Project managers have extremely important jobs in an organization. Not only do they have to be confident leaders, they also need to know how to read body language, facilitate and even argue effectively, and be masters of whichever project they happen to be working on at the time. It’s a tough job, but the right kind of expert can fill this role perfectly if they have the necessary skills.
So what kind of project management skills should you be looking for in a project manager, or looking to improve on if you’re a project manager yourself? Keep reading to find out.
As a change agent working with teams that are made up of complex individuals from varying backgrounds, communication is by far the most important skill that a project manager should have. This fact hasn’t changed since the inception of the role, and will continue to be important for many years to come.
What has changed, however, is the need for project managers to know how to communicate effectively across generations. In most work environments, there are now a mix of Millennials, Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, and each of these generations have their own unique way of functioning within a project. While of course strategies should mostly be tailored based on individuals—finding the best way to communicate across the generational gaps will prove to be one of the most in-demand project management skills in the coming years.
2. Knowing When to Negotiate—and When to Compromise
The nature of working on a team means that there’s going to be a lot of varying opinions being tossed around, and it takes an incredible leader to know when to either accept those opinions or reject them.
A great project manager takes the time to understand exactly the pros and con of these differing opinions, but doesn’t let their ego get in the way of making the right decisions. Negotiating effectively with their team is going to play a major factor in making a project successful, but accepting the advice of others is a very valuable skill to have, too.
3. Personal Organization
Would you hire a project manager whose desk was a scattered mess and who constantly came across as frazzled and stressed out? You can’t manage a project effectively if you don’t have organizational skills, and this includes getting organized personally.
Team members rely on project managers to have a certain level of organization, and providing structure, coordination, and orderliness—even on a personal level—will make sure that you don’t let them down.
4. Online Etiquette
Having the right kind of attitude online is becoming more and more important as we rely heavily on technology to communicate. We all know that there’s nothing worse than an important contact who doesn’t respond to emails in a timely manner, and project managers need to do whatever it takes not to become one of those people. Of all the project management skills, this can be the most overlooked—but it can really make or break relationships in a team project.
5. Technical Skills
To be a good project manager, it’s a requirement to be familiar with all of the gadgets, programs, and software that you’ll be dealing with on a regular basis. It’s not enough just to assign the tasks to various IT team members—project managers must possess at least some of the skills to take on the job themselves. This shows dedication, respect, and an aptitude for the job.