Project Management Skills - Definition, Examples, Skills List

What are project management skills? Project management skills are the characteristics and qualities that a successful project manager must possess.

project management skills

What are project management skills?

While "project manager" can appear to be a simple job title, this position is responsible for much more than keeping projects on schedule. A project manager must be able to:

  • From conception to completion, manage projects.
  • Create timelines and forecasts.
  • Assess the risks and possibilities associated with the project.
  • Carry out all phases of the project's lifecycle.
  • Budget creation, allocation, and management.
  • Maintain contact with all stakeholders.
  • Troubleshoot issues and difficulties.
  • Provide (and frequently maintain) the finished product or service.

What is the project manager's job?

A project manager is responsible for particular initiatives that must adhere to strict deadlines, timetables, and budgets. A project manager is responsible for a variety of tasks during the duration of the project, including the following:

Organizing and determining the project's scope:

  • Determine the scope of work required by developing a detailed work plan.
  • Choose who will perform the job and when.
  • Assess any potential hazards and attempt to minimize or manage them in advance.

Executing and managing:

  • Ensure that all work is completed to the appropriate standard.
  • Manage and maintain a strict budget throughout the project.
  • Ensure that the project runs on time.
  • Motivate team members involved in the project.
  • Remove any impediments to productivity.
  • Coordinate work performed by various groups of people.
  • Deal with any changes that occur and be willing to adapt if necessary.

Delivering and closing:

  • Manage the project's budget through completion.
  • Manage and deliver on stakeholder expectations.
  • Convey the status of the project to stakeholders and resolving unforeseen issues.
  • Demonstrate to management that the project adhered to the project's basic business objectives.
  • Ensure that the project achieves all anticipated outcomes and benefits as originally described.

project management skills

Finally, a successful project manager is enthusiastic and happy. They are straightforward communicators who enjoy the respect and trust of senior management. Even during times of difficulty, it is critical to maintain stakeholder confidence by providing viable recovery measures.

project management skills

Key project management skills

Technical skills (or hard skills, as they are sometimes referred as) are the more real and quantifiable talents required of a good project management.

Planning or forecasting

It should go without saying that effective project management necessitates sophisticated planning. This can be difficult, particularly when multiple project managers must make informed assumptions regarding deadlines and resource requirements.

That is when predicting enters the picture. Project managers must make forecasts and estimations based on whatever information they have.

project management skills

Risk management

Each endeavor involves some level of risk. Perhaps a resource will be unavailable when you want it, or a client's approval will cause your timetable to slip a few days.

Not only are project managers accountable for navigating around risks, but also for predicting them in order to eliminate them entirely.

Budgeting

Only 2.5% of businesses finish all of the tasks they undertake effectively. The remainder are late, over budget, or both.

Project managers are aware of the financial limits they face and employ their budgeting and financial management abilities to successfully complete projects within those constraints.

project management skills

Tracking

Project management is not only about finishing a task; it is about accomplishing a task well. That will not occur if project managers do not maintain a constant pulse on the situation.

They must apply their performance tracking and monitoring abilities to guarantee that projects are completed on time and in accordance with the larger company goals. If not, why not? They'll make required course corrections.

PMP methodologies

There are various project management techniques and approaches available, ranging from Agile to Waterfall. These guidelines provide precise procedures for supervising and finishing projects.

Experiential project managers are aware with these techniques and can evaluate which ones are most appropriate for their teams and projects.

Leading meetings

Meetings for kickoff, status updates, and retrospectives – a normal project process will involve several meetings, the most of which will be chaired by the project manager.

As a result, a project manager must be adept in meeting facilitation, which includes developing an agenda, documenting notes, and following through on action items.

project management skills

Domain expertise

Project managers are employed in a wide array of sectors, ranging from construction to information technology and everything in between. While it is not required, it is beneficial for the project manager to have a working knowledge of the sector and the sorts of projects they are managing.

This degree of knowledge enables them to predict costs, timeframes, and resource requirements more precisely.

Use of software

The finest project managers are well aware of the dangers of attempting to coordinate all of a project's aspects using messy spreadsheets and task lists.

Rather than that, they are specialists in centralizing communication, streamlining cooperation, and ironing out project plans through the use of project management software.

project management skills

Project manager soft skills

Consider them to be just project management resume filler. Reconsider. Soft talents are quite valuable.

Leadership skills

The project manager is the project's leader and, in many cases, the team leader as well. They are accountable for establishing the team's vision and ensuring that all members are committed and motivated to see the project through each phase.

This requires executive and project team buy-in. Additionally, these leaders should provide individuals with the time, tools, and other resources necessary to manage their to-do lists.

Verbal communication skills

Communication is unquestionably towards the top of any list of project management abilities. This term encompasses both written and spoken communication.

Project managers must ensure that team members and stakeholders are informed on the project's strategy, timetable, and budget, as well as kept aware of any recent developments.

project management skills

Collaboration skills

Typically, a community is required to finish a project. The project manager's primary responsibility is to unite team members around the project goal, to coordinate tasks, and to ensure that everyone works successfully together.

To do this, a project manager must be an adept collaborator. This also includes dispute resolution, as conflicts over projects are unavoidable.

Time management skills

Every project manager's time will be in high demand - much more so when serving as the point of contact for many departments and team members.

They must be capable of managing their own time as well as the time and capacity of other project stakeholders.

Organization skills

While deadlines, resources, and job dependencies can make anyone's head spin, a project manager views them as a rewarding challenge.

The most effective project managers are well organized and adept at keeping track of all the moving parts.

Problem-solving skills

As much as you'd like to believe that your project would run well, unforeseen difficulties are certain to arise.

A issue cannot discourage a project manager. Rather than that, they must devise ways to keep the project going ahead – even when the best-laid plans unravel.

Adaptability skills

Adaptability is a quality that project managers must possess. While planning is a necessary ability, they cannot be so strict with their methods that everything comes crashing down the instant something unexpected occurs.

Project managers must rapidly recover from setbacks, roll with the punches, and devise strategies to keep the project going ahead.

How can I improve or develop project management skills?

To succeed in a job as a project manager, you'll require an abundance of project management abilities.

Reading: There are several resources available to assist you in broadening your horizons and honing your abilities. You can pick up a project management book and conduct your own research. Additional resources, such as our blog, eBooks, and even our project management guide, can assist you in establishing a strong foundation.

Enrolling in a course: There are several accredited project management courses available from trustworthy organizations that can help you enhance your abilities. The Project Management Institute provides eight distinct certificates, and professional organizations worldwide offer additional credentials that might aid in the development of your project management abilities.

Joining a group: Organizations such as PMI, IPMA, and the Association for Project Managers can equip you with tools, resources, and a network of like-minded individuals.

Become acquainted with a project management tool: Because project management software is used in a staggering 77% of high-performing projects, you'll need some experience with a project management platform.

Project manager skills list (soft skills)

Below are essential project management skills to list on a resume or to mention during an interview. These are not hard skills, like the use of project management tools such as Jira, Trello, or other.

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Negotiation
  • Team management
  • Time management
  • Risk management
  • Problem-solving
  • Budget management
  • Motivation
  • Technical writing
  • Adaptability
  • Technologically savvy
  • Reporting skills
  • Active listening
  • Research skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Project management methodologies
  • Policy knowledge
  • Conflict management

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur (Profile), Dice.com, WorkWise, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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