Top 5 Project Management Skills

If you are considering heading down the project management career path, there are “5 Project Management Skills” all project managers should consider.  Even if you are a seasoned veteran who already has been certified a PMP, these skills are essential to how you manage your time, resources and project scope.


1) Leadership:
Let’s face it, the project manager is basically the “Boss of many, Manager of none.”  That is to say we are required to perform the duties of managers, like give direction, hold people accountable to tasks, and guide and nurture our project teams.  But in reality, none of our project team members typically report to us. So it is essential for us as project managers to become the best leaders we can be as it is generally an uphill battle when we are only given temporary authority to get the job done.

2) Communication:
As previously mentioned, we have to be good leaders because the uphill battle usually starts immediately.  Therefore, it is very important for us as project managers to stay in constant communication with our Sponsors, Stakeholders and project team members.  Although verbal communication is critical, fortunately there are many resources and tools that can supplement the our verbal communications plans. Read more about several essential project management templates that will keep you on track here.

3) Time Management:
We all know that projects have a start and and end date.  So it goes without saying that in order to manage within those targets, it’s critical to have good time management skills.  Whether it is building the project plan and determining task time-frames or simply booking time efficiently for meetings, time management is important.  Two of my favorite time management tools are the Agenda and Meeting Notes and the Milestone List templates. The combination of these helps a great deal in keeping things on track.

4) Task Management:
Similar to Time Management,  Task Management drills down even further and enables the project manager to understand what needs to happen for a given milestone or phase of the project and further assign time constraints and priorities to them.  Project planning, defining the tasks, assigning time-frames to them, assigning resources for the work and properly understanding which tasks require a predecessor or task necessary to complete in order to move on will help you become better project managers.

5) An Open Mind:
I believe the key here is flexibility.  Understand that not every project will go exactly as planned.  That is why it is so important to keep an open mind and use that skill to be nimble and adjust as necessary and where needed.  Many project managers get stuck in a trap where they keep pushing in one direction out of stubbornness, when the proper avenue would be to take a step back, regroup and determine the proper path.  Keep an open mind and you will be able to make important adjustments that could save your project.

Also, take a look at our recent blog about “5 Essential Project Management Templates“.

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