Hard and Soft Skills of a Project Manager

Hard and Soft Skills of a Project Manager

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Project Management Skills

Like heaps of managers around Australia, you may be looking to improve your project management skills. However, project managers are continually faced with the dilemma of what type of skills are most beneficial, whether it be soft skills or hard skills.

Here are a few general project management skills every manager and project leaders should be keen on possessing:

1) Analytical thinking

essential project management skills - analytical thinking for a project manager is crucial

Project managers need to be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently for the project team.

It doesn’t hurt for a project manager who has an analytical mind to consult or make use of a project management tool to help them better manage a project.

They need to analyze situations accurately in order for them to do their work effectively and meet the scheduled deadlines.

It is essential that they think critically about what needs to be done in certain tasks as well as how much time it will take them to finish a task from start until completion.

In addition, a project manager with good analytical thinking skills must also consider possible risks that might happen in the project and how they can be avoided — which means risk management is also a must.

2) Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal Skills written in a paper - key project management skills for project managers

Being a leader is one of the most important qualities for any project manager to have. Effective project managers need to interact with team members, stakeholders, vendors and others in order to get things done effectively.

They need to know how to manage people professionally and still maintain good relationships with them. Communication is very important when it comes to managing different projects especially if there are risks that could jeopardise the success of your project or even your career as a project manager.

The ability to communicate well is one of the project management skills that will enable you to explain what needs to be done in certain tasks so everyone will understand it more easily while also receiving their feedback regarding certain issues or problems.

You should also be able to inspire your team members into putting in their best and do their best to meet the project goals and deadlines.

3) Organisational skills

important project management skills - being organised is a skill of the best project managers out there

Project managers need to be able to organize different tasks from start until completion.

They need to have a complete schedule of what needs to be done from time A until time B so they can manage it more efficiently.

In line with this, you should also be able to delegate work effectively so each task will have a responsible person assigned for it so there won’t be any problems at all regarding different projects.

Project managers must also have very good time management skills as well as planning skills since he or she has to consider all possible risks that might happen along the way and develop a solution for them right away before they occur.

4) Technical skills

develop project management skills like technical skills in order to be a good project manager

Project managers need to be knowledgeable about different fields related to their projects.

They need to know the right technology that is required for each task so it would make things easier and faster before deadlines are met.

This will ensure that all tasks are done properly without having any errors at all.

And if there are certain changes that need to be made along the way, they also have the expertise in making those needed changes as well as suggesting new ideas regarding your project’s success.

5) Communication skills

project management skills list: communications skills

Project managers should know how to communicate effectively with all stakeholders involved in a project.

They should possess strong verbal, written and presentation abilities since they are always communicating with different people throughout their career as a project manager.

Project managers need to have a strong personality at all times so they can inspire people through their words and leadership skills.

Remember that being a project manager is not an easy job but it has a huge potential to grow your career as well as the company you are working for.

If you possess these skills, then you will be more likely to achieve success among others including getting promotions and higher salaries.

What are ‘Soft Skills’?

essential project management skills - soft skills project management

Technically, soft skills are generally associated with a person’s emotional intelligence, personality traits, social actions, communication, spoken language, habits, friendliness and other attributes which affect and characterise relationships with others, both internally in the organisation and externally, like clients.

Soft skills are important, particularly project management professionals with a heavy people focus and complement the hard skills required to perform a job. They also contribute to the success of an organisation.

Project managers with sound soft skills are more likely to develop good fundamentals regarding project management methodology that can greatly help them manage their team.

Soft skills can mostly be attributed to personality and relationships and include:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Commitment to success
  • Honesty
  • Humour
  • Passion
  • Emotional literacy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Motivation
  • Approachability
  • Life skills
  • Openness
  • Energy
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Impeccable written and verbal communication
  • Social intelligence
  • risk management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Social skills

What are ‘Hard Skills’?

hard skills - key project management skills every project manager must have

On the other hand, hard skills are defined as technical skills and are not interpersonal or relationship associated. Hard skills are focused on an individual’s skills set and ability to perform a certain job, including the tasks and activities associated with it.

Project Managers are generally required to have the following hard skills:

  • Ability to create a team culture within the project itself.
  • Manage all processes and procedures, particularly those relating to Change Control, Documentation and Risk and Issues Management.
  • Ability to prepare a structured plan, including product structure and work structure (including all activities to be completed and the breakdown of when these will be completed. The budget should also be incorporated into the specific actives and monitored accordingly).
  • Create and prepare achievement reports.
  • Implement relevant project management guidelines to assist the team (this may be manual or through specific project management software).
  • Be in control of the budget to ensure the project is on schedule and will be completed within the monetary limits.
  • Manage the project itself (either manually or with appropriate software) to ensure the completion will be on schedule and delivered as decided.

These skills can be taught both on the job and within accredited training like a project management course. Throughout a project management course, you will learn to apply project management techniques, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications and risk management techniques as well as the skills to implement contract and procurement procedures.

Mastering Both Hard and Soft Skills

hard and soft skills in project management career

Becoming the best project manager you can be includes mastering and finding a balance between both hard and soft skills.

As a project manager, you are required to exhibit leadership skills and have the capabilities to delegate (as opposed to micro-manage) certain aspects of the project.

Have you ever had a great project manager? OR what about a not-so-great project manager…? What capabilities and skills do you think are most important for a successful project manager, aside from the ones above?

If you’re keen to learn more about becoming a successful project manager or is keen to enhance your existing skills as a project manager, then we have the perfect project management courses that can help you achieve your goals!

Click here to learn more about our Project Management courses

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