Project managers should possess various skills for successfully planning, procuring, and executing a project, ensuring that everything is on track and that everybody involves works to their full potential. In case of any problems, delays, or issues, the project manager is the point person who works with the company or client to figure out ways to resolve the issues. Project managers are typically not involved in the hands-on work but rather ensure that progress is made and ensure that everyone is kept on task.
Project managers play an important role in the construction of new sites, the launch of new products, as well as the development of new programmes. It is an essential role in virtually all industries. For instance, an architecture company will use a project manager for handling the development of a new building while a shampoo company may require one for launching a new product.
Required Skills for Project Managers
Project managers are responsible for streamlining processes, managing the work of dozens or hundreds of people, as well as keeping production on time. It is a role that requires extensive soft skills, which include organisation and communication, to be successful.
Here are the skills required for one to be successful in this role:
- Communication: Project managers spend a lot of time negotiating with vendors, communicating with staff, or reporting problems or progress to clients. Written and verbal communication skills are critical for success. They may be required to give presentations, so it is important to be comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people and using presentation software.
- Leadership: A good leader not only oversees and coordinates processes and tasks as a manager but also encourages, motivates, outlines the vision and defines the road map.
It is also important that the project manager be able to analyse data quickly – or a particular situation- and make the right decisions since it is him/her with the final say and the final responsibility for whether or not the project is successful.
- Management: Managing people is essential if an organisation is to work effectively. From holding individuals accountable for delegating duties, it is the responsibility of the project manager to encourage collaboration, evaluate performance, and set goals.
- Negotiation: Programme managers typically negotiate with clients on a suitable schedule and scope of work. The project manager bargains for certain manpower and resources. Knowing how to negotiate to get what they need to succeed and keep everybody involved satisfied is a skill that one can only develop and improve through training courses provided by the likes of GBS Corporate Training.
- Organisation: Project managers are not likely to be successful if they are forgetful or sloppy. Since they juggle multiple aspects, they should be organised in both their personal and professional lives. Project managers should develop an organisational system, whether it is a paper planner or electronic note-taker, to keep all the details on top of mind.
- Budgeting: All projects will have a fixed amount of funding allocated to them. It is the responsibility of a project manager to come up with a budget for the money and ensure that it is closely adhered to. It is a skill that requires experience. Project managers can only develop the knowledge required to know where costs are likely to mount and where savings can be found by spending time working on large projects.
- Problem Solving: Issues that require attention often come up for project managers and it is up to them to predict potential issues in advance and brainstorm solutions should such issues arise. Having alternatives and backup plans available can keep work on track and prevent costly delays. Most risks aren’t urgent if they are anticipated. However, it is not possible to predict every issue, so project managers need to nimbly deal with unexpected issues and ensure that minor problems never turn into major setbacks.