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Enterprise Project Management: Soft & Hard Skills

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By: Divya Bora

February 17, 2022

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Enterprise Project Management is the need of the hour as most organizations are running multiple complex projects simultaneously. Though the projects might not be connected, they all impact the organization differently. It is the disciplined practice of managing projects simultaneously on an organizational level. It comprises implementing processes and strategies to streamline and enhance project management effectiveness on a large scale.

It differs from traditional project management. It shifts the organization’s focus to prioritizing and highlighting its business goals and grouping projects to fulfill broader company objectives rather than just seeing them with a defined, measurable purpose. EPM aims to complete projects that provide value to the organization. According to the Project Management Institute(PMI), it can initiate the creation of project management departments or use project management software to consolidate multiple projects visible for tracking. Enterprise project management is a course designed to make readers understand it deeply.

SKILLS REQUIRED FOR EPM

A poorly trained project manager can be the biggest challenge for an organization, so usually, while hiring, the skills that are expected to be the characteristics of a good project manager are: characteristics

Soft Skills

1. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is a skill used every day for any key management role. For example, the project management role in an enterprise requires making quick decisions keeping in mind the potential implications and constraints of the project.

It enhances a person’s data analysis ability and assists in planning and decision-making regarding the project. It will also help the manager hold stakeholders accountable and cope with constraints.

2. Patience

A project manager’s ability to stay calm is a vital component of their success, the project’s success, and the employees’ work satisfaction. Patience during conflicts can inspire others, whereas impatience can demoralize others.

Being in charge of disparate expectations while mediating conflict and discussing the needs to help everyone requires some reasonable level. Working with multiple teams to achieve a common goal is rewarding and frustrating. If one is frustrated, they can’t impartially facilitate communications and teamwork, affecting the success of project targets.

3. Communication

Strong communication skills go hand in hand with leadership as they are the common contact point for multiple teams in a project. Usually, the teams have nothing in common or no points of contact, so it is the project manager’s responsibility to create the spirit of teamwork amongst them and facilitate their needs.

Communication becomes essential while negotiating a project’s scope, time, and cost or resolving conflicts among stakeholders. Absorbing people’s roles and perspectives while mediating through the project depicts the manager’s verbal communication skills. In addition, they are expected to be masters of written and visual contact to speak with a diverse group of project stakeholders effectively.

4. Adaptability

The project manager should be adaptable to new changes as tools and strategies for project management are evolving, enhancing communication, efficiency, and teamwork. This calls for tech-savviness to understand and correctly use various tools for analytics, sharing, communication, and document creation.

Soft skills like flexibility and adaptability set up the project manager for success regardless of their technical knowledge about the topic. An agile mindset is essential for the success of the people they work with too.

5. Time management

Apart from the hard skills of planning and forecasting, one must also possess time management as to whether dealing with multiple deadlines and constraints or facilitating stakeholder’s needs. Therefore, time management plays a crucial role. Someone with this skill has a natural tendency to be a project manager. It is vital to be calm and consistent while dealing with complex timelines and predict any complications that could affect the timeline to resolve them and stay on track.

6. Leadership

A project manager is expected to provide leadership and guide others through the project even though they aren’t decision-making. It requires a blend of leadership and management skills to effectively facilitate meetings, enforce constraints and hold participants accountable for their work.

Hard Skills

1. Foresight

The best project managers have the power to estimate project timelines, anticipate project risks, and calculate appropriate budgets because they learn something new from every project and use the analyzed information to make their future project-related decisions. So it is not a prediction but learning from past choices, which come in handy later. Project managers can use efficient roadmaps to guide all stakeholders and assign roles due to their foresight.

2. Cost Management

Mainly the project manager needs to estimate the project cost and get it approved by decision-makers, so it is a part of their job to track costs and make sure it stays within limits throughout the project. Often managing the cost means working the time and scope of the project and all three of them go hand in hand. So it is vital to stay within the budget while not exceeding the scope and to keep track of time. Negotiation skills is a course that makes the user learn about secure negotiation, which is the need of the hour.

