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8 Skills a Project Manager Should Have in 2021

Skills a Project Manager Should Have

A person who is in charge of a project is the project manager. The project manager is primarily responsible for the five phases of a project: initiation, planning, execution, control, and closure.

To be able to conduct every project efficiently, the project manager needs to know the various management tools, have technical skills, and even an international certification. But do you think that is enough? Not even! The project manager must have personal skills and abilities, the so-called soft skills, and be able, from them, to promote communication and motivation of his team of collaborators seeking to reach the deadlines and goals.

In this article, we will introduce you to 8 essential skills for every project manager in 2021. But before we start, let’s understand a basic concept: the difference between competence and skill.

What is the difference between competencies and skills?

It is common for people to be confused when they think of skills and competencies as if they were synonymous, when in fact they have different definitions. While competencies (or hard skills) refer to technical skills that people can acquire through courses and training, for example, skills (soft skills), are related to how people behave in different situations. In this article, we are going to talk specifically about the essential skills for a project manager.

1. Communication skills

The project manager must be able to communicate well since he spends most of his time communicating with his team of collaborators. The communication between employees responsible for a project is critical and extremely important for planning and implementation. If done efficiently, it allows quick circulation of information and encourages the exchange of ideas and opinions. Thus, communication is an indispensable and essential skill for the project manager. He needs to be prepared and able to pass all relevant information about the project to his team, clearly and objectively. The origin of conflicts is usually due to inefficiency in communication. Therefore, when done well, it is something that helps to avoid the generation of conflicts and keeps the team cohesive and in balance.

In addition to speaking well, the project manager needs to be able to listen. It is important for project management that the project manager knows how to receive feedback from the professionals involved in the project in question.

2. Effective leadership skills

Another extremely important skill is leadership. It is about someone’s ability, through respect, trust, and knowledge, to inspire and guide people. And then, motivate them to do something challenging. A good leader can make a more vigorous occupational environment. This keeps the team motivated and willing to make it happen. The project manager is a leader. Therefore, he needs to know how to captivate, influence, and lead the team members so that they can complete all the activities necessary for the success of the project.

3. Organisation skills

It is part of the project manager’s routine to deal with several factors relevant to the execution of a project. Some of them are:

• Define, elaborate, and modify the scope.

• Sequence all activities and describe the schedule.

• Assess the main implementation risks.

• Make cost estimates.

• Monitor the execution of activities.

• Mobilize and develop the project team.

To be able to deal with all this information and also with constant concerns – such as unforeseen circumstances -, it is necessary to know how to organize all these variables, manage activities, and even the time of execution of them. The project manager may still have to deal with more than one project at the same time. Thus, an organization is a basic and vital skill for the success of any project. To be organized and to be able to advance the project properly, the project manager must be disciplined. The person responsible for managing the project, as stated in the topic above, needs to deal with various information, monitor people, tasks, manage time and deadlines. Managing all of this takes a lot of discipline.

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4. Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving Skills

Be attentive to risk. Have enough confidence to make decisions without having all the information available. A good project manager identifies problems and proposes solutions, acts when necessary, and leads the team towards success.

5. Crisis management skills

The project manager can handle conflict situations during the project stages and needs to be able to manage them. Conflicts are almost always inevitable. However, when managed properly, they end up bringing benefits to the project. Negotiation also presents itself as a way to resolve conflicts. Through it, the manager can evaluate the proposals of both parties and negotiate common sense. Even after planning, the main risks must be taken into account, since no project is immune from unforeseen circumstances or crises. Therefore, the project manager must be able to deal with these adverse conditions. Therefore, the project manager needs to have a firm pulse and face the situation looking for the best possible ways to solve the problems and, with the help of a well-prepared team, put the project back on track.

6. Adaptability skills

The project manager needs to take a proactive stance. Therefore, he must always anticipate himself to resolve deadlocks and dilemmas and guide his project team in resolving them. Proactivity ensures that the project develops more dynamically, as it avoids deviations and bottlenecks during any phase of a project. This is good for managing deadlines, as it speeds up task delivery and helps you stick to the schedule efficiently. The ability to have a global (or holistic) view of the project is extremely important and is necessary for any qualified project manager. He needs to be aware of all the variables in the project. Therefore, the project manager needs to be able to see the project as a whole and must be aware of everything that is happening. Only then will he be able to make the best possible decisions to deliver effective results.

7. Negotiation skills

The word “negotiation” is practically synonymous with project management. You have to deal with different interests all the time, seek an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties, convince people to do what they don’t want, ask for more time or resources for a particular task, and so on. Without this skill, it will be difficult to navigate many phases of the project.

8. Technical skills

As we find ourselves in a digital age, it is quite easy to get overwhelmed and left behind by technological advancement. Hence, for a project manager, it is a must to be updated about the latest development in technology to remain relevant. Failure to stay updated with technological advancement can lead to delay in the completion of a project and some cases lead to failure in delivering a project.

In Conclusion

The project manager has a huge responsibility when he takes the reins of a project in a company. He needs to achieve all the objectives of this project, within the deadlines and with the level of quality required by the interested parties. To do this, you need to manage information, methods, materials, and people. To do it all, just being a superhero! Therefore, all the skills presented here are necessary for a project manager to stand out and achieve the goals of a project.