Essential skills for project management | Just the Job

Essential skills for project management | Just the Job

Managing a project isn’t an easy job. Managing people to execute that project is an even more difficult task. That’s why any project manager needs to build and hone the essential skills for project management in order to see a project expertly completed.

What skills do project managers need?

Essential skills for project management are:

Leadership

One of the most important “L” words you’ll find in business. For a project to succeed, the project manager has got to know how to look after the team of individuals that are driving the force. A good leader knows how to get the best out of their team while maintaining support and respect.

Communication

Imagine you’re talking with a young up-and-coming professional. Would you say to them that they have “mad skillz”? If you answered ‘no’ to that, then you need to work on this one more than you might know. Communicating a message clearly and appropriately is a critical part of management. This means constructing what you want from the team with clarity and through the best channel of communication.

Delegation

A project is not a one-man-band in business. Human resources exist for a reason. Project managers need to use the combined skills of their team to complete a task in time and within budget. Not only is micro-managing inefficient, it often leads to a frustrated team and a burnt out manager. It is important for a manager to know how to delegate duties to individual team members so that the task is completed well. This results in satisfaction from the company, the team manager and the responsible team members.

Time and budget-management

Scheduling a project so that things run on time is a key component in project management. It’s one of the critical points of a project management role. Therefore, it’s clear that time management is one of the core project management skills. Prioritising what needs to be done for a task at hand while bearing in mind the next steps is easier said than done. This is why working on this skill is so important for any manager to do practically. Like delegation, it also avoids frustrated team members because they will know both what is expected – and when.

Managing the budget goes hand-in-hand with managing time. Prioritising what is most important is a good first step in making sure the money-well doesn’t dry up before the project is completed. Think of what is necessary, and go from there. A good tip is: If you don’t need to spend any of your budget on it; then don’t.

Problem-solving

Hiccups happen in business more often than to people. While you can’t put a project on its head and make it count to ten, you can put things in place which will help resolve the issues. More often than not, problems will arise because of people. This puts your communication skills to the test; if you can stop a problem in its tracks by communicating clearly, then your job is halfway done.

How to improve your project management skills

Either you’ve got the skills, or you don’t have them.

Yet.

Even if you’re an expert at one thing, it’s a great idea to try and hone it so that you can be the best, most skilled manager so that both the project and the team you are leading can excel. There are several ways to build different skills.

Practice consistent planning

As a manager, you should be on the lookout for ways to improve your method. This means taking time out to plan the next steps, especially in the first steps of the project. One of the most dangerous things a project manager can say is “we’ll deal with that when we get to it”. If you can find ways to tend to issues before they come up, you’ll have a much smoother project on your hands.

Take advantage of ways to advance your skills

Whether this means taking a short course in project management or looking for software to assist in your management processes, it is important to look for ways to build your project management skills. When you find an opportunity to advance a skill; take it.

Set goals for success

Goal-setting works perfectly with planning. If you set clear, realistic objectives for yourself and your team to reach, it will encourage you to use your skills in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. When you succeed in hitting the goals, make sure you communicate encouragement to your team. It will make them feel valued, and they will strive to reach other goals set.

Ask for and accept constant feedback

Communication is essential for giving and receiving productive feedback. If a team member knows that feedback will be accepted well, they will be more likely to give it. Take feedback with open arms and assess whether it is valid. If it is, look for ways to implement strategies to improve processes in the project.   An excellent resource for jobseekers https://www.careerjunction.co.za/marketing/salarysurvey

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