Whether you are the head of a corporate department or a college student regarded as “the responsible one in the group”, chances are you already have some experience with project management.

But is that experience as good as it could be? Working with people can be tricky, and deadlines and finances make it all the more so. So how can you become the best that you can be at the delicate skill of successful project management? We have compiled a list of essential skills that you should focus on.

Communication

As a project manager, the quality of your communication will directly affect not only the team and the project, but your clients and stakeholders as well. One crucial element here are consistent updates, otherwise known as “touch points” with the people who are involved in the project. There is rarely such a thing as too much information, and the more effectively you communicate, the stronger your relationship with all those involved will be, and the chance of the project being a resounding success will consequently increase.

Therefore, for a successful project manager, interpersonal skills are a must. You have to be able to clearly and persuasively bring your ideas, goals, strategies, vision, and any potential problems across to the relevant participants. Minimize the chance of anyone being surprised by any development.

Learn more about communication in management at this link: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/top-seven-requirements-achieve-effective-communication-management-18061.html

Time Management

This typically intimidating aspect of business involves one of the trickiest balancing acts any adult ever has to undertake. For a project manager, it requires not only distributing your own time, but determining how others will spend theirs as well. The most critical ability in this resect is knowing what to say “No” to.

When running a project, especially a large-scale one, there will be many good and productive things to do in the time that you have at your disposal, but a good manager will know which of those are best for the project. Furthermore, among the “best things” you have to be able to determine which ones take absolute priority, and how they change each day or week – because they are bound to as the project progresses.

A good rule of thumb is to have no more than three top priority tasks for any given day and to do your utmost to avoid carrying anything over into tomorrow. Do not underestimate the usefulness of delegating, rearranging, and multi-tasking. Check out this web page for some more advice on time management.

Time Management

Risk Management

When something goes the wrong way, as the project manager, you will always be in the crosshair. Your position will cause people to regard you as the resident clairvoyant – they will expect you to foresee and mitigate negative developments, and they will tend to give you a hard time when something slips by you.

Skillful risk management is crucial in avoiding surprises, especially bad ones, something that your sponsors hate from the bottom of their hearts. Even if it does not seem urgent, never disregard anything that presents a potential risk. Identify the troubling factors and immediately formulate action plans for taking care of them. These action plans are also something to include in your main process and keep track of.

The key to it is to kill a risk in its crib before it grows into a genuine problem. This will not only improve your standing with your clients and stakeholders, it will also save you time on juggling several issues and several upset parties at once, instead allowing you to focus on the actual project and tasks at hand.

Planning

What this refers to is scheduling the project elements effectively and flexibly. You need to organize your tasks in a practical order, monitor the progress all along the way, and make any amendments to the schedule if it turns out that you need to. This means both the micro and macro levels need your devoted attention.

There are things like planning your meetings, timelines, briefs, allocating resources, estimating expenses. On the flip side, there are the miniature aspects of every single day, such as the first person to talk to when you get to the office, or taking time out of your busy schedule to update all of the tedious paperwork.

Thankfully, this is the one aspect, besides communication, that you can get your team to tackle with you. Tools like ClientFlow’s collaborative project management software can be of great use here.

Leadership

As the manager, you have to be able to inspire, train, correct, balance and effectively direct your team or teams. There is also the responsibility of resolving conflict and evaluating performance. In addition to that, it will likely fall to you to make sure that everyone has all the tools, space, money, and any other resources that they need to accomplish their respective and common tasks.

Even more importantly from an operational point of view, you need to keep people in line and enforce rules that will make everyone stick to the process you put together. Moreover, thankless as it might be, you as the leader are responsible for getting the job done. That means you will have to do things outside the scope of your assigned work, you will have to balance between the team and the clients, and you will have to constantly provide vision and empowerment.


 

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