A project manager needs a large number of different skills to guide a project through the sometimes-tricky path from planning to completion. Project managers bring out the best in every member of their team.
They are also the first line of defence against unplanned problems that threaten to derail a project.
The work with team members, other employees, and third parties in whatever capacity is required to keep things on track. Many project managers do not make a hands-on contribution to the work required to complete a project. Nevertheless, their impact can be significant and positive. When they do their jobs well, the efficiency and productivity of everyone working on the project are enhanced.
Project managers can play a role in virtually every industry. The ‘project’ label is tremendously flexible, and it can cover all sorts of commercial efforts. Consider erecting a new building, launching a new building, developing a new product – these can all projects. A project manager working for an architecture firm may take responsibility for constructing a building. A project manager working for a cosmetics company may be responsible for launching a new shampoo.
The Project Manager’s Skills
Project managers’ main responsibilities include keeping work on schedule, managing dozens or hundreds of workers, and streamlining the work process wherever possible. The skills and talents required for good project management are primarily ‘soft’ skills, such as communication and organisation. Skills, which are broadly and vitally useful for project managers, include:
The lion’s share of a project manager’s time is spent in direct communication. They coordinate with staff members, report to superiors, interact with clients, negotiate with vendors, and so forth. A project manager must be a highly effective communicator, both verbally and in writing. Project managers are frequently called on to present important information. They need to be adept at public speaking and familiar with the software and hardware tools required for making presentations.
Networking events in Basingstoke members say you must not doubt that project managers are leaders as well as planners. The job involves not just coordination and management, but also motivation, encouragement, and sharing the vision that drives the project. Project managers also need sound decision-making skills. The ability to assess a given situation and plan the best response is crucial for a project manager. Similarly, project managers should be willing and able to shoulder the ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of their projects.
A project manager needs to get the most out of the workers assigned to his or her project. Delegation, accountability, and fair dealing are all important. Good project managers provide clear goals for their teams, evaluate their performance fairly, and take steps to encourage better collaboration where necessary.
As the key point of contact for clients and vendors, project managers are often responsible for defining the scope of work, schedule, and other vital project details. Even a project manager who works entirely within an organisation will likely have to negotiate for the resources and workers his or her project requires. Project managers need to be able to keep every party satisfied with the project, and that requires negotiating skills forged through first-hand experience.
Disorganised or absent-minded individuals are unlikely to make good project managers. The sheer volume of important concerns that a project manager needs to balance calls for an innately organised personality. Project managers need to have their own ingrained systems (electronic, mental, or physical) for keeping track of important details.
Difficult issues that threaten a project regularly rise up to the project manager’s desk. They need to be ready to make substantive decisions. This calls for a degree of foresight; good project managers anticipate problems before they occur and have solutions ready to go. Anticipating problems reduces their urgency, and many project managers save considerable time and money by having alternative plans prepared in advance. Some problems are simply impossible to anticipate, and project managers need to be ready to react to these quickly and sensibly.
A fixed budget is an integral part of almost all projects. The project manager is usually responsible for spending this money in a way that is efficient and productive. Budgeting is another key leadership skill that requires first-hand experience. Working on large projects in a subordinate capacity equips project managers with the experience needed to anticipate growing costs and ferret out savings.