5 Skills Project Managers Need More Than Ever

See also: Project Management Skills

The ultimate question for anyone, in any profession, is: “What skills are the ticket for success?” For project managers, this is one of the most important questions today. Why? Because the new technologies and best practices change the project management landscape on a daily basis.

To stay on top of their game, project managers have to adapt quickly to these new changes. As managing work becomes harder, the need for new skills becomes not only justified, but required.

So, let us help you manage your professional growth and development by sharing with you the five skills project managers badly need.

Project Manager Skills

People Skills

If you want to be a successful manager today, you have to brush up your social skills and refine them for millennials. Why? Because millennials today account for almost half of the world’s workforce, and leading millennial teams with an old school approach is set to backfire on you.

But where to start? What is it that millennials require? As a project manager you will often be in a position to directly communicate to your subordinates. This is a convenient moment to give millennials what they need – to be appreciated, work in a good atmosphere and receive meaningful work.

As of today, you really have to consider working on your communication and people skills. If you manage to convey the mission of the company and explain to employees why the project is so important, it will engage them, create an awesome atmosphere and improve employee retention.

One more thing. You will also have to learn how to introduce feedback as a standard work routine. A study has shown that millennials hold feedback in high regard. In fact, a third of millennial employees said that feedback is the single most important thing they needed to feel satisfied with work and advance professionally.

Technical Skills

Whether you want to admit it or not, we do live in a digital era. For every business effort, there is a software solution available in the business software market. If your organization is not using one today, it doesn't mean that you won’t find a simple project management software solution tomorrow when you arrive at work.

We know what you might think? How am I going to get ready when I don’t know which of the easy project management software solutions my organization will adopt? Well, have you considered taking action? After all, you are going to be the one using it.

Feel free to go online and activate free trials. Almost all renowned project management software vendors like Trello, Asana, Teamly and others offer this convenience. Take a look at the features, get familiar with task delegation, progress tracking, collaboration tools, and so on.

These solutions are designed to meet the industry standards and help you streamline your project management efforts. By simply going over the features of one, you will have enough knowledge to transfer it to the solution your organization decides to adopt.

Time Management Skills

Time Management Skills

As the work ramps up and you continually strive to become the master of task juggling, the importance of time management becomes more vital for project success. Project managers are put in a very difficult position, because they not only have to manage their own time, but the time of other employees too.

On the other hand, acquiring time management skills is not as hard as you might think. Since time management is one of the main problems we face in both our private and professional lives, it is addressed by both experts and the business software industry.

The best place to start when it comes to developing this skill, is to make a schedule and stick to it. What does “stick to it” mean exactly? This will require you to learn to say “No”. For instance, you can inform your project team that you won't be available to help them during specific hours unless there is an emergency. For this, you can use a simple project management solution, such as an emergency text message notification system that can inform you if there is an emergency.

If you are completely lost and you don’t know where to start, you should consider using a time tracking tool. The chances are that your project management software has one. If this is not the case, get one online for free and start tracking how much time you spend doing each task. Make sure to take into account replying to emails along with Facebook and Instagram feed scrolling.

Risk Management Skills

Markets all across the globe have become saturated and volatile. This alone makes a lot of the projects risky, not to mention other factors that can shift the project off course, put it on halt or delay it over the deadline.

This is why you have to develop pristine risk management skills. Start by working on your risk identification skills. If you have been in the project management field for some time, you will know these risks from experience. Write them down and develop a risk plan for each one, and make sure to include a risk probability and possible cost. This risk planning should become a standard part of your project plans.

What to do if you don’t have years of experience in PM? You should definitely consider simulation-based training for project managers, where you’ll be able to build up your experience fast by learning from real world examples, and tough managerial practices and decisions.

Remote Team Management

Remote Team Management Skills

Having remote teams on board has become a regular practice in many industries, and companies hire international teams of industry experts. The Internet has made it possible, so why not? While this benefits companies on several levels, remote teams are the hot potatoes left in the hands of project managers.

Here is what you have to master in order to effectively manage remote teams:

  1. Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  2. Understanding of the basic principles of working from home.

While these tips can help you in your remote team management, there is nothing that can completely prepare you for it. So, make sure to dive into it by holding onto all the knowledge and skills that you have gained so far, as they will be the only support you’ll have at the beginning.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Leadership

The Skills You Need Guide to Leadership eBooks

Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.

Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.

Bottom Line…

These five skills are essential when it comes to reaching project management success in 2018. They will help you diversify your skill set and get you prepared for those “unforeseen” circumstances. If this topic interests you, we encourage you to continue your online search for other valuable materials that can help you become better at what you do.

About the Author

David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in Project management domain helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in work flows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be reached out on ProProfs Project.