Essential Project Management Skills
If you scoured the internet for opinions and discussions on the essential project management skills required by Project Managers, you will find a wide variety of opinions.
However, there are 4 essential skills that many people seem to agree on:
- Leadership Management Skills (and Innovation)
While this one may seem obvious, great leadership is an essential skill to being a great project manager. Project Managers are required to lead, as well as manage teams, by setting the vision for the project, motivating the team, managing them, as well as coaching and inspiring them and the others involved.
Being a leader requires good communication with both the teams and with stakeholders, leading us to the 2nd essential skill.
- Communication Skills
Good communication and effective leadership go hand-in-hand. Effective communication is at the heart of good relationships, and impacts not only on the team, but the clients and stakeholders as well.
Managing projects usually involves leading teams from different disciplines, possibly not used to working together. Diverse skills can however, provide innovation and uniqueness, but the Project Manager will need to provide clear instructions and expectations to capitalise on the diverseness.
- Risk Management Skills
Project sponsors and stakeholders do not like surprises, especially nasty ones. If project managers can predict and create solutions to issues before they arise, they will increase their chances of delivering projects successfully and avoid surprises.
Let’s be honest, all projects entail risk, after all, risk-free projects are probably not going to reach great heights. Project Managers need to stay on top of their projects by controlling the risks, and actively mitigating against them as far as possible.
Where the risks are unavoidable, understanding them and their consequences and keeping sponsors and stakeholders informed at all times, provides them with the information that will allow them to make sometimes-difficult decisions, before costly ramifications.
- Time Management Skills (Schedule)
One of the “nasty surprises” sponsors and stakeholders hate, are projects that do not deliver on time. Time management is therefore essential to getting the project done on time, as well as on budget.
Team members respond better to project managers who can ensure team members stay on task, avoid procrastination and complete work on time. And while personal time management is also important, project managers must also be able to maximise project productivity and minimise distractions in key project areas.
With multiple, usually interdependent threads of simultaneous activity happening, the need for good time management within a project is a critical.
These are only four of the several Project Management skills considered essential for effective project management which can also be broken down into Hard or Soft Skills:
- RISK MANAGEMENT
- SCHEDULE (TIME) MANAGEMENT
- SCOPE MANAGEMENT
- COST MANAGEMENT
- QUALITY MANAGEMENT
- HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
- PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT
- INTEGRATION MANAGEMENT
- INNOVATION & LEADERSHIP
- BUSINESS SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES
- ORGANISATION CHANGE MANAGEMENT
- PROJECT COMPLEXITY AND ADAPTABILITY
Organisations gain speed, agility and competitive advantage when their project teams have the right skills and knowledge.
True Assessments Project Management Competency assessments pinpoints individual strengths as well as development needs at all levels of project management within an organisation, from directors to team members, assessing both the hard and soft skills shown above.
Our assessments deliver organisation-wide benefits:
- Right people on the right projects: Enables alignment of skills and experience with the project portfolio.
- Provides full visibility of overall competency and capability across all project roles from project directors to team members
- Delivers robust and objective data to support investment decisions and to measure return on investment.
- Provides a basis for professional development and performance management