06/10/2016

The top 5 skills of a successful project manager

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There are 5 vital skills required to run projects efficiently

Anyone working in project management knows the importance of training and continued personal development.  Being a good project manager requires expertise in many areas, varying on the industry they work in.

Whether you are a recruiter wondering what qualities to look for in a successful project manager, trying to break into this industry yourself or looking to improve your personal development, you have come to the right place. Our specialists here at Off Peak Training offer flexible, high quality training in project management.

The initial challenge with managing any project is to achieve all of the project objectives within the given restrictions. Here are our top 5 fundamental project management skills required to run projects efficiently.

1 Communication

Excellent communication skills are essential for anyone undergoing a project management role. Statistics show that more than half of all projects fail due to ineffective communication.

The majority of projects involve communicating to a number of stakeholders who could well be scattered all over the globe. Without an effective communication plan it wouldn’t be possible to keep everyone up to date and informed.

A good manager would be expected to present information in both positive and negative scenarios, and get their ideas across clearly without appearing to oppose their views on others. Basically, to be successful in this field the three “C’s” need to be covered – be clear, concise and concrete.

2 Organization

A project manager can only succeed if their organizational skills are up to scratch. They have to co-ordinate different reports, deadlines, tasks, meetings, risks and QA issues all in a days work. A project can only run smoothly when all tasks have been delegated and are being monitored accordingly.

Therefore, organizing responsibilities can be one of the most time consuming aspects of management. An efficient way managers overcome having to supervise every task is the use of project management software. Popular software options include Microsoft Project, Atlassian, and Podio. Such programmes help managers to overview all tasks at hand, correspond with peers, clients and other employees and generate reports.

3 Negotiation

The skills involved with negotiation are required throughout a project, not only at the beginning. A manager needs to know when to apply formal and informal negotiations to the appropriate situations. An example of a formal negotiation would be with agreeing a contract with a provider, where as an informal negotiation could involve dialogue to gain internal resources.

  • Be respectful – Always be clear and considerate to those you work with.
  • Meeting everyone’s interests – Don’t have a “winner takes all” mentality but have everyone’s interests at heart.
  • Reach out to third parties – When appropriate other teams may be able to assist in solving problems e.g. HR may be able to help facilitate a discussion with a struggling team member.
  • Establish agendas – Take the time to establish rules at a beginning of a meeting so others know what to expect and the agenda to be discussed.
mentoring

Having the ability to mentor is a vital skill for project management

4 Mentorship mentality

A good project manager has the ability to motivate their team and act as a mentor. They need to lead by example and maintain the correct balance between serving their team and serving their company.

It is important a manager takes on the responsibility of their team’s growth and how they can support and help them succeed. Mentoring can also come in the form of training programs and apprenticeship opportunities. The training we offer at Off Peak Training can provide managers with the necessary skills to be great mentors.

5 Technological skills

Regardless of the department a project manager works in, tech skills are a necessity.  This is even more the case if working within an IT department, how can you manage a team if you don’t know what you’re managing?

The best project manager will have the ability to complete tasks themselves, as well as delegating.  This earns them respect from their colleagues and an understanding of what they are asking of their team.

Addressing this skill set can help any manager run projects smoothly, meet their aims and empower other staff members. For further advice take a read of our tips on achieving your project management goals and the pain points of project management.

To find out about our range of flexible training in project management and to see how we can help you please contact us.

Further Reading

A Reintroduction to PMP Learning

By 2020 the Project Management profession is expected to have grown in value by more than $6.6 trillion – with 15.7 million new project management roles created in seven project intensive industries.

Download our free white paper to learn how to put your career in high gear and increase your value and job security by expanding your project management expertise.

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