10 Essential Project Management Skills You Must Have in 2020

project management skills
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Project Management is not just managing a project. It is a very complicated process with its own inner workings and building blocks. Seeing a project manager take the project from its initiation to the planning, then executing the project and controlling it, all the way to its closing is easy. Being a project manager who does that efficiently is not. Here you will learn about the project management skills you must have to deliver a successful project to your clients.

In the beginning, it is easy for anyone to think that just knowing what the right project management software is will help you be successful. Maybe in the first go, you are effective, the second time, you manage, the third time, blank!

What do you need to learn as a project manager?

The right project management skills. 

The practical skills, management skills, soft skills, intellectual skills, any range of skills that make up the rungs of the project management skills matrix are essential for your growth.

This is not to downplay the importance of using the right software. You cannot drive a car without knowing how to drive. The software is your vehicle, destination A to B is the roadmap of your project, but you the project manager, you are the driver without whose direction, guidance, skills and proficiency the project is going nowhere.

For the right project management software, you need to check out PeppyBiz.

project management software

In this post, we are going to tackle some crucial questions you need to be asking yourself if you want your project manager tenure to be successful.

Questions like:

  • What project management skills do I need to know?
  • How do I start climbing the project management skills matrix?
  • Does knowing about IT project management help me?

Let’s begin your rise as a project manager now.

10 Essential Project Management Skills

1. Communication

Communication

Every list that you will come across related to project management skills mentions communication in the top three. This goes on to say how important effective communication is for you to manage your project.

Many people have great potential lingering in them behind a cover of anxiety and hesitance. Leave them alone in front of the bathroom mirror and you’ll see them give speeches to great armies before leaving for battle. 

Break this cowardice and communicate freely. No project and I mean absolutely no project, can ever be successful without a manager who vocalises the instructions, the deadlines, the intricate details with the utmost clarity and harbours active engaging discussions.

You need to make sure every person in the team has understood what the project is and what is expected from its outcome. And, that is going to be your job. Start practising the skill of effective communication.

PeppyBiz allows you this advantage with their discussion boards, chat boxes and handy features like call-ins, email-ins and tagging.

2. Listen

Listen

The complete antithesis of communicating, learn to listen.

You cannot communicate across your team with effectiveness if you don’t have the patience to first listen and understand the details of the project, and what’s being anticipated from its outcome.

You also need to learn how to listen to your team members and colleagues. Remember, you are the driver, the car doesn’t move forward without you. As the project manager, whenever there is an issue or obstruction, the people will turn to you for a resolve.

So, listen before you communicate, don’t communicate without listening.

3. Learn how to use your resources

Chances are, more often than not, your budget is going to be very tight. By the time you are being delegated large-scale projects with huge amounts of assets and financial backing, you’d have already honed this skill and won’t need to scour the internet for any list on project management skills. Until then, we are here for you.

Start making assessments over which task in your project needs the monetary aid and how you can get it done with the minimum cost-effectively, without compromising on the quality of your project.

Do this from the initiation of the project and don’t be inconsiderate. If the project is the car, the resources at your disposal are the fuel. Without them, knowing the road and being able to skilfully drive at high speeds is not going to help at all.

4. Start getting yourself informed

 Start getting yourself informed

What do I mean by this project management skill?

You are the project manager, if you allow yourself to become ignorant and care-free, you can kiss the project’s success goodbye. 

As the head of the project, you are responsible for knowing every detail involved in the project, minuscule or not. Only when you are informed about the details, can you make your way through the various phases of the project with flair? 

Streamlining the project only becomes possible when the project manager is well informed about everything that’s happening in the project.

This is made easy for you with PeppyBiz because they have progress report features that allow you to look at the progress with the greatest ease.

So, gear up and pay attention.

5. Be calm and have patience

There’s going to be a lot of conflict and chaos and it’s natural. Healthy rational disagreements should be encouraged by the project manager. It broadens their perspective and allows them to see different avenues the project can pursue.

So, what’s the problem?

Most people get exasperated when their opinions or methods are challenged, even when it is legitimate. The person might be suggesting a good approach but because it’s different from your conventional method, you may get irritated.

