Tips to improve Project Management Skills

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Project management is the employment of knowledge, skills and techniques to perform projects in a most efficient and dynamic way. It is a calculated skill, which allows a person to tie projects result to business goals and thus become a leader in the market.

The Project management process comprises of the following five stages:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

In today’s competitive environment, project management requires an individual to put in the extra efforts and develop new ideas and skills, which will make the project a success. The primary demand for project management is to achieve all the goals that are required for a business to prosper. For this, there is a huge demand for skillful and hard working project managers.

The active participation of project manager in an organization results in achieving milestones. He should plan the strategies according to the project and invest long hours in search of techniques, to teach his counterparts and to help minimize the risks and conflicts.

Must have skills for a Project Manager

To become a good project manager, one must be capable of the following skills:

Subject Matter Knowledge

The project manager should be aware of all the work going on in an organization. He should have the knowledge of the services and products produced within his company. In addition, he must be capable enough to handle and deal with the customers, stakeholders, suppliers and functional leaders within the organization.

The effective managers should be good advisers and good listeners too. This maintains proper inflow of information between him and his employees.

The project manager, who has just begun his career, utilizes some of his time in the learning process. Here, he gathers the required knowledge and later on becomes capable of taking good decisions; participate in effective meetings and delivers successful projects. The project manager should know how to use the correct tools that are required at different levels for the completion of the project.

Leadership Skill

An effective project manager should know how to motivate his team. He should take the initiative for the proper functioning of the project. As per the requirement of the work, the project manager should divide the workload among each individual to lessen the burden. This shows his efficiency in taking the leadership.

Organizational Management

Project Managers plan strategies by using the specific tools such as charters, risk assessment, Gantt charts, decision matrices and many other tools throughout the project. This helps in the successful running of the organization.

Time Management

One of the most important features of project management is scheduling. A good project manager should specify the milestones and assign target dates to ensure that the deadlines are attached to the completion of the project.

The project manager knows the value of time. He should concentrate on the important tasks rather than involving all the countless goods in the project. There are some necessities that a project manager should keep in mind, in order to manage his time well. There should be proper planning for the execution of the project that will save time for other tasks also.

Communication

A project manager must be proficient in communicating with other people. It can be observed by the way he handles the situation while conversing with the customers, stakeholders, suppliers, and functional leaders within the organization. They should know when to communicate with a simple email or when to converse in a written form.

Language is an integral and vital part of the communication process that decides about the behavior of the manager. As the language used by the project manager immediately tips team members about how competent or how qualified he is. Another aspect is that he must be able to communicate in a way, that each of his counterparts is able to understand what he is actually trying to convey.

Political Intelligence

There are times when the qualities of the project manager fail to fulfill the demands required for the project. At that time, they take help from their senior leaders for completion of the task. The project managers within the organization are good at scheduling and updating forums with senior leadership and functional leaders so that the functions of the business are carried out well.

Comfortable running a meeting

As a project manager of an organization, one needs to arrange meetings at different levels of the project. The manager needs to satisfy the needs of the clients. He should be very comfortable in facing different types of people.

Few points should be kept in mind for the success of the project. Firstly, one should completely focus on the project’s success, rather than thinking of all the other scenarios. He should state the objectives of the project at the starting of the meeting, so that the meeting proceeds in an efficient manner. As a project manager, one cannot be an expert, but can try his best to resolve issues that come across the passage of a meeting.

Effective Project management techniques

There should be an improvement in the management of projects. For this, there are different project management techniques that help in the development of the organization. Here are enlisted the different methods:

Budgeting

Budget is one of the most important management features for planning, monitoring and controlling the required finances of a project of an organization. Project management should follow the below criteria for keeping the budget on the track.

  • The management should keep track of the income and expenditure over the course of the year or for the present time.
  • The management should be careful enough to determine the problems that are required to be changed in the financial sector of an organization. 
  • There should be proper planning of how much income is required to be invested for the project.
  • Providing a basis for responsibility and lucidity in a project

Program and financing staff should take the responsibility for the proper formulation of the budget together since the budget is based on the objectives, action plans and resources.

