7 Skills Project Managers Must Master For Future Success

7 Skills Project Managers Must Master For Future Success
  • Opening Intro -

    It is an undeniable fact that every employee dreams of being a project manager one fine day.

    After all, career advancement is vital for everyone, and everyone sets goals for themselves to climb the ladder of success.

    Do you dream of a thriving career in project management as well?

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Well, if you want to build a successful career in project management, it is important that you pay heed to skill development. Gone are the days when educational qualifications were more than enough to land your dream job.

Today, you are only as competent as your skills. If you constantly add to your skill set, you will definitely go a long way and scale new heights in your career.

The world today is all about skills and in fact, skills have become the pivot around which people are weaving their exceptional stories of profound success.

Besides, when we talk about imperative roles like project management, the significance of skills becomes much higher. In the ultimate sense, your hold over your skills will determine how far you go as a project manager.

Having said that, this blog effectively highlights the most imperative skills that are needed for future success in project management. So, let us get started without further ado.

Skills to ensure a thriving career in project management

1: Virtual collaboration

We need to acknowledge the fact that the future of the corporate world is remote. Organizations are increasingly switching to virtual ways of working and in the future, most projects will be managed in a virtual environment. Having said that, it is salient that you have the kind of digital literacy that will be needed for successful remote project management.

Among various digital literacy skills that will be prerequisites, virtual collaboration skills will be the most significant. To explain, you need to collaborate with your project teams in a virtual environment when it comes to remote project management. The sharing of knowledge, and instructions as well as the confidence-building measures that you take as a leader need to be communicated virtually.

Given that, your virtual collaboration skills have to be flawless as you need to coordinate each stage of the project with your team. Needless to say, projects become successful when all team members have the utmost clarity about their specific roles and responsibilities in the course of the project.

It is essential to note that as per McKinsey, 97 percent of corporate executives are of the belief that ineffective alignment of objectives between teams can lead to project failure. To ensure the same does not happen within your teams, you need to create a systematic mechanism for effective collaboration and communication in the virtual space.

For that, your best bet is to enhance your virtual collaboration skills in an incremental way. You may be at any stage in your career, whenever you choose to learn something new, it is by default the best time to learn new skills.

2: Transformational Leadership

Project managers are leaders indeed and to excel in this era of enormous competition and challenges, you need to rise to the occasion as a transformational leader. In fact, with respect to the concurrent times, transformational leadership is a top contender to be the most effective leadership style.

To elucidate, transformational leaders can be brilliant at driving high employee engagement among their teams. Transformational leaders can create an ideal environment of creative liberty for their team members and also encourage maximum participation among their teams. More importantly, transformational leaders are excellent at facilitating effective goal alignment between individuals and the organization.

All in all, transformational leaders can encourage great motivation and optimism in their teams to pave the way for excellent results. Thus, if you can build transformational capabilities in your leadership, you will indeed be an outstanding pick for any organization for project management roles.

3: Emotional Intelligence

It is interesting to note that intelligence has a different implication altogether in the modern business world. Gone are the days when recruiters would obsess over candidates with high IQ. What is rather in enormous demand in the contemporary world is emotional intelligence.

To substantiate, as per Vantage Circle, 90 percent of extraordinary performers have above-average EQ. Besides, it puts forth another interesting insight that emotional intelligence accounts for 58 percent of an individual’s overall job performance. Moreover, as per PR Newswire, around 95 percent of HR professionals believe that in the modern world, it is essential for employees to have a high EQ.

We have talked at large about the great significance of EQ in the contemporary business world. Indeed, EQ is one of the most sought-after skills in the world today. However, let us also try to understand what EQ exactly means to be on the same page.

To define, emotional intelligence is the ability or trait of an individual to effectively manage and guide their emotions in a positive direction to produce positive outcomes. Having said that, those who have high EQ are not affected by negative emotional influences when it comes to decision-making and productivity. People with high emotional intelligence are likely to stay upbeat even in the face of adverse emotions.

Besides, people with high EQ can also assist others in managing their emotions in a positive way rather than being subsumed by negativity. From a leadership point of view, this is a great trait to have, and hence, organizations will expect future project managers to have a high EQ.

Moreover, those who have exemplary EQ skills also have great self-awareness, empathy, self-regulation, motivation, and social skills. To put it the other way around, these are the major components of EQ and each of these elements is vital for leadership success.

