Being an effective project manager means having to keep projects and your team on track. That takes strong leadership, communication and organizational skills. It also takes the ability to motivate people, to problem solve, and to prioritize effectively. These essential skills can help you drive your projects forward to a successful completion. Likewise, a lack of focus on the art of project management can leave your project stalled and incomplete.
But before you can make an impact on your projects, it’s important to get a better understanding of these core skills.
Project managers require leadership skills because it is them who have the final say on a project. They are tasked with driving a project forward, leading multiple stakeholders and collaborators toward the end goal. But a true leader does so by effectively outlining the vision and defining a clear road map, gathering buy-in and feedback from colleagues, all while shouldering the responsibility of ensuring the successful completion of the project.
Similar to leadership skills, motivational skills are critical for effective project management. A great project manager is skilled at keeping their team happy, even during the rough patches that inevitably come. Keeping a positive attitude, and helping your team do the same, is an important part of getting the job done and done well.
Communication is the swiss army knife of professional skills. It’s useful no matter what the job may be. But project managers are in a unique position of needing to communicate with clients, colleagues, technical staff, and business leadership. The message may be the same, but the way a good project manager presents that message may require finely tuned communication skills for different audiences.
Organizational skills help project managers stay on top of multiple tasks taking place on a concurrent timeline. The ability to multitask while keeping things organized is critical to project management success. Organization is about prioritizing tasks, compartmentalizing projects to avoid confusion, and neatly documenting everything for easy access and future reference.
Projects encounter any number of problems along the way to completion, from missed due dates, budget overruns or unscoped requirements. Much of the problem solving required in a project management context revolves around being able to identify and manage the risk of such problems. They are keenly aware of those risks and understand how to avoid and mitigate risks as necessary. A good project manager can see such risks coming, identify the cause, weigh different options, and decide and act on the best solution possible.
Lastly, it’s critical to be flexible as a project manager. Adaptability makes a big difference when it comes to continuing to drive success on a project. Changes could come from new processes, standards, or technologies, and while planning is important, even the best project managers can’t see the future. The ability to adapt is what serves teams and PMs well in overcoming challenges as they arrive.
For more tips on how to be a stronger project manager, contact the recruiters at Verum Technical today.