There’s also the issue of getting into disagreements with executives or stakeholders. The best course for your project is not to be in too much conflict with them. As much as you can avoid without affecting the outcome of the project.

For all of this, you have to start developing the quality of patience. Be calm and facilitate collaboration rather than fuelling the disorder.

6. Risk Management

Risk Management

The entirety of your project is just going forward from one risk to another. Having slight hesitance in your decisions is also important. Not many people are too keen to accept this because they feel it compromises their confidence. 

So, why am I encouraging this thought?

This is because it is designed to make you review the decisions you make, not so you feel insecure about them but actually more certain. 

Only when the risk is such that there is a possibility of the whole project being jeopardised, should you consult every member, executive, sponsor and stakeholder involved. Once there is a green light, go ahead with certainty.

7. Critical Thinking

This word gets thrown around a lot when it comes to business, administration, management, projects, and strategic thinking.

It’s not a difficult term to understand. Critical thinking is taking of your emotional, passion-driven hat and putting on the cold and calculating rationality driven, criticizing cap. It’s not as bad as it sounds (unless you make these words your motto).

In critical thinking, while reviewing the tasks and assignments, you attempt to formulate an unbiased opinion and create an analysis based on practical hard-line facts.

You may like the design of the product, but when you prompt critical thinking then you realise it’s not suitable for the target audience.

That’s one example. All you have to do is make sure when you communicate the appraisal, you do it in a guiding fashion, not a strict rude one.

8. Bend time

Bend time

Really?

No.

When I say bend time, I am indicating the value of knowing how to schedule everything rightly. Creating a timeline, prioritising tasks, meeting deadlines, all this is time management.

Time management just like all the other project management skills that we mentioned form the core of a successful project manager, it’s just something you can avoid.

This is made simple with PeppyBiz’s user-friendly Gantt charts. You have access to timelines and calendars to divide the time properly among your team. Their timesheets also allow you to know how much time was spent on a specific task

Start disciplining yourself personally and fix your time table. This will give you a perfect idea on what to do when it comes down to regulating the flow of time for your projects.

9. Master the art of organising

Master the art of organising

You are a project manager, you manage projects. How do you do that? By effective organisation of tasks among your team members, among countless other things.

As with risk management, all you are doing in the whole life cycle of the project is just organising one task to another. It doesn’t just stop there. It falls to you to organise reports, meetings, discussions and on and on. 

All of it will only become feasible once you yourself are oriented in the right manner; this means successful organising skills.

PeppyBiz stands out perfectly as it gives you the best Kanban card management systems.

10. Leadership

Leadership

The heart of the whole operation. I saved the mention of leadership for the last because it is a compendium of every other skill we mentioned before. Developing those skills culminates into the leadership skill overall.

You have to learn how to be a leader, as simple as that. Think of leadership as the synonym of the project manager in project management.

You are the guiding principle and the backbone of the whole operation, you need to be able to effectively communicate, coach, guide, organise, manage all at the same time.

All those words might scare but it’s only a matter of your mindset. Once you learn what being a leader means, all you have to do believe you are one, even if you are not. Your habits will gradually start to shift to more selfless pursuits, you will start gaining the respect of your peers and people will look up to you for help. 

Be a leader outside your projects before you are a project manager in your projects.

What is IT Project Management and why it matters

When the subject of project management is approached with Information Technology goals in mind, it’s considered IT project management. 

Its main focus is the software development and technology sectors, but since those two spheres have become so pervasive that every other industry is affected by them, you should consider delving deeper into the subject of IT project management.

Conclusion

The fact that you reached the end shows you are determined to learn the best project management skills to make the climb on the project management skills matrix and reach the top.

Our post is beginner friendly and you will find everything to be suitable for you as a project manager. 

So, why not start today?

Make things easier on yourself by checking out PeppyBiz.

Author:
Sara is a Content Writer at PeppyBiz. She is not only a creative writer but also paints a beautiful canvas. She makes sure that you are left with no doubt about keeping up with marketing and sales.

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