As a project manager, you can benefit a lot in your career when you work on your emotional intelligence. It will bring out the best leader in you, the best thinker in you, and a very supportive project manager in you.

4: Resilience and Brisk Adaptability

The corporate world we see today is far more challenging and dynamic than ever before. The ways of the corporate world are evolving at a swift pace and that puts unprecedented pressure on businesses to keep up with the pace. Hence, it makes complete sense that organizations need to look for leaders who have the resilience to not feel bogged down in the face of challenges.

Besides, responding to the ever-evolving best practices in the corporate world, leaders and managers need to have brisk adaptability. You need to keep adapting in the best interest of your organization and your own career when you respond to external changes.

Let’s try and understand the importance of resilience and adaptability through a simple example. Let’s say you are in the last phase of a website development project that you have been working on for more than a month. Just when you start to feel that things are going great and the project is scheduled for timely completion, let’s say the client sends new design specifications along with a list of other new requirements.

It will indeed be a great challenge but then you cannot really deny the client’s demands, can you? You need to embrace the challenge, look after the motivation of your team, and prevent discouragement from creeping into the team environment.

You then need to align the project schedule with the new requirements and implement the changes with great efficiency. You need to adapt as per the need of the hour and inspire the same adaptability in your team.

Through this one example, you can very well understand the significance of resilience and adaptability for managers and senior executives.

5: Critical Thinking Skills

When it comes to project management, the onus to make crucial project decisions will lie on you. This is where your effectiveness in decision-making will be vital to the success of a given project. One decision in haste or without being thoughtful enough can cost the project after all.

However, as long as you are thinking clearly and critically, the risks of ineffective decision-making will remain minimal. To explain, critical thinkers do not hurry to conclusions without analyzing all aspects and paying attention to detail. They assess the situation with patience and consider all perspectives before they reach a final decision.

Besides, being a  critical thinker will also help you in effectively resolving team conflicts that may otherwise affect project success. To elucidate, when you have critical thinking skills, you will listen to all sides of the argument without jumping to conclusions. When you do that, you can maintain a positive environment in the team and resolve conflicts with great efficiency.

6: Exemplary Innovation

In the contemporary business world, innovation is quite synonymous with competitive advantages. The fact of the matter is that individuals and organizations that can innovate will go the farthest. Especially when it comes to leadership roles, it is such a key thing to be innovative and creative in a way that others around you feel inspired too.

When you lead a project, you will have to find some outside-the-box ideas and solutions to advance the project. Subject to project complications, you will have to innovate in different magnitudes and that is where your leadership will have to excel.

Any organization would love to have project managers who can flaunt their creative skills in times of crisis. Your ability to innovate will always be a key determinant of how effective your problem-solving abilities are.

Given how challenging the corporate world is becoming, recruiters would only want to invest in project managers that can bring exceptional problem-solving abilities to the table. In fact, as per a new study by iCIMS, more than 60 percent of recruiters are of the opinion that problem-solving is among the most important soft skills for the future.

Therefore, it makes complete sense that you lay great emphasis on developing skills and abilities linked to creative innovation.

7: Effective Budgeting 

As a project manager, your cost-effectiveness will always be one of the vital measures of your success. When you lead a project, you need to ensure that it stays well within the stipulated budget. Having said that, your budgeting skills will be put to test at every step of the project and you must excel in it.

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It is a well-known fact that organizations like to get more done while spending less. In fact, this could well be looked at as the golden rule of the enterprise world. Your top management will always expect you to keep this thumb rule in mind and deliver the project successfully without going overboard with the budget.

The bottom line is that besides your expertise in the project, you will also need to prove your excellence in terms of planning the project budget effectively and executing the same. So, you may be doing a project in digital forensics or cyber security but you will always need some great mathematical skills too for keeping the budget intact. With effective cost management, you can meet your projects’ SMART objectives in a more worthwhile way.

To encapsulate, the corporate world is changing at a rampant pace and the expectations of recruiters too are changing in a dramatic way. Subject to how the skill demands are changing in the corporate world, the preferences of recruiters are also changing. Especially when it comes to leadership roles like project management, the stakes and competition are ever higher.

Hence, to ensure a thriving career in project management ahead, you need to understand the prevailing skill demand and develop those skills to remain competitive.

Bio:
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.

Image Credit: skills project managers must master for future success by twenty20.com

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