The skills of a project manager determine whether the project is going to be a success or a lesson. These skills cannot be gained overnight; they are adapted from the challenges a manager faces at work.
Being a great project manager is a wide concept. It is not all about qualifications or degrees, deliverance of duties and responsibilities, or about tasks and timings. It cannot be denied that carrying out the job responsibilities is important but making the team feel motivated and valued requires soft skills.
According to a report from the ‘Project Management Institute’s 2018 Pulse of the profession report, 4 out of 5 project managers believe that soft skills are important to bring harmony among team members and get the tasks completed smoothly.
Let’s look at some of these essential soft skills.
6 Essential Project Management Skills For Every PM
1. Effective Communication Skills
The first and foremost requirement to become an efficient project manager is to possess excellent communication skills. The host of Project Management for the Masses podcast, Cesar Abeid, says that a project manager spends 90% of his time communicating in some way or the other.
The importance of communication skills can be measured by the survey of Northeastern University, which says 28% of employees around the world identify poor communication as the sole reason for failed projects.
This concludes that project managers shall prioritize learning communications skills to approach people, create better relationships among workers and deliver their thoughts without any misinterpretation.
2. Leadership Skills
To manage a team, it is essential for the project manager to have strong leadership skills. These skills are showcased by guiding the team in the right direction, so they deliver their tasks with confidence.
A good leader helps the team to become productive by communicating feedback regularly, teaching them the right way to delegate tasks and setting goals accordingly, and finally, acknowledging their efforts. These few factors will help the team members to develop the correct skills themselves.
This skill will lift a lot of weight from the project manager’s back.
3. Time Management Skills
Unlike normal management, project managers have a finite time to present the final deliverables in front of the stakeholders. This can only be done by scheduling everything properly and working under strict deadlines.
Planning – the second phase of project management works closely with time management. This is the step where the manager sets organizational priorities and goals, and identifies requirements and objectives that need to be attained at the end of the project. Even a small mistake in this phase can ruin the entire time management plan.
4. Adaptability Skills
The goals and priorities that were determined while planning the project can somehow change due to client demands or unsatisfying outcomes. According to Project Management Institute’s reports, the reason for 37% of project failures is a change in priorities.
Whatever the reason may be, the project manager shall train themself to respond to the problem flexibly, without having to drop the entire plan.
5. Empathy Towards The Team
In a team, there are different members with different backgrounds. Some might be able to work well under pressure, while others might not. A project manager shall try to see things from the team’s perspective. It will help them to resolve a conflict effectively and increase the rate of productive engagement from the members.
6. Ability To Work Under Pressure
Working towards the achievement of a goal can drop pressure on the project manager’s shoulders. Some deadlines need to be met, there is communication with the clients, and there are inefficient team members, which brings a lot of chaos to the project. This requires the ability to work without stressing and to come up with creative decisions that would help everyone think positively.
How To Master The Project Management Skills
These skills need to be practised every day by the project managers. Approaching team members to motivate them, scheduling the tasks and deadlines, controlling and monitoring the actions of the team, adapting to the changed structure of the firm, showing empathy and finally, not panicking under pressure.
Of course, some theoretical knowledge can also help here. The courses from leading edtech platforms such as Emeritus provide the best project management certification to its learners, with all the basic and advanced details.