6 Important Skills and Tools to Help You Stay on Top of Your Game as a Project Manager

If you are already in the project management niche and you have that kind of personality, you are always looking for ways to improve yourself, your skills and you work regimen. Project management is not as simple as it may appear, like checking off boxes as your team finishes their tasks. It is not all about looking for bugs.

To be a successful project manager, you need to have a huge set of proficiencies that vary from industry to industry. So, if you have been wondering what skills and tools it takes to stay on top of your game as a project manager, you have come to the right place.

Whether you are in search of the right project management tools to boost your efficiency, or you want to improve your resume, trying to break into the project management field, these project management tools and skills will take you where you need to go.

Communication

There is no easy way to say this, but if you feel uncomfortable when receiving and giving criticism, and if you are having trouble talking to your employees, or you’re just not that good when it comes to responding to emails, then being a project manager may not be a suitable position for you. Know this; most projects fail because of errors in communication. So do not be a part of the problem.

The key in succeeding is communication and not charm, even though you need a certain level of charisma to inspire team members or explain work processes to stakeholders. Here, we are talking about simply transferring information from one person to another. Communication in project management comes down to being clear about goals, concrete about quantitative results and concise when it comes to expectations.

Mentality

Project management best practices - Communication

This is where you need to ask yourself: “what needs to come first, business or your team?” Without the business, there would be no team, but without the team, the business will not be viable.

You need to balance supporting your team while at the same time supporting the company. If one member of your team makes a mistake, look into what you can do to help them succeed, but if their failure is a result of a systematic issue, step forward and advocate for them. If you take on this responsibility, it will make your job as a project manager much easier.

Tech Skills

Even if you are not a part of the IT department, you should not avoid technical prowess in navigating through today’s business world. Especially if you are managing a tech team, a technical background is something that is required.

A great project manager needs to have enough technical knowledge so that they will be able to assign themselves to some of the tasks in the project because doing this and successfully completing your part of the job on time will earn you respect. And, you do need respect if you want to successfully manage your project team.

Organization

If you are a person who does not clean their dishes right after they finish using them, or if you don’t always clean your desk, that is not that big of a deal. But, if you do not remember where you have stored essential project information, that can be a real problem.

Project managers need to be organized because projects have a clear start and end date, and in some cases, it can be tempting to dispose every project-related activity upon completion. But, every experienced project manager can tell you that what worked for one project might work just as well for another, so there is no reason to reinvent the wheel every time a new task arrives.

Project managers often need to juggle deadlines, different reports, meetings, tasks, Q&As, and all of that in one single day. This is why having the right organizational skills is an absolute must, in order to keep every project manager on top of their game.

Online Project Management Tool

Online Project Management Tools

One incredibly common way in which project managers deal with an organizational issue is project management software. Project managers often use these online project management tools to stay on top of every project at hand, to communicate with their clients and peers, generate reports, manage tickets, and assign tasks to their team members.

Online project management tools even have some powerful features, like Task Dependencies, where you can move dates for multiple tasks in just one click. And, once all of the projects are completed, they can all be billed in only two clicks.

Negotiation

This is not something that is reserved solely for the beginning of each project. According to the definition from the Association for Project Management, formal negotiations are typically made with providers on some basic issues, like agreeing contracts, whereas informal negotiations are discussions on resolving conflicts, or obtaining internal resources. When put in simple words, if you work with people and have the decision-making role, you will need to know how to negotiate.

To be a successful negotiator, you need to be respectful, because getting hot-headed or ignoring opinions of coworkers will only take a toll on your morale, so always be considerate and clear when you are dealing with your team.

You also need to abandon the “winners take all” mentality because meeting everyone’s interest is more valuable than winning. Do not be afraid to bring in third parties if you are having trouble with your team or your client because there’s nothing wrong in hiring experts in HR, IT, or another appropriate third party that will be helpful in resolving a discussion.

These are the six most important skills and tools you need if you want to stay on top of your game as a project manager. These skills will help you successfully manage your team and grow as a professional, and online project management tools are something that will make your job much easier and accessible. So, try to implement everything you have read above, and we are sure that you will not experience any problems when managing your team.

Guest post by David Miller TwitterLinkedin

About Celoxis:
Celoxis is a comprehensive project management tool that helps companies streamline management of projects, timesheets, expenses and business processes, specific to their organization. Over the last decade, Celoxis has specialized in delivering improved collaboration and increased efficiency for teams of all sizes, both in SMB and Enterprise segments. To know more visit www.celoxis.com

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