Top 10 Essential Project Management Skills

According to the latest PMI “Talent Gap Report”, it is said that there are close to 16 million new project management jobs opening up in 7 project-intensive industries by 2020. There is a huge demand and there is a shortage of qualified project managers, but this can be addressed in the future. For many aspiring project managers, there are many project management certifications to choose from to expand the scope of their careers and help in meeting future business demands around the world.

Only candidates with the right project management skills will be able to make the cut and the rest will be left behind. Aspiring project managers, get to know the top 10 project management skill areas that you need to get right to take your career to the next level.

1. Project Integration Skills:

Project integration is all about developing a robust plan and then executing it to perfection. As a project manager, you need to get this right as you will be responsible to make necessary changes as and when required to successfully complete the project.

2. Scope Management Skills:

Managing the scope of the project is critical to achieving its goals of the project. As a project manager, you have to ensure that nothing is left behind to achieve the project goal. It concerns primarily three processes in planning where the work is defined and captured, next up is controlling and monitoring processes that track scope creep and approving / disapproving project changes, and finally closing the project process where project auditing is done to check for any deviation from the original plan.

3. Time Management Skills:

Time is an irreplaceable resource, and as a project manager, you will be responsible to build processes that ensure project completion on time. Time management skills and project supervision plays an important role and the trick is to initiate the right processes and introduce systems that are appropriate to provide the best results for the project.

4. Cost Management Skills:

Cost management is a crucial skill for a project manager as accurate cost estimation is a core component for completing projects successfully. The main objective of cost management is to control and monitor the cost by accurate accounting during the project lifecycle and the use of resources in a cost-effective manner. Cost management also helps to keep a check on project costs and ensures the project net spend does not increase the allocated budget at any point in time.

5. Quality Management Skills:

A project manager should possess a keen eye for detail to check on the quality. Quality management as per project management standards is different from quality control. Here it is about checking the final output of a project to ensure there are no defects. Quality management proactively avoids anything that may affect the cost, resources, time, and scope of the project.  It also ensures continual improvement of processes throughout the project lifecycle to provide the results that every stakeholder is looking for.

6. Communication Management Skills:

Any organization for that matter will suffer without good communication channels. As a project manager, your primary goal is to create open communication channels and provide your team and other project members with the necessary communication logistics to carry out the project in an effective manner. You have to be on top of your communication strategies and improve on existing communication modes on a regular basis by keeping yourself updated about the latest technologies.

7. Human Resource Management Skills:

Having the right people with the right skill set in your project team is a core component for your project to thrive. Human resource management is all about keeping your team happy, and productive and ensuring there is a backup of resources at all times.  However, if your project is overstaffed then it might land up in a trouble zone and will impact productivity and budget. As a project manager, you are also responsible for training your team members in project management approaches that you seem the best fit for your project and getting them up to speed.

8. Risk Management Skills:

Risk management is a vital part of any project management approach that is out there. As a project manager, it is your job to identify potential risks during a project lifecycle that may have a negative impact on your project. A project manager’s ability to create an effective backup plan with an efficient reporting and response process is a critical aspect of project management in an organization.

9. Procurement Management Skills:

In an enterprise, every project does not run in-house. A project might need new materials, equipment, sub-contractors, or outsourcing vendors which all fall under procurement. As a project manager, you are responsible for all the procurements where you have to take decisions that involve when a product or service has to be purchased, selecting suppliers, engaging in contractual agreements, establishing the requirements of the product, etc. A project manager with proper procurement management skills will be an important asset for any organization.

10. Stakeholder Management Skills:

Managing stakeholder expectations in a project is a critical aspect for any project manager across the globe. A stakeholder can be anybody in the form of your employers, project sponsors, project team members, customers, vendors, etc. During project estimation, all of your stakeholders’ approval is important for your project to run in a smooth manner. The tricky part is that every stakeholder will have their own agenda for the project and as a project manager catering to the project that meets each and every stakeholder’s agenda is very important for the project to be completed in a successful manner and create value for the organization.

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Lucy Brown has many years of experience in the project management domain and has helped many organizations across the Asia Pacific region. Her excellent coordinating capabilities, both inside and outside the organization, ensures that all projects are completed on time, adhering to clients' requirements. She possesses extensive expertise in developing project scope, objectives, and coordinating efforts with other teams in completing a project. As a project management practitioner, she also possesses domain proficiency in Project Management best practices in PMP and Change Management. Lucy is involved in creating a robust project plan and keep tabs on the project throughout its lifecycle. She provides unmatched value and customized services to clients and has helped them to achieve tremendous ROI.

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