Essential Skills For An Efficient Project Manager

The project manager is the key ingredient in the success of the project. In addition to providing leadership in planning, organizing, and controlling the project, the manager should posses a set of skills that will both inspire the project team to succeed and win the confidence of the customer.

A high level communication is especially important early in the project to build a good working relationship with the project team and to establish clear expectations with the customer At the start of a project, the project manager needs to establish procedures for how changes will be documented and authorized. They have meetings and informal conversations with project team, the customer, and with the company’s upper management.


All these tasks require that the project manager have good oral communication. Every project manager should get out of her or his office on a regular basis and drop in on individual team members, to follow up on a comment or idea that the person expressed at a team meeting but that was not pursued at the meeting.


Essential qualities of project manager


(a) Strong leadership ability

Leadership is getting things done through others; the project manager achieves the results through project team. He needs to inspire the project team members, needs to create a vision of the result. Project leadership requires a participative and consultive leadership style, in which the project manager provides guidance and coaching to the project team. It also requires involvement and empowerment of the project team. He should motivate the team to achieve its objective.


(b) Ability to develop people

The effective project manager has a commitment to the training and development of people working on the project. The project manager should establish an environment where people can learn from the tasks they perform and situations they experience. He should provide opportunities for learning and development by encouraging the individuals. A final way in which a project manager can develop people is by having them attend formal training sessions.


(c) Excellent communication skills

Project managers must be good communicators. It’s important for the project manager to provide timely feedback to the team and customer. The project manager needs to communicate regularly with the project team, as well as with any subcontractor, the customer and their own company’s upper management. Effective and frequent communication is critical for keeping the project moving, identifying potential problems, soliciting suggestions to improve project performance, keeping customer satisfaction and avoiding surprises.


(d) Ability to handle stress

Project managers need to handle the stress that can arise from work situations. Stress is likely to
be high when some critical problems arise. The project managers can improve their ability to handle stress by keeping physically fit through regular exercise and good nutrition, he can also organize stress relief activities playing outdoor games etc.


(e) Good interpersonal skills

Good interpersonal depends on how good his oral and written communication. The project manager needs to establish clear expectations of the members of the project team so that everyone knows the importance their roles in the project. A project manager needs good interpersonal skills to try to influence the thinking and action of others, to deal with disagreement or divisiveness among the team members.


(f) Problem-solving skills

A project manager should encourage project team to identify problems early and solve them. Team members should be asked to give suggestions to solve the problem. The project manager should then use analytical skills to evaluate the information and develop the optimal solution.


Developing skills needed to be a project manager:

§ Gain experience.
§ Seek out feed back from others.
§ Conduct a self-evaluation, and learn from your mistakes.
§ Interview project managers who have the skills you want to develop in yourself.
§ Participate in training programs, volunteer yourself in other work.

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