4 Ways to Improve Project Management Skills

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4 Ways to Improve Project Management Skills



Project Managers have to develop a variety of skills to be successful. As business needs change quickly and projects become more complex, staying on time and on budget becomes increasingly challenging. One way to rise up to this challenge is to focus on improving your skills. Here are 4 ways project managers can develop themselves.

Team Management

Effectively managing the team is a must to ensure that the project is delivered on time, within budget and with the expected level of quality. Project managers have to lead their teams and guide them to deliver successful outcomes. Through its people analytics program, Google has identified 8 attributes that define top-performing managers. Cultivating these attributes will enable project managers to become better leaders and manage their teams.

  1. Be a good coach.
  2. Empower the team and don't micromanage.
  3. Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being.
  4. Be productive and results-oriented.
  5. Be a good communicator by listening and sharing information.
  6. Help the team with career development.
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
  8. Develop the key technical skills that will help you to advise the team.

Communication

Nearly 90% of a project manager's time is known to be spent in communication, which means that Project Managers have to be excellent communicators. Research conducted by Quantified Communications has uncovered what visionary leaders do when they communicate. Project managers can use these simple techniques to hone their communication skills.

  1. Make things simple by breaking them down into steps.
  2. Use second-person pronouns and perceptual language to get your vision into the minds of your audience.

Whether you are talking to your team or your stakeholders, these techniques will help you to get your message across and become a better communicator. 

Goal Setting

The way you articulate your goals has an impact on how well you achieve them. If the goal is articulated in a positive way, as doing more of a good thing than less of a bad thing people tend to accept them more willingly. For example "I will pay attention during the meeting" is better than "I will not check my e-mail during the meeting".

Whether you are setting a personal goal or a project goal, think about the way it is articulated. A goal that focuses on something positive will help you and your team to have a better rate of success. 

Learning and Adapting

As business needs and technologies change rapidly, project managers have to adapt. It's imperative to stay abreast of the trends in the industry and learn new skills which will help you to grow. The more open you are to leaning the more you will be able to compete and succeed.

Creation of new platforms, tools and applications will continue to grow. The industries of the future will not be what they are now. In order to adapt we have to be able to take our skills and domain expertise and learn how to orient them towards the new industries. Making a commitment to lifelong leaning will improve your ability to adapt and succeed.

How do you work on improving your skills? Share your thoughts in the comments.

References:

  1. Effective Teams and Managers: What Google Has Learned - http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/brian-welle-wharton-people-analytic-conference/
  2. Mastering the Art of Communication: What Big Data Can Tell Us - http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/the-science-of-effective-communication/
  3. How to Have a Good Day at Work - http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/160523b_kwradio_webb-caroline-webb/
  4. ‘Industries of the Future’: Alec Ross Unveils the Winners - http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/introducing-industries-future-alec-ross-unveils-winners/
Posted on: July 18, 2016 11:22 PM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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This is a very well written and useful article with some good embedded links!

Thank you for the feedback Farid! Hope you find the references useful.

Thank you for sharing

Great article! From my experience with more and more complex global projects, I work in priority on 2 areas:
- the understanding of the multicultural aspects of the projects I have to deal with,
- the management of interpersonal difficulties within the project team,

Thank you for sharing Philippe. These are definitely two areas PMs should work on with global projects and distributed teams becoming more common.

this is very usefuel article . thank you


Thanks for sharing

Thank you for the feedback Ahmed and Karthik

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