Seven skills you need to become a project manager

Project management is a fast-paced, ever-changing sector, and it takes a special type of person to be able to be able to thrive in this type of environment. If you’re interested in joining the project management industry, then here are a few of the key skills that you will need to succeed.

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Good communication

This is arguably one of the most important skills that any project manager can have. You will be expected to convey the ideas of your project to key stakeholders at all levels of the business, and that means you need to be engaging, clear and concise at all times, as well being able to get across all the relevant information. You have to remember that not everyone you present to will be able to understand the finer details of your project, so you will need to pick out the most important points and ensure these are communicated effectively. By tailoring your communication to the needs of your audience, you will maximise the chance of everyone picking up the information they need to know.

Stay calm under pressure

Sometimes, no matter how thorough you are in your risk assessments, there’s always a chance that an issue you haven’t prepared for will come up. It’s vital that you don’t get flustered because this could throw the whole project off track and reduce your standing in the eyes of your team. It’s important to think rationally and remember that these things do happen. After all, it could be a good learning experience for you.

Time management

One of the key parts of a project manager’s job is to deliver according to the client’s deadlines, and good time management techniques will obviously help with this. You need to plan out every stage of the process and track whether your team is on target to meet these milestones. You also need to be able to judge the kind of materials that will be needed at each stage to help you meet each deadline. Poor time management could cost thousands of pounds in extra resources and disappointed clients.

The importance of this skill cannot be underestimated, and a top-class PRINCE2 training course from a company like Simetral will help you understand what it takes to develop efficient time management techniques, as well as a comprehensive range of other features that help to form the project management package.

Negotiation

It’s very rare for projects to run smoothly at all times. Sometimes, team members may have differences; there may be disagreements over where to place financial resources, or you may have to ask stakeholders to increase the size of the budget you’re working with. As PM, it’s your job to find a compromise that suits everyone, and that is why you need to be proficient in the art of negotiation.

Budget control

Keeping your project as close to the defined budget as possible is vital. You need to be able to develop a tracking system that will tell you precisely how much you’re spending at each stage of the project. These figures, along with forecasts, will need to be presented back to your stakeholders. However, you also need to prove that the level of quality in your project as not been impacted by the tight budget imposed.

Delegation

You have to realise that you can’t carry out all parts of the project by yourself. A good project manager will understand the strengths that are available on their team and then split the tasks up accordingly. Not only will you be showing your team that you trust them to get the job done, but you’ll also be reducing your workload – meaning you can invest more time in keeping an eye on the schedule and offering any feedback.

A critical thinker

It’s good to try and evaluate the processes you carried out at the end of every project. Think about whether each process the desired result. If they didn’t, why was this? Make a log of your findings, and make sure it’s as detailed as possible. Not only will it help you come up with a process that works for your future projects, but it will also help other project managers in your business.

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