The corporate jungle is becoming increasingly complex and as its complexity increases, so is the demand for project managers with the right skills necessary to get the job done quickly and more effectively. There is no reverse in this business; it’s all about the green light. But before you turn right on that highway of project management, here are a few must have skills.
1.Communication- Project leadership calls for clear communication about goals, responsibility, performance, expectations and feedback. Through effective communication, project leaders support individual and team achievements by creating explicit guidelines for accomplishing results and for the career advancement of team members. Which means no one should stumble at the starting lineup; the finish line should be clear cut.
Not every job requires swimming across the Caribbean Sea, sometimes it’s about crossing a stream. For example, a good project manager knows when a simple email will suffice or when a “working document” like a project charter will serve better purpose.
2.Time management-To be a successful project manager you must be able to manage your time well. A good project manager knows how to make the best of whatever time they have. After all if you can’t manage your own time, how do you expect to manage your team’s time?
Team meetings should have an agreed agenda that you stick to. If you schedule an hour for the meeting, make sure it lasts for an hour and no longer. Successful project managers respect their teammates’ time and run efficient meetings to get the best results. As we all know ‘time is money and money is time.”
3.Organization- Project managers create structure from chaos by using specific tools such as charters, risk assessments, Gantt charts, decision matrices, and many other tools throughout the project. Structure in any project represents the game plan for what is to be done, who should do it and when it should be done. Without it everyone would be running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
4.Team work - Teamwork is important because it creates human synergy and generates the best results from individual members of the team, which adds to the overall success of the project. The project manager must ensure that all members understand what their roles and responsibilities are, which is important in setting the tone of expectation among team members.
Project managers must understand the necessity to be democratic .They must create a project environment where problem-solving and decision-making are done in a collaborative and participative manner. This is important for empowering the team and encouraging active involvement in the project.
5.Budget- A project budget essentially is what fuels the completion of the project and is something project managers should review with their teams and stakeholders on a regular basis. An informed team is an empowered team that takes ownership of the project. By keeping the team informed of the budget status, they will be more likely to watch their project charges and are less likely to bill the client unnecessarily and override the budget.
Remember, success is more likely with frequent review of the budget, so don’t just forecast it once and forget about it.
6.Accountability- When we think of accountability the onus often falls on the project manager. However this encompasses the team players taking ownership of task items and having the project manager be held responsible for the failure or completion of the tasks. While it is ultimately the project manager that takes the blame when things take a turn for the worst. Team members should be held responsible for producing quality work. It is one thing to complete a task in the required scope of time but it’s another thing to ensure the completion of quality work within time.
7.Flexibility- The only thing constant in life is change. Therefore as a project manager you must be able to adapt to the changing of the course very quickly. It is important to note that the end result might be very different from the plan you envisioned at the outset. A few things might happen along the way; the budget might decrease, the environment might change and the time frame to complete the project might reduce or increase. The onus is therefore on the manager and other team players to get the job done under any circumstances.