Multitasking

The organizational multi-tasking occurs when the dedication of each of the employee of an organization is divided against many open streams of work. In today’s competitive world multi-tasking is seen as one of the most essential skills. Besides that, it has several negative effects. If an individual is working on different tasks at one time, it is obvious that there will be some mistakes. If we look into the history, we find that multi-tasking has demonstrated that human beings work much more unanimously when putting efforts on a single task at a particular time than performing all tasks at same time.

Multi - tasking is one of the biggest diseases of productivity in knowledge, work and project. By dedicating a single task to each individual, the leader can reduce the pressure and improvise the productivity at different levels of an organization. By this, it becomes easy for the project managers to detect the domain of improvement and thus, they can accordingly take actions to remove them.

The Effects of organizational multi-tasking

  • Peanut - butter spreading
    • In an organization, the project requires the engagement of multi engineers. However, for a single work only one engineer is engaged so that the process is carried well without any mistakes.
  • Unsynchronized priorities
    • Before working on a project, the manager should plan the systematic working arena so that each member of a team gives hundred percent to work. Each member should be engaged in a single responsibility, for example if a representative in a group works on a particular feature, a module, or sub- systems of a project in an organization.
  • High work - in process for managers
    • In an organization, project managers assign multi-tasking to different departments at the same time. The consequences of the work allotted together gives less productivity and improvement is required. Organizational multi-tasking results in a severe downfall than individual multi-tasking. If the same criteria are carried for long in an organization, then it is for sure that heavy loss will be caused in a number of ways.
  • Idle Time
    • In an organization, the workers who do not have anything to do they take a task that is incomplete. They are not provided with sufficient information, so the work instead of getting completed is hanged on, in the middle of the project. This in turn causes extra effort and the other members of the team again have to jump upon the same task, which creates wastage of time and energy.
  • Unavailable managers
    • In an organization if there is lack of project managers, the demand completely relies on multi-tasking scope. Here the manager has to play a vital role of taking decision, which should be planned in an organized way. Proper interaction with each individual in a group should be crystal clear. The manager should spend 15 minutes every day so that the output is worth the effort. However, generally we find that in the case of multi-tasking, managers are very careless in the time framing which results in heavy damages.
  • Loss of control :
    • In an organization, all the tasks are performed in a much-planned manner. Due to multi-tasking, there are lot of issues, which arise automatically. The manager wastes its resources solving different kinds of problems of each member of the team. It is very difficult to change the habits of each individual so it is better to stop organizational multi-tasking so that each one can focus on their own performance. The method of planning and execution in an organization is called flow based project management. With this flow-based management, the employee, can give their best performance and take the task to completion without any obstructions.

Improving Project Management Skills

If we look back in the history, good project management has reaped an increasingly large following. The principle of this management needs a direct focus on constant improvement, team, input, flexibility and the delivery of high quality products.

In an organization, there should be an effective project management. There is a requirement of chain of events and good planning which leads to the proper growth of the project development. To improve the project management skills, one should follow the below strategies:

Project planning

In an organization, each step should be formulated accurately. The project, on which the team is working, must contain a mission so that the target is completed on time.

Release Planning

In the project each member should deliver various features at defined time in order to use these stepping-stones for the growth of an organization. The manager should plan the project release at the mentioned date. In addition, he should specify a launch date so that the team can work towards the achievement of the goal.

Sprint

In an organization, there should be the proper implementation of the data. Each feature should focus on the growth of the products levied in an organization. In order to maintain the standard of the organization, one must focus on achieving the desired goals in a stipulated period.

Sprint Planning

The project should be properly discussed with each member in the group. The goal should be achieved on the date before or on the same day. The task should not be extended for long, which leads to the complete failure of the project. The strategies and planning should be well framed before the implementation, so that no disruption occurs in the work process. Team effort and equal partnership is required for the achievement of the goal.

Conclusion

In an organization if there is an adoption of monotonous and progressive approach, there will be a fundamental change in working practices for the management team and the other members involved in the project. Successful planning and systematic work requires an ongoing and adaptive approach. It requires the whole team to embrace change in the organization and thus, the continual improvement, will hopefully produce better results for the success and growth of the organization at the end of the day.

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