Project management is not an easy job. In fact, it’s several not-easy jobs, including the initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing of a project. Even more difficult, that project is delegated to a team of your choosing, given specific goals to achieve over a defined timeline for a determined budget.
But that’s just one aspect of the project manager’s many-faceted job. Below we’ve collected the top skills every project manager should have.
Steven Covey’s quote, “The enemy of the best is good,” applies especially well to project managers. They understand that there are countless good things to be involved in, but there are a vital few best things that must come first each day. Successful project managers are very good at saying, “I’m sorry but I can’t support that right now.”
Successful project managers also respect their teammates’ time. Project managers run efficient meetings, which results in good attendance by all parties over the long run.
Going back to the communication skill—a lot of this communication has to do with negotiating the use of resources, budgets, schedules, scope creep, and a variety of other compromises that are unavoidable. Knowing how to negotiate well so that all parties are satisfied is a key skill for the successful project manager.
really goes hand-in-glove with leadership. You can’t be an effective leader if you’re not able to articulate what it is you need your team to do. But you’re not only going to be communicating with your team, you’ll need to have clear communications with everyone associated with the project, from vendors and contractors to stakeholders and customers. Whether that’s through reporting tools or fostering collaboration with chat, file sharing, and other means to tag discussions at the task level, you’re going to need both systems in place to facilitate communications. These tools also help connect people one-to-one and in group settings, such as meetings and presentations.
Successful project managers know how to motivate people who do not work for them and keep teams working effectively together. Quite simply, effective project managers tend to be as “likable” as they are assertive.