Key Skills For Project Managers
The leadership of the project manager often distinguishes between a successful and a failed development. Every project team is made up of people who need inspiration and coordination. Planning is critical, yet the capacity to adapt to changes and collaborate with others in order for projects to succeed are just as vital.
The demands of this environment must be able to be handled by a project manager. Because projects are unique and ephemeral, they necessitate a distinct management approach from that used by an operations manager.
The project manager, by definition has responsibility for the whole project. The day-to-day direction of the team is routine with an operations manager. A lot of time and energy can be invested in building up good relationships at this level which is not possible on a project where there is often limited access to people.
There are five key skills which can be employed to make a project manager successful:
1. Communication and interpersonal skills: A good communication skill is essential as the project manager is required to communicate with many people in multiple locations and roles, including peers and direct reports, senior management, functional managers and business stakeholders. An effective communicator is capable of successfully conveying the resources and information needed to carry out a task.
2. Leadership: Leadership skills drive the project manager’s ability to lead, inspire, motivate and engage those around him or her. It is also critical for influencing and negotiating with external stakeholders as well as removing obstacles that may impede the team’s ability to do its work.
3. Logical and analytical thinking: Successful project managers must be able to think through questions such as “What is the main problem?” and “How do I solve it?”. They must understand their own strengths and weaknesses, but also be aware of their team members’ capabilities. It requires logic that is applied to problem solving in order for projects to succeed.
4. Technical awareness: Project managers must manage their own knowledge and be able to understand technology-specific issues, processes and structures within the project management process. They also need to stay up-to-date with changes in both industry standards and technological advancements. The more technical your role is, the more important it is for you to maintain your technology skills.
5. Commitment and passion: Projects are usually time-bound, complex with many stakeholders involved. All of these factors create high levels of commitment required for success. Passion is the driving force behind commitment, which in turn is the foundation upon which good leadership rests. Without it, even the best project manager will not be able to motivate and inspire their team.
The five skills of project management provide a common framework for assessing one’s own success in leading and engaging people, while staying abreast of new developments in the industry through continuous learning. Although there are other skills that contribute to project management excellence, these fundamental keys will help guide any person towards improvements necessary to be successful.
A good project manager is always the one who is passionate about his work, learns with time and boosts self confidence.A good PM has strong sense of leadership, effective communication skills and logical reasoning power to solve problems on time.
Project managers focus on the project’s objectives. Project goals are important for determining the success of a project. To clearly define the project goals, develop an execution plan to meet those goals, and satisfy the milestones and end date of the project, a project manager uses project management tools and techniques. A different set of talents is required by a project manager to be effective.
Project managers not only plan, monitor and control their projects but also have a proactive approach to manage projects. Project managers do not wait for things to happen, instead they anticipate problems and take appropriate action before a problem occurs. They keep the project scope in mind at all times so anything out of scope does not creep into the project. They focus on maximizing project benefits and the use of earned value analysis to track progress towards those goals.
Project managers also consider other stakeholders’ needs, such as customers, team members, suppliers and sponsors. They need to ensure that all these stakeholders are aware of what is expected from them in order to meet the project goals. They should be flexible enough to adjust approaches and strategies to meet the evolving needs of the project.
Project managers are accountable for working with team members in order to achieve the expected results, i.e., meeting objectives and deadlines, understanding what is needed from other stakeholders, and assessing progress towards achieving goals. They monitor overall work processes and contribute to overall enterprise improvement by participating in projects that have an impact on work processes.
Project managers make sure they are aware of new methods and strategies for work processes so they can implement changes if needed. They also anticipate problems before they become issues and take steps to make better decisions based on new information as it becomes available throughout the project life cycle.
Managers who do not focus on projects from time to time, who do not have a good balance between their projects and the day-to-day operations of their department will find it difficult to be effective in both roles.
Project managers add value by improving existing processes over shorter periods of time. They focus on completing work within a predetermined scope, cost and schedule. Their goal is to complete the project with the desired results and within its budget. This is not to say that they do not take continuous improvement into consideration; it is simply not their primary objective.
Project Managers vs. Operations Managers
The focus of a project manager and an operations manager are different: Project managers focus on executing projects and achieving goals with agreed-upon scope, cost and schedule. An operations manager is responsible for managing all of the work in process at a particular location or across an entire organization. Operations managers oversee their employees’ activities, make sure they meet company goals and ensure that customers are satisfied.
Project managers focus on achieving team goals by executing projects within a predetermined time frame, budget and scope. They must know the project’s original goal and be able to re-evaluate it as circumstances change; they keep an eye on their budget, track how much time has passed and ensure that all parties involved share important information.
From a more traditional perspective, operations managers focus less on projects and more on operations management. Operations management refers to day-to-day business operations which are mainly concerned with producing goods or services.
Project managers not only plan, monitor and control their projects but also have a proactive approach to manage projects. Project managers do not wait for things to happen, instead they anticipate problems and take appropriate action before a problem occurs. They keep the project scope in focus in spite of changes in the environment, thus helping in creating a stable project plan.
Project managers have to be competent in their subject matter and have a good understanding of the business domain so that they can communicate effectively with team members and stakeholders. They must also have excellent analytical skills without which they cannot judge whether an action is beneficial for the project and whether it aligns with the project’s goals and objectives.
Project managers must be organized and manage their time efficiently so that they can work on multiple projects at a given point of time without compromising with the quality of work. Also, they have to be flexible enough to adjust approaches and strategies to meet the evolving needs of the project.