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As business organisations scramble to succeed in hyper-competitive environments, skilled project managers are in high demand. While there is an abundance of career opportunities for project managers, becoming a great one takes practice, education and determination. In this article, we discuss the soft and hard skills that combine to make an effective project manager.
Project managers need to be on top of their game with planning, assembling a team and managing tasks on time, and cost. While project management tools are useful, the necessary skills to make maximum use of these technologies are vital for success. You can follow a project management methodology such as the PRINCE2 Practitioner course to attain the necessary skills through accessing PRINCE2 practitioner e-learning. In the rest of the article, we are going to take a look at all the skills needed to improve project management capabilities. Let’s explore the key hard (technical) and soft skills needed to achieve this goal.
The hard or technical skills of a project manager allow him or her to plan, make a schedule and manage projects effectively. One of the core hard skills of a project manager is the knowledge of project management methodologies such as PRINCE2. You can check out the PRINCE2 Practitioner online course and exam to get an idea of the knowledge needed to this end or simply check out the PRINCE2 practitioner exam only.
Project management skills are industry specific, and you would only need to learn those that align with your industry’s requirements. Check out the project management approaches such as PRINCE2® Practitioner Course + Official Exam to gain useful insights.
Working knowledge of project management software is a necessary technical skill. There are numerous project management software tools available. First of all, you need to figure out which system would work for your industry, team and task at hand. To obtain in-depth knowledge of the specific requirement and pick wisely, get additional bandwidth by taking the PRINCE2 Practitioner Course Official Exam.
Teamwork is the backbone of project management. Hence, ensuring the well-being and functionality of the team is half the work of a good manager. This includes; putting in place a good communication strategy, conflict resolution and relationship building.
Project planning is a skill that you must upgrade from time to time. Planning is the foundation that allows the project to come to a successful conclusion in time. A robust project plan includes the schedule, resources, budget as well as roles of each member.
The project schedule is a key part of the plan. The schedule plans out the tasks and roles of each member. This particular skill is a lot more than just deadlines and deliverables. It involves risk management as well as resource management.
The budget fuels the project forward, and in fact, project management would merely be a concept if not for the all-important budget. The project manager needs to be proficient in managing the budget, and tracking costs along the life cycle of the specific project. It takes considerable maneuvering to make sure that the costs stay within the planned allocation.
Any project, whether big or small, comes with a set of risks. That is why a project manager needs to create a risk management strategy to identify, analyze and control risks as and when they arise. The risk management strategy, though pre-planned, needs to be flexible.
In a project, tasks line up to strengthen the execution phase of the plan. Each task needs to be created then organised and assigned to relevant team members. As the project execution phase continues, the project manager needs to track assigned tasks. The right project management software makes task management easier by fostering collaboration.
Successful project managers master these hard skills by following robust project management methodologies. If you wish to become a proficient project manager, look for the PRINCE2 Practitioner Course Official Exam or the PRINCE2 Practitioner Course Official Exam UK
Now, let’s take a look at the soft skills required to become an efficient and praiseworthy project manager.
Soft skills, unlike hard skills, must be nurtured within yourself. Nevertheless, some of these skills can be learnt through application.
A project manager is a leader that can inspire team members to carry out their tasks through thick and thin. To become a better leader, you need to work on your people skills and become someone who can motivate team members.
A good project manager is a great communicator. Becoming a great communicator takes work involving the ability to listen, articulate your ideas well and be respectful and kind.
Negotiation and interpersonal skills go hand in hand with being a good project manager. A good negotiator with excellent interpersonal skills can balance the diverse expectations of stakeholders with grace and dignity. The ability to resolve conflicts is yet another similar superpower you need to nurture to become a successful project manager.
What about problem-solving abilities? Projects are inherently rife with problems, some of which are interconnected. The successful delivery of a project will invariably call for an affinity for solving problems through moving the various pieces of the puzzle with mastery. The good news is that there are numerous problem-solving tools available for project managers.
Finally, let’s look at the personality traits of a good project manager. A good project manager needs to work on his or her adaptability, and patience. A good sense of humor, along with the ability to think critically, will help you execute your role as a leader with wisdom and grace.
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