Opinion and Features
With organisations and corporate structures becoming more complex, operational and management roles are following suit. These days, managerial roles are being broken down into smaller positions like project managers, to ensure a smoother flow of more extensive and more complicated business projects.
Where does project management come into this?
Project Managers are responsible for individual corporate projects, which are often run like a mini business. They are accountable for every aspect of the project, right from ideation to post-sales support and services.
But, is a career in project management any good? Research seems to point in a positive direction. For instance, the Project Management Institute predicts the creation of 22 million new project management jobs by 2027.
The career prospects seem quite good in the field. An Academics.com report suggests that an average Project Manager can earn anywhere between €60,000 to €105,000 annually in Germany.
However, getting into project management is not always an easy path. Being an efficient Project Manager requires you to be proficient in several technical and soft skills. Here are six essential project management skills:
Communication forms one of the core project management skills required for effectively managing any industry project. Project Managers are the link between different stakeholder groups ranging from senior management, junior staff or even the clients.
Being responsible for a project, it’s your job to ensure that everything runs smoothly and doesn’t suffer from any hassles due to errors in communication or the lack of it. Superb written and oral communication skills can help you provide clear, unambiguous instructions that increase the efficiency of the process.
The hallmark of good project management is ensuring that deadlines are being met, without any mishaps. This is only possible if you run a tight ship on deliverables and stick to their allocated timelines.
Being good at time management can help Project Managers improve their own work efficiency and prioritise important work, as well as set an example for others. However, you should aim to strike a balance between meeting deadlines and micromanaging your team members.
A project being completed without a single hitch pretty much never happens. In real life, practical problem solving involves troubleshooting for unexpected issues and problems with limited resources and ingenious solutions.
A proactive problem-solving attitude also allows you to anticipate potential problems and keep their solutions ready at hand instead of waiting for them to happen. You can also learn to analyse your existing issues to identify potential areas of improvement that can help you avoid such problems in the future.
This is an evident skill for project managers since they invariably need to lead or mentor other people associated with the project that they are responsible for. Leadership comprises a number of soft skills like a calm temperament, positive attitude, and effective management skills.
Being a good leader automatically makes you great at decision-making and managing stakeholders at different levels. Gaining leadership skills will also allow you to collaborate with other teams across the company better.
Imagine having to manage a project where nothing is specified, and the whole operation is being run by imagining ‘what if’ scenarios. Having a concrete organisational framework for your project is an integral part of your project management duties.
Planning every aspect of the project in advance, from divided responsibilities to individual deadlines, can help you avoid chaos when starting the project. It can also help you standardise allocated resources and other processes.
In many cases, the most ambitious of projects get derailed due to mismatched or inaccurate budgets. Some projects need specific resources to get completed and cannot be compensated with effort or knowledge.
Recognising this truth and setting a reasonably accurate budget for a project is the first step of handling it efficiently. Good budgeting skills can also help project managers account for unexpected expenditure or resource crunch and prevent their projects from getting delayed.
You should also look into gaining other essential skills for project management such as delegation, organisational skills and project forecasting.
Being an expert in project management can make you an efficient resource for the company and pave the way for brighter career prospects. If you are looking to progress in corporate leadership roles, sound project management skills can come in handy.
The MSc Project Management programme at GISMA Business School can give you the specialist knowledge you require to be an efficient Project Manager. The degree is awarded by The University of Law, a prestigious university in the UK.
You will gain insights into practical and strategic perspectives of handling large-scale company projects and solving their issues. As a GISMA student, you will also get free access to the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking digital Practitioner course, which can further enhance your knowledge in the subject.
Click here for an in-depth insight into this programme at GISMA.
- This article has been written by Sweha Hazari and edited by Nancy Peters.