What are the Key Skills of a Project Manager

Planning and communicating are the two key skills essential for success in project management. Like any other skill they can be learned, and will improve with practice. Don't be afraid to admit that you may need help with them. Watch those who do them well, and ask for advice. You can also learn a lot from books or training courses, but these are no substitute for experience!

Make sure that every part of the project is represented in a documented plan. Remember, a plan is only complete if you can answer the six key questions what?, why?, when?, where?, how? and who?.

If you can answer these questions, check that your team, your manager and your users can answer them too. Make your plan one of your ways of communicating with people - it's not just something produced to satisfy moaning management with nothing better to do than to chase you for useless deliverables!

Keep asking people what they are doing, what progress they are making (against the relevant plan), and tell them what you (and the rest of the team) are doing. There are various ways this can be done: formal, written reports are essential, but verbal reports and memos are also useful. Don't, for example, wait until monthly report time to tell your managers about a developing problem which may need their help to sort out!

Note that I haven't said anything about analysing, designing or programming. These are not project management jobs. You need to make sure that they happen, and are done properly, but it is not essential for you to do everything. Indeed, you must avoid the situation where the real project management jobs are left undone because you're concentrating too much on the technical problems. Remember, you don't have to be a technical expert to manage a project. If s sometimes said that "management is the art of delegation" - more about this later.

In a small team, you will have some technical tasks (and you may be more experienced technically than the people you're managing). That's fine, but then you must plan your time carefully: some will be dedicated to your technical tasks, but some (quite separate, and planned) must be dedicated to managing the project.

/"Tkeep six honest serving men, They taught me all I knew, Their names are What, and Why, and When, And Where, and How, and Who.

/"Tkeep six honest serving men, They taught me all I knew, Their names are What, and Why, and When, And Where, and How, and Who.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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