3. Risk Management

Risk management is defined as making conscious decisions to maximize the upsides and minimize the downsides of business actions. A project manager should be aware of the impact that their decision could have on the business, and their actions should always contribute to the success of the project. One should know the organization’s risk tolerance and accordingly mediate decisions regarding the project’s resources, goals, and timeline.

4. Organization

Project managers hold a leadership position and are responsible for keeping track of work and the employees that require a considerable commitment to the organization. They need to stay in the loop with all the work within individual projects to assist the organization in attaining larger goals while maintaining a broader perspective. It will be difficult for a person to function efficiently in complex and high-pressure work environments if they lack organizational skills.

5. Reading and Writing

Reading comprehension and effective writing are considered vital skills for project managers and any prominent role in project management. They can be assigned interpretation of legal or technical documents in which they might not have any expertise, but they are still expected to turn it into briefs so that the project teams can follow them.

6. Analysis

To thrive well in an organization, a project manager needs to have strong critical thinking and a sharp analytical mind. With various initiatives to go through, they can identify facts and prioritize the ones that assist in achieving business goals and are worth the time and money. Then, under pressure to deliver real value to the organization, they set effective targets and evaluate the project against the decided metrics to maximize their resources. So the project managers are expected to use their analytical skills to make the most profitable decisions for the organization.

7. Relationship Management

Project managers must have relationship management skills and strong client management skills as they get to work with multiple clients and employees while handling various organizational projects. Furthermore, they must understand the value of relationships as they can directly influence the perceptions and expectations of the stakeholders with the relationship they share.

To learn some more skills required for EPM, Learning methods is a course specially curated for this purpose.

HOW TO DEVELOP ENTERPRISE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Here are some quick tips to become a successful enterprise project manager: skills development

1. Always ask for feedback

It is believed that the best leaders ask for feedback more often as it is a strategic way of finding out what the employees and customers alike. For example, all employees may not thrive well in a formal project management way; some want more time to plan, or maybe they think a daily sync up meeting is not required, which the project manager thinks is essential, so the only way to find out is to ask.

2. Find and use the proper project management tools

As most project management tools offer free trials, let the team test them for a while to find out if it is the right one for them instead of buying the latest tool for project management.

3. Establish goals or objectives

Some firm goals should be set, and all the employees should work towards achieving those goals, but the project manager should not over-promise. Instead, plan the project with small goals, and while achieving those, must complete the project.

4. Choose the right people for the right job

The project manager should always remember that all the people on the team need to deliver and communicate during the project, so they should recognize unexpected strengths in people and assign them the right tasks accordingly.

5. Address problems early

Problem-solving is a vital skill for them. Nobody likes to be the bearer of problems but better discuss the issues at the start of meetings instead of putting them off for later.

6. Identify and embrace your strengths and weaknesses

A good project manager is honest about what he can and cannot do. They know their strengths and weaknesses and can consider learning new skills through free classes or online community groups with other business owners.

Now that we know all the skills we require for Enterprise project management, we must also learn the metrics and measurements that are essential for Enterprise Security.

REFERENCES

  1. https://softwareportal.com/what-is-enterprise-project-management (Image 1)
  2. https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/what-is-enterprise-project-management/
  3. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/project-management-skills/
  4. https://www.wrike.com/blog/five-skills-enterprise-project-managers/
  5. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.knowledgetrain.co.uk%2Fproject-management%2Fproject-management-courses%2Fwhat-soft-skills-do-project-managers-need&psig=AOvVaw1itVbiAObfF667IYpbSLm6&ust=1644475380429000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAwQjhxqFwoTCNjOtquC8vUCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAO (Image 2)
  6. https://usb-ed.com/blog/5-ways-to-improve-your-project-management-skills/
  7. https://wheniwork.com/blog/project-management-skills
  8. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.indiatoday.in%2Feducation-today%2Fgk-current-affairs%2Fstory%2Fall-about-sankalp-the-government-s-skill-development-programme-1865817-2021-10-17&psig=AOvVaw0_GiAMtud7r84d9O9t7pTY&ust=1644550681770000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAwQjhxqFwoTCLiAtu-a9PUCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ (Image 3)
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