Project Manager Technical Skills
Project Manager Technical Skills – They don’t teach you this in high school or college, but it’s true. It is not enough to be a nice person or to dress professionally. It’s not enough to be funny or smart or show up on time.
This is especially true for project management. There is too much in the pipeline to leave these complex projects to chance. Your stakeholders need things, and they won’t take a chance on you unless you prove you have the skills to do it.
Project Manager Technical Skills
The right combination of project management skills and confidence is an unstoppable force in the world of project management.
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In this article, we’ll clarify what skills you need to succeed:
Hard skills, or technical skills, are both teachable and measurable abilities. Some examples of technical skills include reading, writing, math, and knowing specific software programs.
On the other hand, soft skills are the qualities that make you unique in the workplace. Some examples of soft skills include empathy, leadership, good communication, and the ability to get along with people.
When people think about hiring or career success, their thoughts often go to hard skills because they are more role specific.
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However, a recent survey found that 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers believe that strong soft skills are becoming more important to candidates.
In terms of project management skills, you need the technical skills to complete the task at hand and the soft skills to rally your team towards the goal.
An interesting dynamic between hard and soft skills is that the former has a more linear learning journey, while the latter requires more experience.
Soft skills are difficult to teach and most companies do not have a mechanism to teach soft skills to employees with hard skills.
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In short, most hiring managers prefer a candidate who already has the soft skills required for the role. Job descriptions list both skill sets in order of importance. Job seekers should use this to their advantage.
Now that we’re on the same page when it comes to hard and soft skills, it’s time to take a closer look at which project management skills are in high demand.
Subject matter expertise is bringing the right knowledge and experience to a project that makes you credible in the role.
You have to know enough to know what you don’t know. This is the starting point. This helps you avoid blind spots in planning and execution. This will help you decide who to hire based on your team’s knowledge and experience gaps.
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If you know more because you’re familiar with the field, that’s definitely a good thing. You see angles that most people don’t.
That’s what real subject matter experts bring to the table. They connect the dots, hire smarter, and approach every problem with a wealth of knowledge to fall back on.
Ask questions – there are many. Build your circle of trusted advisors and turn to people you can trust to give you the best possible advice. This network is invaluable and arguably more important than higher education.
As a combination project manager and SME, you need to invest in some higher education. This could mean a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and maybe even some certification courses.
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Finally, the SME knows its equipment inside out and inside out. They master their operating systems and take full advantage of them, rather than using a small fraction of the total feature load like most people.
With 71% of projects not completed on time, the ability to schedule is critical to project success.
You should also understand different ways to keep a project on schedule, such as a Gantt chart or a work breakdown structure (WBS).
Managing projects, especially with remote teams, requires a robust project management tool. It will enhance your project management skills and facilitate project planning and execution.
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To create a schedule, you need data to help you prioritize tasks. Adding a healthy buffer is also critical because we all overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year.
You will find your flow through repetition of completing and starting a project. Until then, use software that helps you take a project management concept like scheduling and make it more tangible.
As a project manager, knowing the ins and outs of a scheduling tool can benefit your team. Also start by mastering project tracking.
40% of project managers do not deal with any risk management. This means that there is no mitigation plan in place should problems arise. Don’t be like these guys.
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Technically, doing something is risky, but when planning a project, there’s often a lot of money and a lot of people involved, which raises the stakes.
Without risk management, you open yourself up to lost opportunities, disruptions, and failed projects. You need to identify, assess and control risks to ensure projects are fully implemented and profitable.
Risk management comes naturally to experienced project managers, but there is a lot to learn from other people’s mistakes. Asking questions is one of the best project management skills.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and you’re not afraid to ask. Go through each line of your project schedule and ask yourself, “What could go wrong here?” Then ask yourself, “How can I plan for this?”
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Use the risk register to identify and assess risks, assign risk owners and incorporate mitigation ideas. If you want additional training, you can also look into getting PMI’s Risk Management Professional Certification.
We guarantee that you are not the only one interested in the successful outcome of the project. Good reporting skills ensure you know how the project is progressing at each stage and involve your stakeholders.
When managing projects with lots of moving parts, you need someone who knows the numbers.
Someone who can’t just set up measurement systems and keep them running, but can interpret and present data to all stakeholders in a clean and easy-to-understand manner.
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This requires extensive knowledge of various software programs that facilitate project management. Excel skills are never a bad skill as most software exports.
As a project manager, taking a class is a great way to learn reporting skills. Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity are all inexpensive ways to improve your skills. Work experience is another.
At the end of the day, choosing software and aiming for mastery reporting is the way to go. It’s easy to create dashboards, reports and dashboards, so you always have all the data you need at your fingertips. Maybe start there.
Soft skills are difficult to achieve and have additional benefits that are difficult to fully measure. There are countless soft skills to consider, but these three are supreme in the world of project management:
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Leadership means that people follow you not only in good times but also in bad. Leadership starts with leading by example so everyone knows where the bar is set.
It’s not just about telling people what to do and making sure they do it – that’s important too. It aims to provide your team with the tools, knowledge and support they need to do their jobs successfully.
Like most soft skills, leadership is hard to teach. There are great books on leadership that will help you learn critical thinking skills, but being a leader is the only way to become one.
Finally, you should volunteer to gain leadership skills. This may mean taking unpaid or low-paying positions at first, or taking jobs that no one wants.
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Over time, paying for lower management roles opens up opportunities to lead larger projects.
If you’re serious about developing your project management skills, consider taking leadership courses, attending seminars, and having lunch or 1-on-1 meetings with other managers or mentors to see how they do it.
Effective communication is a great soft skill in any organization, but it’s especially important for project management professionals because projects often involve many people both inside and outside the company.
Communicating complex topics in a simple and understandable way minimizes mistakes and ensures everyone is on the same page. Negotiation skills are also invaluable when dealing with vendors who are blocking your project’s progress.
The Challenge Of Balancing Project Management Skills
Giving speeches, volunteering for leadership positions, and speaking at meetings can help tremendously. Anything that gives you more exposure to speaking in front of people.
Writing is another aspect of communication that helps you craft better messages for your team and prepare for speeches or presentations.
If honing this important skill through volunteering isn’t an option, try recording presentations or lectures to catch verbal cues, analyze what works, and determine what doesn’t.
Organization is one of the important skills that people look for in effective project management. Given that management involves the efficient use and organization of resources, the job title almost gives it away.
Important Skills Every Project Manager Needs
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