You might not know this, but project managers do a bit of everything. Their work involves aspects of: personnel management, admin, budgeting, risk management, and progress analysis.
This might sound like a lot to do all at once, but with the right skills, you can do it all successfully. Let’s look at three skills you need to master if you want to make a success of your career as a project manager:
Communication is vital in any job role, and even more so in project management – where you need to be able to communicate objectives, issues, tasks, and results to a variety of stakeholders (which may include project team members, clients, and service providers).
To develop and improve your communication skills, you can start with the basics, such as:
- Learning how to listen effectively
- Learning how to write clearly
- Learning how to co-ordinate and manage a meeting effectively
- Learning how to pitch to prospective clients and other stakeholders
As a project manager, you will be leading a project team. It will be your responsibility to make sure the team completes the project on time and within budget, while meeting all the other project objectives. This means your leadership role, as a project manager, will involve a wide variety of activities, such as dealing with conflict, delegating tasks, managing schedules, monitoring progress, and motivating your team to achieve the project goals.
To develop your leadership skills, you can:
- Learn from others: listen to motivational speakers, watch how other leaders interact with their teams, and take pointers from other managers.
- Maintain open channels of communication with your team members: they may be able to give you valuable feedback.
- Participate in skills development programmes focusing on leadership skills.
As a project manager – and leader – you will be setting the example for your team. So make sure to behave in a professional manner at all times, to treat others with respect, and to be adaptable to change.
When managing a project, it is essential to make sure you’re able to complete the project within the given budget. This means doing accurate forecasting, keeping track of all spending, and making adjustments if necessary. Basic financial skills will help you do all of the afore-mentioned, and will also help you argue your case if you need to request more funds for a project.
As you can see, project management requires an in-depth set of skills, and if you want to become successful in this role, it would be best to master these skills one by one. A course in project management will guide you in the right direction, equipping you with much of the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in this profession.