3 essential project manager skills that you need to have

Posted by Niall Sullivan

06-Mar-2017 08:00:00

skills of a good project managerPeacemaker. Innovator. Motivator. Does this sound like you?

With so many different situations and personalities to handle, the skills that you need as a project manager goes far beyond any of the professional qualifications that are available.

But what are the essential project manager skills? Mastering these 3 points will go a long way to ensuring that you can overcome any challenge that comes your way and help you to stand out from the estimated 16.5 million project managers around the world.

Download our checklist of the 6 skills that you need to be a great project manager

Stakeholder management

Most of your projects will involve multiple stakeholders and how well you manage them will determine how successful your project will be. When they are being difficult, this becomes an even bigger challenge.

But it is not only about keeping them happy, (although that does help of course!) You should also use every bit of their expertise and influence to help you reach your goals. With 71% of all employees not fully engaged with their role, this is not an easy task.

However, by regularly requesting feedback and acknowledging their contribution to your project, they will eventually buy into what you’re trying to achieve.

Managing multiple projects

It’s not often that buses are compared to project management. But it is often the case that when you’re working on one project, another one will soon come along and demand your attention.

When this happens, it can seem like an impossible job giving each one the time that it needs. But managing multiple projects doesn’t have to be difficult. It just requires good management planning, which according to a Proudfoot Consulting survey, is one of the main reasons for wasted time in the workplace when done poorly.

By first identifying which projects and tasks are most urgent, you can then allocate your resources to them appropriately. You can use the below matrix from YIBP to help you do this.

time management matrix

Now that you know which tasks are most important, you now need to be able to track them. With an online task manager you can assign tasks to individuals and groups and set deadlines for when you want them to be completed.

Project risk management

The road to project success is not always a smooth one, with many failing due to situations that could have been predicted at the start. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?

That’s why it is essential that you identify potential risks at the start of your project, so they don’t come back to haunt you later on.

You should approach this with an open mindset. Talk to team members about their previous projects or outside experts who know your industry well about their personal experiences. Failing that, look at your previous project plans and make a note of where problems arose and how they were resolved.

No matter how many potential risks you uncover, you probably won’t be able to identify them all. However, you can at least plan for the ones that you have found, which should give you more time to deal with the surprise risks that will inevitably occur.

Along with having these project manager skills, using online collaboration software that helps you to work closer with stakeholders is also important. Download our free guide to discover what key features you should look for when choosing your software.

10 Questions to ask an Online Collaboration Supplier

Topics: improving productivity, stakeholder engagement, project management, project extranets