11 Key Project Management Skills

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. Becoming more adaptable is all about understanding when and how to shift gears. Developing other soft skills, such as self-awareness and mindfulness, can help you be more in touch with and manage your emotions, which are often in flux during times of change. Networking is one tool that professionals use to increase their position and knowledge. There are many different types of team members and they all have to get along. Having interpersonal skills brings the best out of your project team and helps with conflict resolution.

Essential skills for project management

Agile operates on a system of continuous improvement and incremental evolution, and it encompasses several lean methodologies, like lean portfolio management, Scrum, and Kanban. Project management software has come a long way from legacy tools that were difficult to use and required a project management professional to implement. But like any tool, even easy-to-use ones, the software you choose takes time to learn and truly master. Make sure the tool you select has a written guide and helpful videos to teach you the ins and outs of how to use it. While the soft skills mentioned above are applicable for many work skills, these seven hard skills are relevant specifically to project management. Developing these will help you become a more well rounded and efficient project manager.

Coaching that Unlocks Potential

It shows that you have learned and have passed a test on certain skills. Project management certification makes you a more valuable asset and is something employers will be looking for on job applicants’ resumes. But there are a handful of skills that nearly every project manager needs to succeed and see projects through to completion, on time and on budget.

  • To improve your time management skills and reduce procrastination, try prioritizing tasks.
  • This blog post details the core competencies that every project manager needs, from budgeting to communication and risk management to relationship-building.
  • Good communication doesn’t just mean being able to speak well in front of people—though that’s important too.
  • Project planning defines project objectives, identifies tasks and activities, determines dependencies, estimates resource requirements, and creates a schedule.

For a lot of project managers, organization is the most intimidating soft skill. In project management, collaboration helps you get work done quickly and more efficiently. When you can coordinate across teams, you gain valuable insights into your project that you might not find within your team. If more minds are involved in the work, projects are inherently more creative and well developed. As a project manager, you’re responsible not only for project success but also need to be a leader that applies leadership skills to guide and motivate team members to achieve their goals.

Project Scheduling

Finally, data-driven decision-making ensures project managers consider relevant information, assess risks, and align decisions with project objectives. 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 relationships with team members. Effective team management involves assigning tasks, delegating responsibilities, and fostering a sense of ownership among team members.

Essential skills for project management

In turn, that helps you to be a more insightful leader and create a more motivational, rewarding business environment for your team. Because you’re better positioned to understand what drives each individual, you’re also better equipped to help them develop their skills and reach their goals. When challenges arise, project managers engage in proactive problem-solving. This involves analyzing the root causes of issues, collaborating with the team to explore solutions, and implementing changes to keep the project on track. The best project managers frequently present project updates, plans, and outcomes to various audiences. Strong presentation skills are essential for conveying information persuasively and maintaining stakeholder engagement.

List of project management technical skills

The tools used in contemporary project management are intuitive and simple to grasp. You should learn these skills to use them effectively in your project management jobs. Here is a list of some of the most essential skills project managers should know.

Essential skills for project management

Whether you’re in a client meeting or an employee one-to-one, simply listening is one of the most powerful things you can do. Do it right — and ask the right questions — and you’ll be able to pick up on what’s not being said as well as what is. And with a better understanding of the situations at hand, and how the team is feeling about the work they’re doing, you’re better positioned to problem-solve when the need arises.

Communication and people skills

In project management, risk management means identifying and preparing for potential problems that could affect a project. This process involves a step-by-step approach to understanding uncertainties and taking action to reduce their impact. Good risk management helps project managers anticipate and handle challenges, making projects run more smoothly. Steps include spotting risks, thinking about what might go wrong, deciding which risks are most important, and planning how to deal with them.

This process can include using spreadsheets to track project metrics, creating visual charts and graphs to display data, and applying statistical methods to draw conclusions. Data analysis helps project managers understand how a project is performing, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven choices to keep the project on track. This step plays a crucial role in monitoring and improving project outcomes. Monitoring projects is one of a project manager’s main responsibilities. It automatically collects live project data and displays it on easy-to-read graphs and charts.

Considering that some senior-level roles can pay well into the six figures, however, the effort is usually well worth it in the end. The different columns on a Kanban board include New, In Progress, and Completed. Cards, which indicate tasks, move horizontally across the grid until all of the columns are empty. Deadlines might be missed, project manager course bad weather can derail construction, people get sick or change jobs. If you’re a person that can deal with unexpected changes, your job as a project manager will go more smoothly. At Asana, we use the Asana Way of Change, a six step process developed by our Customer Success team that incorporates proven change management strategies.

This four-course, self-paced program is offered 100% online, so busy working professionals can complete it on their own schedules. Successful project management requires a blend of expertise and innate ability. Beyond technical know-how, a repertoire of essential skills — both hard and soft — forms the foundation of this profession. Mastering the art of project management is like conducting a symphony of tasks, deadlines, and stakeholders. It’s a dynamic dance that requires a unique blend of technical prowess and exceptional leadership. Project Managers are the orchestrators of success, ensuring that projects hit all the right notes.

Key Project Management Skills

The hard skills are those you need to learn specifically for this role, and you can learn them through formal project management training or on the job as a project manager. Some methodologies, such as Agile, are only applicable to select groups. However, the right mindset and tools can make skills like organization seem effortless. Rather than aiming to master every skill at once, try to hone in on mastering one or two specific skills for each project.

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