Expertise

8 Key Skills Every Project Manager Should Have to be successful

By PlaysDev
Published: Mar 15, 2024

Managing a remote team, making calls, drawing up reports, meeting deadlines, cross-communicating with the customer and the development team, choosing the right solution – all of these are the tasks of a project manager. Let’s talk in detail about the set of qualities that makes a project manager a valuable employee and why your project needs one.

Who is a Project Manager?

Project Manager is a specialist whose main task is to manage the project as a whole, from the first contact with the customer to its launch.

A special feature of a PM specialist is the ability to maintain balance when managing a project, often within tight deadlines or limited resources. Often the project manager is the main link between the customer, the project team and other stakeholders.

Who is a Project Manager?

Who is a Product manager?

Quite often, people confuse these two terms with completely different areas of responsibility due to the similar pronunciation and spelling of the abbreviation – PM.

Product Manager is a specialist who is focused on product development. He is involved in the development, management and promotion of the product on the market.

A product manager’s responsibilities may include analyzing the market and competitors, defining product strategy, establishing product requirements, planning and managing product development and release, analyzing results and providing feedback to continuously improve the product.

It’s important to note that the key tasks of a Product Manager depend on what stage the project (product) itself is currently at. The product manager’s task is to come up with a product that meets customer expectations functionally and visually, take into account the influence of market trends and reconcile this with the customer’s vision of the product. When a product has been at the maturity stage (according to the life cycle model) for a long time, the main task of the PM becomes the development of an existing product – expanding the range, scaling, and modernization.

The difference between Project Manager and Product Manager

A project manager and a product manager have different areas of responsibility and goals.

The difference between Project Manager and Product Manager

Responsibilities of a Project Manager – what he does in the company

  1. Project planning
    Responsible for developing a detailed project plan that includes defining objectives, scope, budget, time frame, resources and risks.
  2. Defining Requirements
    Works with the customer and stakeholders to determine specific project requirements. This may include clarifying functionality, timelines and budget.
  3. Team management
    Trains and manages the project team. This includes task assignment, motivation, feedback, and conflict resolution.
  4. Time management
    Develops a work schedule and monitors its implementation. He manages timelines and deadlines to ensure that the project is completed on time.
  5. Communications management
    Ensures effective communication between team members, the customer and other stakeholders. It regularly updates everyone involved in the project about its status and decisions being made.
  6. Quality control
    Ensures that the project meets established quality standards. He develops quality control systems, evaluates work performance and makes adjustments if necessary.
  7. Reporting
    Reports to the client and other stakeholders on the progress of the project. It provides regular reports on work completed, costs, risks and other important aspects of the project.
  8. Completion of the project
    At the completion of the project, the PM ensures that all work has been completed as required and conducts an evaluation of the project to identify lessons and good practices for future projects.

8 Most Important Qualities of a Project Manager

Hard Skills

Planning and Forecasting

Planning and forecasting allow the PM to create a strategy to achieve the project’s goals. A clear action plan helps determine the steps and their sequence for the successful completion of the project.

Time management

Learning to calmly and consistently manage a complex schedule and help others stay on top of their tasks is a vital skill for project management. So is the innate ability to anticipate challenges that could derail plans and come up with solutions to keep you on track.

In order to effectively manage your time, you may not have enough of a diary and your own strength, especially if you work in IT. Mobile and desktop applications are perfect for tracking activity, setting goals and tasks for the day, creating your own schedule and placing appointments in the calendar.

Using Project Management Tools

Experience with project management tools such as Microsoft Project, Jira, Trello and others.

Since many PMs work directly with the development team, they also need a basic understanding of the specifics of the IT field: terminology, technology stack, etc.

Soft Skills

Communication

Communication skills must be developed comprehensively – business communication, negotiations, the ability to find a common language with the development team, understanding the difference in online and face-to-face communication, and much more. A successful manager must have the necessary experience or clearly understand the importance of communications in his position. Several incorrectly structured dialogues with the customer or developer can lead to the loss of the project.

Adaptability and flexibility

A PM’s job involves constant change. It is very difficult to be in constant tension and balance on the edge. It is important to be able to adapt to a changing environment and make informed decisions without succumbing to mass hysteria or stress.

Ability to manage conflicts

Conflicts can distract team members from completing tasks, reduce work efficiency, and deteriorate the team atmosphere. A PM who knows how to manage conflict can quickly respond to problems that arise and prevent them from negatively impacting the project.

A smart manager approach can improve team communication by encouraging openness, clarity and empathy.

Problem-solving approach or critical thinking

Working as a Project manager is more suitable for people who are not afraid of difficulties. A problem-solving view and critical thinking help the Project Manager analyze complex situations, make informed decisions and successfully solve problems that arise during the project.

Emotional intellect

The ability to understand and take into account the emotions of team members, show empathy and create a favorable atmosphere for work is the most important feature for successful work as a project manager.

The combination of these hard and soft skills will lead you to harmony in the team and many successfully completed projects.

How to develop project management skills?

You can hone your skills and knowledge through self-education, gaining relevant work experience, or both.

PMP Certification

The standard route is to obtain the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Certification demonstrates that you have the interpersonal skills, technical knowledge, and understanding of business strategy needed to succeed as a project manager, including your experience or training in the most common project management techniques: agile, waterfall, and hybrid.

You can take PMP training through PMI or other online courses that cover things like project management techniques, processes, tools, and more.

Certification validates your skill set and qualifications to employers, so it can make you more attractive to companies or increase your salary. But to do the job of a PM, a certificate is not required, and it is not a guarantee that you will find a job or become successful, it is more likely to confirm your qualifications or to standardize your knowledge (make sure that it meets international standards) in this area.

The exam can be taken remotely or at official PMI offices.

Agile certification

If you prefer to use Agile methodologies for project management, you may want to consider getting certified. As with PMPs, being able to say you’ve completed an Agile certification course can help you complete projects more efficiently or stand out among candidates for a desired position.

Free online courses

You can master project management skills with free online courses that teach you hard and soft skills you need.
Find academic courses on project management skills, tools, and techniques on sites like Coursera and edX.

Experience

You can start working as a project manager without any formal training or courses. Your natural strengths can help you succeed in this role and make it easier for you to learn the tools and techniques you need.

The Project Manager plays a crucial role in achieving project goals and ensuring its successful completion. The PM manages the most important resource – people. He is responsible for communication with partners, stakeholders and the development team. A valuable PM specialist is the key to the growth of successfully completed projects and business scaling.

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