Skills You Need to Become an Effective Project Manager

Successful project managers must have a veritable grab bag of skills. Whether it’s having an in-depth understanding of the nature of the project or simply being an effective communicator and leader, project managers are tasked with bringing out the best in their employees.

Helena Bachar, for Clarizen.com, writes, “Though the list of useful project management skills is nearly endless, certain skills are generally considered to be more important than others.” There are some essential skills that every project manager must have, regardless of the particulars of their project.

Communication Is Key

Project managers spend a lot of time facilitating communications between team members and clients. It is imperative that team members are on the same page and don’t receive conflicting information. Bachar warns against over-communication: “With traditional project management, there’s a fine line between keeping people in the loop and overwhelming your team with a flood of emails and meeting invitations.”

There are some simple ways to improve your communication skills. Cesar Abeid’s article “6 Essential Skills for Project Managers” in LiquidPlanner.com points out, “Communication is a broad topic, so it’s difficult to approach it from an all-encompassing angle. A good place to start is by improving your presentation skills, which translates into everything from a kickoff meeting to a pitch to clients and stakeholders.” Essentially, the best way to improve your communication skills is to spend more time communicating in a professional setting.

Keeping Organized

Organization is another one of those baseline skills that every project manager must have to be successful. Abeid notes, “Get organized personally, and you will immediately improve as a project manager.” The project manager sets the tone for the whole team. A project manager who is organized will set an example, and it will be much easier to keep the whole team organized.

These days, technology and personal organization go hand in hand. As Bachar points out, “Project management software has evolved dramatically in recent years, opening up new possibilities for collaboration, data management, communication and reporting. Using the latest tools will enable you to work more efficiently and maximize your effectiveness in every aspect of a project.”

Managing Risk

Project managers are the face of the project, and as such, hold much of the responsibility on how a project turns out. In “7 Must-Have Project Management Skills” on CIO.com, Jennifer Lonoff Schiff notes, “Much of problem solving in a project management context revolves around being able to identify and manage risk.” If the project doesn’t meet expectations, people will go to the project manager for answers.

Bachar points out, “Regardless of the circumstances, everyone wonders whether the manager could have foreseen and prevented the problem. Being able to anticipate issues and develop solutions for them in advance will dramatically improve your chances of success.”

While there are countless skills that can work to the advantage of a project manager, these are some of the core skills needed in every field and for every project. Earning an online BBA in Management will give you a great baseline for developing these skills for the professional world.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online BBA in Management program.


Sources:

CIO.com: 7 Must-Have Project Management Skills

Clarizen: The 10 Most Important Project Management Skills

LiquidPlanner: 6 Essential Skills for Project Managers


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