you to prioritise.
Increase your skills to become the best project manager
Whether you are just starting as a project manager or you wish to improve your skills there are plenty of project management training courses to help you succeed and get certified. You can boost your efficiency along with effectiveness in the workspace to become the best you possibly can be.