Essential Project Management Skills for 2018
This article is a guest post written by Victoria Lawes.
In 2018, we have all these project management tools, digital scheduling software and collaboration platforms, yet, the role of an active, human project manager is still far from being replaced. In fact, it has become more important than ever, seeing as how project managers now have a technical aspect of the project to worry about as well. Now, take into a consideration the fact that about 45 percent of adult Americans are telecommuting and what you get is a tricky situation, which requires a lot of skill, finesse and experience. With all of this in mind and without further ado, here are several management skills vital to the success of your projects in 2018.
1. Team building
Probably the first thing you need to do as a project manager is to learn how to construct the right team. Now, one of the major problems with team-building is that you have to strike a fine balance in creating a compatible and efficient team. For instance, while it is known that diverse teams usually give better results, you cannot put diversity at the forefront and pair people up just because they have different backgrounds and skill sets. You need people who can complement each other and make up for weaknesses of others with their own strengths.
2. Business communication
The ancient Chinese philosopher and general Sun Tzu once said that if the order is unclear, the fault for a failed execution cannot rest on soldiers, but on the commander. This is also the case in the business world where the use of the right language, tone and specific communication may make a huge difference between success and failure. Apart from this, nowadays, there are so many channels of communications. There is a great difference between writing something in an official email and mentioning it casually in an IM chat. Therefore, learning the art of business communication is one of the first and the essential skills of a proper project manager.
3. Resource planning and management
Perhaps the most important skill of a project manager is that they are able to work with what they’ve got in term of resources. However, what a lot of people make the mistake of believing that money is the only type of resource, which is as far from the truth as it gets. On the other hand, enrolling in some financial modeling courses might not be the worst idea. Your manpower, their stamina, the time you have on your hands and the equipment you have are all resources you have at your disposal as a project manager and it is up to you to use them to their greatest extent. Furthermore, apart from delivering on time, the project has to satisfy a certain quality norm, which is yet another issue you need to keep in mind.
4. Technical skills
As we suggested in the introduction, a present-day project manager needs to first get the hang of the project management software their company is using and then master various other project-vital methodologies. Luckily, most of these platforms are fairly simple to use and master. We are mostly talking about tools such as Microsoft Project or Asana, although there are many other tools that are also in play. This knowledge will help you map out talent resources and keep everyone up to speed through the official channels of the project.
Finally, in order to command respect, resolve problems and inspire people you need to be a leader. Although it is true that some people are born with natural charisma, true leadership is a skill and like every skill, it can be taught and learned. One of the ways to achieve this is to lead by example; however, it is highly unlikely that you will be as proficient in every skill necessary for the project’s completion.
Needless to say, these are just the tip of the iceberg since the specific skill set you need to manage a project will depend on the project itself. For instance, as a manager, your job might be of a supervisory nature, while in the situation where you are a part of a four-member team, you might have some other tasks as well. Nonetheless, while most of these issues may come down to the circumstances at hand, with these five essential skills on your side, you will be on the right track to becoming an outstanding project manager in 2018.
Victoria is a Digital Marketing Strategist. She works with driven, creative, and passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners that want to bring their visions to life. An enthusiastic writer who follows latest marketing and technology trends to get a glimpse of the future. Contributor at bizzmarkblog.com