17 essential project management skills

They need to lead their teams through change, manage resistance, and proactively seek opportunities for improvement and growth. You can also emphasize project management skills by including them in a “skills” section of your resume. If you haven’t led a project before, list your experiences where you had a hand in planning or implementing a new effort. Technology has made sharing findings, schedules, and communications across teams and stakeholders convenient. As a project manager, you’ll often be expected to know how to use collaboration and communication software, and to take the lead in managing them.

Before executing the project, you have to create a risk management plan to identify, assess, and control risk. The more you can manage risk, the more likely your project is going to succeed. Project scope is the size, goals, and limitations (i.e., deadlines and resources) for your project. Your project scope will define what you can achieve within a certain timeframe and budget. Setting and defining your project scope is important in order to prevent scope creep, which is when your project deliverables outgrow your original project scope.

The key project management skills you need to have

Learning how to communicate well and avoid these will make projects run more smoothly and be more enjoyable. You can’t help a project achieve success if you give into frustration when challenges arise or milestones aren’t met. You can’t facilitate communication and teamwork if you absorb the frustrations or resentments boiling among teams.

And as a project manager, you’re not just responsible for keeping yourself organized and managing your own work — everyone else is relying on you, too. So it’s easy to see why organization is one of the most important strengths of a project manager. Project management methodologies are the specific rules and procedures that determine how you manage a project.

Cost Management

As a project manager, one of your many responsibilities will be carrying out risk assessments to make sure that your team and the project are on the right track. Risk management skills are needed for project management because you will need to think about any potential issues that may arise and have an action plan as a response on how to deal with these issues. A project manager will need a great number of skills which will make them successful in their role and career.

  • A project roadmap is a high-level overview of your project’s key deliverables and timeline.
  • Project managers should know whom to communicate with, when, and how often.
  • From project plans to status updates, project managers do a surprising amount of writing.
  • Too many people understand the basics of project management but can’t think outside of the box.
  • Project managers are responsible for not only navigating around risks but anticipating them so that they can try their best to avoid them altogether (or, at the very least, adequately prepare for them).
  • Whether you are working remotely or have to be present at various sites, communication is key in order for a project to be completed and be a success.

If you’ve ever rolled out a big organizational change, you’ve likely practiced change management, even if you didn’t know it. Change management is the process of introducing organizational change—like new processes or tools—over a set period of time to make them easier to adapt to. As you become better at organizing your tasks, you’ll also have a clearer sense of everything that’s on your plate and how long your upcoming tasks are going to take. Some of these skills might not apply to you—while others might be things you’re already seasoned in. Like everything in the five phases of project management, approach this list with flexibility and work on the skills that are most relevant to you. If it’s your preference to use Agile methodologies for project management, you may want to consider getting certified.

Top 10 Project Manager skills

These solutions are also adept at generating valuable critical paths when a project experiences unexpected changes. The soft skills of project management are what allow you to get the best out of people, create harmonious relationships across departments, and keep things running smoothly throughout the process. In fact, some of the most important project manager skills — the ones that will help your project team to feel valued, motivated, and trusted — are the soft skills.

Leadership skills are vital for project managers to inspire, motivate, and guide their teams. They must create a positive work environment, promote collaboration, and build strong how to become a project manager relationships with team members. Effective team management involves assigning tasks, delegating responsibilities, and fostering a sense of ownership among team members.

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