10 Important Project Management Skills
For cybersecurity projects to be successful, IT and security professionals should implement strict project management practices. Having project management skills is essential for the project management team to accomplish their responsibilities. For instance, such skills enable them to have their projects run smoothly, stay within budget, and delivered within the agreed timeframe. Following solid project management practices gives numerous benefits for businesses such as: reducing risks, saving costs, increasing success rates, and helps in optimizing resource allocation.
This article will list the most important skills that any successful project manager should have to run a project from start to finish. Having such skills is essential for the project manager, but all project management teams should successfully deliver it.
Project Management Skills
Here are the top 10 skills that every project manager should have:
Communication skills The ability to communicate effectively with work colleagues and team members is a top skill for project managers. Communication skills should apply to all communications mediums such as phone, email, in-person, and social media. This includes nonverbal communication (body language, hand gestures, voice tone), which play a key role in delivering the correct message to the audience.
Communication skill is not limited to conversations with clients and co-workers. Still, a project manager should deliver reports and conduct presentations for different stakeholders at different levels inside and outside of an organization. They also need to convey their vision, ideas, and opinions about the project to top management to gain support to continue the project.
Leadership A successful project manager should have strong leadership skills to inspire and motivate team members to complete the project. Leadership is about managing people, not tasks; hence, this skill will develop with time and experience and cannot only be learned through reading.
Organization The ability to organize and prioritize tasks is vital to ensure a smooth run of the project. Project managers must be capable of working on many tasks simultaneously, ensuring their progress aligns with the project goals, and changing their plan when circumstances call for change. Successful project managers keep organized by following a specific project management methodology (e.g., Agile, Scrum, Kanban) to keep everything on track throughout a project's lifecycle.
Negotiation Being an excellent negotiator is a subdivision of communication skills; however, it deserves to have its own space because of its importance in this context. Project managers are always in constant negotiations. For instance, when stakeholders change project goals, when requesting goods or services from third-party vendors, and when conflicts occur between team members or between other people involved in this project. These examples require the project manager to have solid negotiation skills to resolve disputes and prevent them from affecting project progress.
Time Management Every project is subject to a deadline. A project manager is primarily responsible for delivering the project within the agreed schedule. This requires creating a timeline that lists all project tasks and assigns a time to accomplish each task. It should maintain this schedule during the project lifecycle until reaching the end. There are different tools used by project managers for project scheduling, such as the Gantt chart, which shows a visual representation of project tasks, the duration of each task along with their dependencies.
Risk Management Every project, whether small or big, involves risk. It is the job of project managers to oversee risks and avoid them before they become problems. Risk management identifies, analyzes, and then responds to risks emerging during the project life cycle to help the project remain on track. Risk management is not only limited to identifying risks that happened during the project execution. For instance, the signs of risk should also be assessed early to be mitigated before affecting the project timeline, performance, or budget.
Budget Management Every project needs money. Arguably, a project manager's most important duty is to estimate the required budget to finish the project. The budget should be realistic and reflect project needs and should remain under review constantly to meet the needs of any updated requirements or sudden circumstances. Project manager experience plays a key role in estimating budgets.
Technical Writing & Reporting Skills A project manager should have technical writing and reporting skills to write reports about project deliverables, send notes about project progress to project stakeholders, send news updates about the project's current status, and inform top management about any challenges or obstacles facing the project.
Policy Knowledge Sometimes this skill is overridden. To ensure the smooth progression of a project, a project manager must have comprehensive knowledge about all policies and regulations that may affect project execution, such as health, environmental, privacy, and other business-related policies.
Tech Savvy A project manager should know the latest trends in computer programs and other technologies related to the project. Using the latest tools and technologies in project development will increase team productivity, cut costs, and ensure fast delivery of the project.
Having project management skills is essential to ensure a smoothly run project. Some project management skills can be learned in universities and by following specialized training courses; however, project management's critical elements depend on the project manager's experience and personality.