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Project Manager Skills  

Different projects demand different skills, specific technical skills, specific expertise, different range of years of experiences etc. However, there's a set of  project manager skills that are required for all projects, big or small simple or integrated. 

The project manager is in charge for overseeing the overall project and assuming responsibility  for its failure or success. His/her shoulders carry the load of planning, execution, monitoring, communicating, supervising etc.

Here are some of the key project manager skills:

Planning:  The project manager must have the skill and  the ability to develop a project-plan with project goals and objectives, roles and responsibilities, expected outcomes, costs, resources and other requirements. The plan includes an activity list with clear implementation steps for each activity, duration of each activity, so that team members  and stakeholders understand what work needs to be done and how it is to be completed. The plan must also include specific milestones for each stage of the project. Once the plan is completed it becomes the guiding document throughout the project. The project plan guides the execution stage and also serves as a monitoring tool to measure progress.

Budget and Resources: Every project has a budget and other allocated resources. Part of completing the project successfully is completing it within the approved budget and resources. Budget monitoring skills are important for managers.

Risk management: An important element of the  project manager skills is risk management. The project manager scans the environment and identifies internal and external potential threats to the success of the project.  Every project  must  have a risk management plan that describes strategies on how to monitor, prevent or control risks throughout the project. 

Communication: Communication skills are crucial for managers. The project manager is responsible to share information through sending clear, concise and complete messages. Regardless the way the message is conveyed (verbally or in writing) it must maintain the same clarity and meaning from the sender (manager) to the receiver (funder, stakeholder, team member etc.). Items that need to be communicated are: the project plan,  status and progress reports,  policies and procedures, challenges etc. A project manager is a skillful presenter and a good facilitator of project meetings. 

Leadership: A manager is also a leader with the ability to develop a common vision for their team and stakeholders. A manager motivates, inspires and brings together the people around them. A manager also needs to master the art of influencing others who may have an impact in the smooth running of the project.Today's managers are expected more and more to posses both managerial and leadership skills. Integrated projects demand different skills ate different stages.

Team Building: Most of the project teams are made of people who do not know each other. Within a short period of time these teams are expected to perform and overdeliver, as well as  function as a harmonious unity that communicates, supports and grows effectively. This is made possible through the project managers team building skills. The project manager brings the team together, provides direction and assigns clear tasks and expectations, rewards, recognizes, trains, develops, coaches. There are a lot of team building activities that support this process.

Other useful Project Manager Skills:

Negotiation Skills

Conflict Resolution Skills


Document, document, document!!! Make documentation your mantra!  It
will serve you right in times of difficulty.

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

lead and learn

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