6 project management skills all managers should embrace

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Project management skills are essential to being a manager and Pat Lucey is there to make sure you know the most important ones.

Using best practices in project management can ensure that as a manager you are successful in implementing the most recent initiatives in your organization.

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

Here are six essential project management skills you can adopt in your managerial career to ensure better business results for your organization.

1. Clear communication

Communication skills are essential, whether it’s writing meeting minutes, setting up a conference call, making a presentation, or following instructions. All of this requires sharp communication skills. Remember you have two ears and one mouth – use them in this proportion!

2. Resolve conflicts quickly

Most of us don’t like conflict, but avoiding constructive conflict only delays the inevitable.

Every project team goes through a “storm” phase and the ability to manage and resolve conflicts is a core skill.

Remember to “play the ball, not the man” in any professional setting. By resolving disagreements between stakeholders, you will minimize schedule delays.

3. There is no “I” in the team

Project initiatives concern all teams. The team leader or manager must be good at leading an efficient and productive team.

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

4. Prioritize your tasks

David Lloyd George once said, “There is nothing more fatal for a character than half-finished tasks”, so he had to be a project manager!

The ability to prioritize and schedule tasks is crucial to enable you to assess and allocate resources as needed.

Managing personal tasks, along with managing team-wide tasks, are vital skills for any manager.

5. Anticipate the risk

Things will never go exactly as planned. It is not a sign of mismanagement if a risk arises – it is a sign of good management that when a risk does arise you have a plan in place to deal with it.

Planning for risks will allow your team to achieve the best possible results and increase the chances of successful project delivery.

6. The only constant is change

The pace of change is getting faster and faster. Whether it’s Brexit or GDPR, Project Ireland 2040 or the start of digital transformation, organizations can respond to these changes by leading projects with a clear start and end date.

Projects give us the opportunity to deal with change in a planned but flexible way.

By Pat Lucey

Pat Lucey is President of the Irish Section of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and CEO of Aspira.

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

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