Man working on graphs and pie charts on a table, exercising his project management skills
Image: Jirapong Manustrong/Shutterstock

6 project management skills all managers should adopt

30 Jul 2018

Project management skills are an essential part of being a manager and Pat Lucey is here to ensure you know the most important ones.

Employing project management best practices can ensure that as a manager, you succeed in delivering your organisation’s newest initiatives.

Getting your team on board and delivering any project on time can pose significant challenges for managers in any industry.

Here are six vital project management skills that you can adopt in your managerial career to ensure better business outcomes for your organisation.

1. Crisp communication

Communication skills are vital, whether it is capturing meeting minutes, running a conference call, delivering a presentation or taking instruction. All of these require crisp communication skills. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth – use them in that proportion!

2. Resolve conflicts quickly

Most of us don’t like conflict, but to shy away from constructive conflict merely delays the inevitable.

Every project team goes through a ‘storming’ phase, and the ability to manage and resolve conflicts is a critical skill.

Remember to ‘play the ball, not the man’ in any business setting. Through resolving disagreements between stakeholders, you will minimise any schedule delays.

3. There’s no ‘I’ in team

Project initiatives are all about teams. The team lead or manager must excel at driving an efficient and productive team.

The ability to set goals, delegate tasks and encourage teamwork is vital to a team’s performance and the project’s eventual success.

4. Prioritise your tasks

David Lloyd George said: “There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks,” so he must have been a project manager!

The ability to prioritise and schedule tasks is crucial to allow you to assess and allocate resources as needed.

Both personal task management, as well as team-wide task management, are vital skills for any manager.

5. Plan for risk

Things will never go exactly to plan. It is not a sign of poor management if a risk occurs – it’s a sign of good management that, when a risk occurs, you have a plan in place to deal with it.

Planning for risks will enable your team to secure the best possible outcomes and increase the chance of successful project delivery.

6. The only constant is change

The pace of change is becoming ever-quicker. Whether it is dealing with Brexit or GDPR, Project Ireland 2040 or the onset of digital transformation, organisations can respond to these changes by running projects with a clear start and a finish date.

Projects give us the opportunity to deal with change in a planned yet flexible manner.

By Pat Lucey

Pat Lucey is the president of the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI) and CEO of Aspira.

Entries for the Ireland Chapter of PMI’s National Project Awards, sponsored by PwC, are now open. The deadline for all nominations is 14 September 2018 and you can enter online here.

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