If you want to excel at your job as a manager, it’s vital to cultivate project management skills. While some of these skills are similar to the essential qualities of a manager that guarantee success, the vast majority are specific to the project-management niche.
It doesn’t matter if you manage a restaurant, a call center, or a retail outlet, at some point, you’re going to have to coordinate and execute a project that is outside the scope of your regular responsibilities. That’s where project management skills become so important.
In this article, the experts at Sling give you 15 project management skills to help you succeed. The best thing about these skills is that once you’ve learned them, you can put them into practice whether you’re conducting a project or not. Each and every one will help you become a better manager.
15 Project Management Skills To Help You Succeed
Contrary to its name, project management isn’t just about the project. It’s also about the people. Your team members are the ones who are going to do the work. You need to be able to lead, motivate, and mediate the group — big or small — toward success.
As the project manager, you’re going to need to coordinate the long-term activities of your team as well as their day-to-day work. Without the ability to schedule effectively, you’re leaving everything up to chance.
That’s why tools like Sling are so important. The Sling suite of cloud-based tools streamlines the scheduling process and allows you to see both the project as a whole and the small tasks that have yet to be done.
Effective communication is a key component to the success of any project. It’s the skill you’re going to exercise the most (you have to communicate to lead, after all).
You need to be able to clearly relate the project’s vision, goals, ideas, and issues, as well as produce reports and presentations. Whether it’s verbal or written, communication should be at the cornerstone of any good project manager’s skill set.
4) Aptitude For Technology
Technology in its various forms is the tool that each and every member of your team will use to bring the project to completion. Whether you’re using technology to manage inventory, track hours worked, or calculate labor costs, you should have a working knowledge of all the technology necessary for your project and be able to guide your team in using it.
Even the smallest project has several moving pieces. As the project manager, you must be able to organize those pieces into clearly defined steps so that your team can work their way through them effectively.
6) People Management
An effective project manager should be well-versed at promoting teamwork, resolving conflicts, evaluating performance, setting goals, and delegating tasks. Strengthening your people management skills will help you become a better leader.
7) Subject Matter Knowledge
Subject matter knowledge is fluid and may change from project to project. Regardless, you need to know enough about the end result of your project to guide your team to success. If you don’t, you’re not going to know what steps to take lead your team.
8) Risk Management
Risk management is all about predicting problems and creating solutions to them before they arise. Mitigating these risks before they become a full-fledged issue will increase your chances of delivering a project successfully.
At some point during the project, you’re likely going to have to deal with conflicts between the higher-ups and your team members. If you’ve got strong negotiating skills, you’ll be able to settle these issues before they get out of hand and threaten the success of your project.
10) Cost Management
No project has unlimited funds. All project managers work within certain financial constraints. To succeed, you must be able to make the best use of those funds in order to keep the project on budget.
In business, things don’t always go according to plan. You need to have the ability to adapt to whatever life throws at you and be flexible enough to recognize when it’s time to change your plans and make adjustments.
Creativity is one of the softer (less tangible) skills on this list, but it is no less important. Creativity will help you come up with novel solutions to the problems that try to derail your progress.
13) Critical Thinking
Put simply, critical thinking helps you form an unbiased judgment about whatever issues you may face. It involves being as objective as possible and analyzing and evaluating a situation based on the facts, not on your emotions.
14) Quality Management
Sure, you can motivate your team and keep them on task and on schedule. But can you do all that while still maintaining a high standard of quality? That’s what quality management is all about.
Producing a finished product is one thing. Producing a finished product of the agreed-upon quality is another thing entirely.
15) Task Management
Tasks are the small steps that make up the project as a whole. Think of them like the bricks that go into building a wall. If they (the smaller pieces of your project) aren’t up to par, the entire project could come crashing down around you.
In essence, task management is all about the short term. It’s embodied in the question, “What needs to be done right now to keep the project moving toward its final goal?”
Putting Project Management Skills To Work
If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of project management skills on this list and don’t know where to start, take a deep breath and relax. You don’t have to master all the skills by the end of the workday.
Pick one of the more quantifiable skills (e.g., technology, organization, or scheduling) and focus on making it a part of your daily routine. Once you feel comfortable with that skill, pick another one from the list and work to master it. Soon, you’ll have all 15 project management skills down pat and you’ll be ready for any project that comes your way.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.