Essential Project Management Skills

Project Management Skills
Project management isn't an easy job. In this article, you will find which are the ten skills every project manager should have. There are more than just the following 10, but if you master these, you have the foundation on which you can build a successful career as a project manager.


You cannot be an effective leader if you are not able to articulate what you need your team to do. But you are not only going to be communicating with your team but also you will need to have clear communications with everyone involved with the project. These stakeholders range from contractors and vendors to customers and stakeholders. Whether that is through reporting tools or by fostering collaboration with file sharing, chat, and other means to tag discussions at the task level, you are going to need both systems in place to facilitate communications.


It is a bit of a slippery skill in that some believe you are born with leadership skills and that nobody can teach them to you. But everyone has the potential to learn how to apply proven leadership skills. As a project manager, you are responsible not only for seeing the project through to successful completion, but you are leading a team to achieve that goal. This responsibility requires you to motivate, as well as mediate when necessary. Keep in mind that project leadership is more than managing tasks; it is about managing people.


Knowing how to create a project schedule is very important for meeting deadlines and keeping everything well-organized. Breaking down the goal into several tasks on a timeline is called scheduling. It is the heart of what a project manager does: setting up a realistic timeframe and then managing the resources to keep on track so the project can be professionally and successfully concluded on time. Managing and preventing scope creep is a valuable skill as well. It refers to being flexible and knowing how to overcome challenging situations.

Cost Management

This skill refers to making sure that the budget for your project is realistic and can meet the financial needs. You will also have to control those costs through the execution of the project. This is easier said than done. Unless you're lucky and work for an enterprise or organization with unlimited funds, you are going to have certain financial constraints, and more likely, be given a very tight budget. Figuring out how to squeeze every cent out of those limited funds requires a great deal of skill.

Risk Management

Planning a project, large or small, is inherent with risk. It is part of your job to see issues before they become bigger problems. Therefore, before executing the project, you should put in the work to identify, assess, and control risk. After all, the more you can manage risk, the more likely your project is going to succeed.


Negotiation is not merely haggling for the best price from a contractor or vendor, though that is certainly part of it. Being in charge of a project means you are in constant negotiations. You will have to give them pushback, but diplomatically, all concerned parties should feel they are getting what they want.

Task Management

There are going to be lots of little tasks for you to create, assign, and manage. You can look at this as making a detailed to-do list, which isn't entirely wrong, but as you add complexity, you will also want to add the tools to help you manage these tasks more effectively and efficiently.

Critical Thinking

This skill refers to being as objective as you can in evaluating and analyzing a situation or issue so that you can form an unbiased judgment.

Quality Management

Overseeing the tasks and activities that are required to deliver a service or product at the stated level indicated in the project paperwork is called quality management. Staying on schedule is very important, but it means nothing if it produces something subpar.

A Sense of Humor

You do not have to be a comedian, and certainly, there is a time and a place for humor, but a sense of humor plays a very important role in successful project management. It refers to having a different perspective. It helps and allows you to see problems differently. A sense of humor relieves stress for you and your team and helps with morale. You are going to work as hard as your team, but that does not mean the environment you are working in should be stifling.

Remember that attending the right trainings and using the right tools is what helps you enhance your skillset and make you even more efficient and productive!

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