In an ecosystem where more than 1 million PMP® professionals are actively working all around the globe. The very immediate plan of action for any aspiring project manager is always to acquire the best project management skills to stay updated in the ever-changing and ruthless market. In this article, we will discuss a few of those top Project Management skills that ensure a glorifying and promising career in project management.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the process of leading a team to fulfill the requirements of a specific project. The main aim is to fulfill all the requirements in a project within the given time.
Think of a project like “Building a new bridge”.
There will be numerous requirements and time constraints. The team will have to buy certain equipment, there will be a requirement to create an effective project resource management, the budget estimation, risk analysis, change management plan, stakeholder management, etc. A certain amount of time will be given for the whole project to be completed.
So managing all the processes and tasks for building the bridge is essentially how project management works for any other project as well. Let’s take a look at the top project management skills that helps the project managers take the projects from mere requirements to their conclusion.
Top Project Management Skills
The most important project management skill is the leadership quality that a project management professional must possess. Every team has to lead by example, the motivation that it requires, and equal proportions of inspiration are guided by a true leader.
A great leader always ensures the team’s welfare and helps them overcome any hurdles and shortcomings. One of the examples, where a great leadership quality can save your project is when the team encounters a conflict. An efficient project management leader will ensure that the conflict is resolved without hampering the project and the welfare of their team members.
Effective communication in any organization is the most essential aspect for taking the projects to their conclusion. The collaborative effort from all the teams with a guiding leader is all that it takes for a good project to run its course. An efficient project manager can use the project management tools for effective communication through chats and other channels.
But, the main focus is to reduce the communication errors within the team to a minimum. And, with an efficient communication strategy and planning, the project will reach its goal much earlier than anticipated.
A great leader who has accomplished an effective communication strategy will always consider the project risks and contingency plans to counter them. Thorough risk analysis and responses make sure that the project is safeguarded from any discrepancies, shortcomings, or dependencies in the future that may seriously jeopardize the progress of the project.
What happens when two parties are involved in a conflict? Which party is always on the receiving end of it? Who actually pays for the damages that occurred? It is always the project.
As a great leader, a project manager will always try to resolve a conflict keeping in mind the welfare of both parties and at the same time keeping in check the minimum damage to the project’s progress. For resolving a conflict, the project manager will have to listen to both parties and come up with a solution that solves both of their problems. Sometimes, the project manager may have to seek external help to resolve any conflict. In such situations, a great leader will never hesitate to reach out for help and move on.
Another great aspect of the project management cycle is the scheduling of tasks, processes, and resources that are associated with the project. Creating a schedule or a timeline for the project is how scheduling works. The project managers create efficient plans keeping in check all the objectives of the project. Because at the end of the day, the project objectives and goals are the primary concern for any project, and delivering it on time the secondary concern.
Creating effective budget plans from scratch to manage the expenses of the project is another project management skill that helps the project managers to reduce costs and bring in improved results within a given cost and timeframe.
After analyzing the project needs, a budget plan is laid out. And the pressing need to make sure that the project does not cross the estimated budget at any point in time is where the project managers play their role. Constant monitoring and resolving issues that may hamper the project budget while making sure the quality is not compromised is how the budget planning works.
What good is a project without meeting set standards and quality requirements? A pressing need to deliver the project along with quality assurance is increasing in recent times.
A project manager’s responsibility is to manage the processes in such a way that at each stage of the project management life cycle the proper quality assurance is in place. This practice helps to reduce iterations to meet the required standards and keeps the project’s integrity in check.
A project plan is a structured and systematic approach to a project. There are certain factors that are ensured before you can start making a project plan. All the stages in the project life cycle will be thoroughly analyzed and taken into consideration for the whole project plan to work efficiently and effectively.
The following steps can be taken for making a project plan.
- Define your project – Defining the project will also include making sure that you have analyzed the project scope, objectives, requirements, deliverables, and project schedule.
- Define Project scope quality – this will cover the necessary measures that must be taken before the project begins so that any setbacks can be handled. Identifying risks, dependencies, and how they would affect the project is basically handled in the project scope quality. It basically ensures a standard or a quality for the project.
- Organize the people for the project – In this, you will basically create a structure where each role and responsibilities is clearly defined and there is no confusion in the project.
- Define project resources – Defining project resources is basically identifying all the required resources that will essentially complete the project.
- Project Communications and Change management plan – ensure the effective communication plan among the teams and stakeholders along with an effective change management plan.
The project planning skill is what will drive the whole project from the beginning to the end. And for a project to finish within time, the plan has to be followed at each stage in the project management life cycle.
What if the requirements given by the client have groundbreaking potential in the market. But, instead of taking 2 months, the project has been stretched for over 6 months. How happy do you think the client would be with this development? Let’s not imagine the worst.
A project manager ensures the project’s delivery within the specified time frame by managing the teams accordingly. The best practices like calculating the story points for every work item and making the plan accordingly. These practices help the teams to keep the progress of the project on track.
Managing teams is another responsibility that is the backbone of any project. Imagine having all the resources, skills, team members, and project plan in place, but the teams aren’t managed properly resulting in delays and iterations.
For any effective project management team, the leader takes care of the communication, planning, and schedule to make sure the teams are functioning according to the plans and yield the maximum results.
A great leader with negotiation skills can make any project go from zero to glory. While managing the teams, there may be people resisting change, and other dependencies that directly affect the project. To overcome this hurdle, a good negotiator will always resort to listening and coming up with the most efficient solution for both parties.
In a project management environment, an efficient leader will be always familiar with how the organization works. They will be familiar with the various roles and responsibilities in the organization. They know the whole organizational structure inside out.
In case of divided dependencies in the organization, they will be able to get out of it because they are aware of other options and solutions that are useful to them.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Last but not least, a professional with critical thinking and problem-solving skills in project management can get the project out of tricky situations where spontaneity with experience can be very beneficial in terms of costs and value.
The skills discussed in the article help you attain expertise in project management. By easily managing teams to success, you will become a great asset to your organization. If you are looking for project management certifications and kickstart your project management career, check out ____ and begin your beautiful journey with project management.