The most important among the seven skills are the Organizational Skillset. A Project Manager is so much about being able to organize things with little to no difficulty. A Project following any type of Project Management methodology would have loads of tasks that are broken into manageable piece for achieving the penultimate goal. There are innumerable deliverables that have to be organized and filtered down to the team members. When the Project Manager is versatile planner and organizer of the broken down tasks then it is easier to manage the tasks. This, then makes organizational skills really important. A PMP Prep is an exercise that would lead to understanding the Project Manager’s skillset requirement and why it needs to be certified by Project Management Institute (PMI®)
The second most important skill would be Communication Skillset. It is not sufficient to have a vision and to be able to chart it out into various tasks, a Project Manager should be able to speak out clearly his vision to his team. The Communication skills are not only required in sharing thoughts and vision with the team; but it is also important for removing and building confidence with the stakeholders. The Project Manager goes between his team and his higher level management people who have invested their interest in the project. So it becomes all the more important that the Project Manager is able to satisfactorily converse with both his team and the stakeholders.
The third important skill would be Problem Solving Skillset. Every project has its own set of up and down. As Murphy’s Law which is almost an adage now, hints that if there is anything that can go wrong then it will go wrong. Even the most detailed planning of project has something that is overlooked which results in a spanner in the spinning wheel of the progressing project. A good Project Manager is able to think on his feet about what could be the possible solution to the suddenly appeared problem. Here is where the creative thinking ability of a Project Managers helps in bring out a Creative Problem Solving solution to the raised issue.
Fourth essential skill is Time Management which is as much about keeping the project on track and on time. A Project has various requirement that are time bound and needs to be met at the assigned time. Time Management is a skillset that would make the Project Manager more efficient in taking care of project related timeline needs. Sometime, a particular task might require gestation time before it can be begun again. A good Project Manager is able to use that waiting time with good planning and strategy. The skill of managing the project time ensures that the tasks are aligned in such a manner that it works seamlessly in project completion. This topic is covered in a PMP Exam Prep which leads to a Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification on clearing the PMP® Exam conducted by a globally recognized organization.
Fifth Skillset is being able to draw up a budget that would keep in mind the requirement of the project cost and overheads. So he must have a good Budgeting Skillset. The Project Manager is able to draft a Budget that is comprehensive and well thought out. He should also ensure that he completes the project within budget projection. The best way to be able to do that is to keep some buffer cash flow for the project. There might be times when a project is run on a shoestring budget and in that case it is essential that the financial resources are allocated properly with good judgment.
This skillset may seem rather odd and out of sequence but then it is most important. A Project Manager is as much a communicator as he has to be a good listener. Being a good listener is an excellent quality in any person but in a Project Manager, it is truly essential. When the Project Manager listens well then he/she is able to find out the client’s requirement for the project and at the same time be able to understand his/her team’s requirements. When both he/she listens to both actively then it is easy to take the right decision for the various task that must be accomplished for the project.
Finally, it is important that a Project Manager who is the Captain of the Project needs to be a compassionate Leader. It is not enough that he/she has the above skills and does not have a compassion towards his/her team members and stakeholders. During the high tide of a project progression even in a professional setting emotion runs high. Each team members have different set of requirement and being able to work with each of them becomes a talent by itself. A good Project Manager is able to handle his/her team based on the individual working requirement. A well settled team that works without any hitch in the project progress results in smooth closure of the project.
A good Project Manager having these essential skillsets is able to handle the challenges of the project and see it to its just completion.