Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The 5 Skills You Need as a Project Manager

METHOD 123: empowering managers to succeed

If you'd like to learn all of the skills you need to become a top notch Project Manager, then read on...

The 5 Skills You Need as a Project Manager

Managing a project is a challenging task. But if you can master these 5 skills, then you're well on your way to project success...

1: Planning
Every Project Manager has to become a great planner. You need to plan your project, the tasks entailed, resources, equipment and materials needed. Create a bullet proof Project Plan at the start of each project and measure progress daily.

You also need to plan your team's tasks for the week and check that those tasks are being completed every day. You job is simple-you feed your team with work from your plan, and you track and measure progress. That's what being a Project Manager is all about.

2. Prioritization
You are the one person on your project who needs to be an expert in prioritization. Every day, your team will struggle to manage priorities because there will always be too much to do. Your job is to give them crystal clear priorities every week, to help them manage their day. It keeps stress levels low and helps them work efficiently.

Without clear priorities, your project will be like a ship without a rudder. Coasting along inefficiently, without a precise direction in mind.

3. Delegation
You can't do everything. You might be capable, but there won't be enough hours in the day. So you need to become a great delegator. If tasks arise that others can do, then delegate them. Your job is to keep the ship on its course, not man the engines.

Delegate even the smallest of items, as they still require attention and focus. Delegate even when you could do something better or faster than your team. The only time not to delegate is when there's no-one to delegate to. Even then, see if you can get budget to hire another person to help you out. Remember-you can't do it all.

4. Leadership
Great Project Managers are great leaders. They set the course, lead the team in the direction required, they motivate team members individually and look after their welfare.

Great leaders know what it is that motivates their people. They put them in roles they enjoy and are naturally talented at. They listen and they genuinely care. To inspire your team to achieve success, you need to become a great leader.

5. Communication
As a team member, you need to know what has to be done, how and by when. That's where the Project Manager's communication skills come into play. You have to constantly communicate the goals, timeframes and set expectations to your team.

Then communicate feedback as progress happens. Tell people directly where they are going right and where they need to improve. Communicate clearly and concisely. Follow up in writing when it's important, so you don't have to remember everything said.

So that's it. If you can plan, prioritize and delegate your work as well as communicate and lead, then you will become a top notch Project Manager.

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