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If you’re a project manager, who is committed to improving your project management skills in 2019, which skills do you think will be your ticket to success?

Unfortunately, project managers often have a terrible reputation for being too pushy, too bossy, too irritable and or too angry. Although not every manager is like that, there are times during the project cycle where you’ve likely experienced all these negative feelings.

What is the role of a project manager? We’re responsible for applying knowledge, tools, skills, and techniques to a project so that it is managed and completed on time. The key to being a successful project manager is knowing how and when to apply these tools and techniques.

With that being said, if you’re genuinely interested in being a memorable project manager in 2019, consider improving or adopting the following PM skills:


1. Leadership

Stellar leadership is essential for effective project management. As a leader, you’re responsible for creating and setting the vision and goals for the team, coaching and inspiring team members and even serving them. You need to learn to lead from an operational and a strategic perspective. You also need to set goals, resolve conflicts, evaluate individual performances and ensure your team has the money, tools, and space to accomplish tasks.

It’s not just about creating a good vibe; instead, you must enforce process so that everyone works together like a machine. Even though having everyone on the same page is critical, it’s your final word that determines the path to or away from success.

Successful project leaders support the team, the client and the process. You are the chief encourager and leading cheerleader, not to mention the lead judge. Master is leading rather than managing and do this by setting an example. It’s the best way to be an effective manager.

2. Communication

Communicating well involves two aspects: understand and be understood. The difference is more than just spelling. Good communication is at the heart of every relationship; be it with the team, the boss or even the client. For example, the more often you update your client about the status of the project, the happier your client will be. You will never hear a client complaining about too many updates; too few, maybe! This will improve your relationship with the client and increase the likelihood of future projects.

Frequent communication ensures both your team and client are on the same page. When you’re in touch with your client regularly, you’re keeping them in the loop and, this will avoid nasty surprises and disappointments later on. For the client, frequent communication whether it’s through status reports, periodic updates, presentations, etc. helps build rapport with you and the company.

For teams, you need to be clear with them about what, why, how and when they need things. Proper briefing and clarifying are both fundamental to being understood. It’s actual dialogue and not a one-way message.

Effective communication doesn’t occur overnight. It needs time and effort from you and the team. You need to devise strategies for delivering your messages to the team continually.

To succeed in communication, master the ability to listen and not hear. Be clear with your message and ensure they’re being understood and not just heard.

3. Planning Skills

Proper planning entails everything from micro to meta. In much scale planning, you consider meeting plans, estimates, timelines, work statements, briefs and resource plans. In micro or mundane preparation, you’re looking at items like people you need to talk to, making time for specific tasks, returning phone calls, etc.

Your ability to plan effectively will directly influence the success (or failure) of your project. Regardless of how good you’re at executing if there’s no plan, your project won’t fair well. To be a useful planner, you should always stay a few steps ahead and be in the know of what’s coming up next. Project managers still have an alternative plan at the ready.

4. Time Management

A great deal of project management time is spent defining and communicating how your team will spend their allocated time. We also need to be aware of how we’re wasting our time. We often face many essential tasks that get outdone by tasks requiring urgency.

All managers have a limited time slot per day, so it’s important to know the difference between what’s essential and what’s urgent. Eisenhower once stated, “What is important is seldom critical, and what is urgent is hardly necessary.

Office meetings are the most significant time thieves. They often go over time and many spins out of control and off topic, this is why it’s important to know when to have a meeting and when to pull the plug on meetings that go off the trail, and this is an essential aspect of time management and a skill you need to develop. To prevent going off track or overtime in a meeting, promote an agenda for the conference and stick to it.

A successful manager always looks for a way to multi-task, delegate responsibilities and re-arrange your schedule as required.

Master these four essential skills faster with ViduPM.