Essential Skills for Project Management

Be ahead of the league by mastering the essential skills required of a project manager

Describe the 7 essential skills for a successful project manager

SEVEN ESSENTIAL SKILLS REQUIRED OF A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGER

From the illustration of the project life cycle provided, the number indicated in the cycle is matched with the skills of the manager.

1. TEAM MANAGEMENT  ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Someone who can get the job done in the timely manner with the resources available without alienating teams involved.  Proactive leadership skills are essential throughout the project cycle.

Manager requires collaborative team -work and communication skills to be able to reach out to all levels of employees and externally.

2. COMMUNICATION SKILLS ( 2, 3 )

In broader sense be able to communicate using all essential media including electronic.  Communication skills also to reach out to all levels of employees, brief the project stakeholders and externally to government or regulators.

3. SCHEDULING SKILLS ( 2)

Projects have a closure date and non compliance to the delivery dates have financial repercussions that the project manager is aware of.   From the initial stage of planning, the scheduling should be well thought of and controlled by the manager.

Then there are the technical aspects of updating the schedule, calculating whether someone is overloaded and balancing the work appropriately so that it all gets done without burning anyone out.

4.  CHOOSE THE RIGHT PEOPLE- HIRING SKILLS ( 4)

You have to choose and hire the right people and ensure they are available to cover the scheduled tasks.  Assisted by the team leaders of various sections, the selection criteria and hiring can be done of the competent people.

5. RISK MANAGEMENT SKILLS ( 4)

Things go wrong on projects, experienced project managers know this and plan for it. Managing the unexpected in a calm way is another important skill for a project manager.  There are delays from suppliers, absent workers and various other external factors such as weather that can come up.  Always have a plan B in place.

6. FINANCIAL SKILLS  ( 1,2,3, 4, 5)

No control over the budget and the project is doomed for failure.  Minimum skills should be able to forecast and project costs . Skills on using spreadsheet and simple book keeping should be minimum.

7. EVALUATING SKILLS ( 5)

Be able to record and assess the phases of the project cycle.  Be able to use the quality checklist to  ensure the results are per standard.

THE PROJECT LIFE CYCLE IN NUMBERS

Skills Required for the Project life cycle

The different skills required by the project manager from the notes provided corresponds to the phase number of the project life cycle. Example team management has all the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. This means all the 5 phases require team management skills of the project manager.

Leadership skills are not related to the evaluation phase of the project

  • Managers require to lead the evaluation process and the team of experts
  • No leadership skills required as the sectional experts will evaluate on their own
  • The project does not require evaluation at all
  • There is no evaluation phase in the project life cyle
Choose the correct answer from the 4 options provided