Q:

What are some important skills for a project manager?

A:

Quick Answer

Important skills for a project manager include communication, organization, leadership, problem solving and knowledge of metrics. These skills are essential for a project manager to be effective in her role of ensuring that project deliverables meet specifications, achieve quality standards and that the project reaches completion on time and within budget.

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Full Answer

The majority of a project manager's time involves communicating. She must get the project requirements from the top stakeholders and pass them on to the project team in terms that team members from various disciplines can understand. She must manage stakeholder expectations and may need to negotiate project scope, costs and deadlines. To ensure that everyone is on the same page and remains focused on the tasks at hand, the project manager facilitates team meetings. Communication skills also help in resolving conflicts.

Organizational skills include planning, prioritizing, time management and ensuring every team member has the resources he needs to do his job. Budgeting and setting project completion milestones also require good organizational skills.

Leadership skills help sustain stakeholder commitment and support. The project manager also uses leadership to motivate and guide team members. Good leadership makes facilitation of meetings smoother. Decision making is another facet of leadership; project managers must exercise sound judgment in making effective decisions.

Knowledge of metrics is essential to tracking the progress and success of the project, and for writing project status reports for upper management. Metrics can also help identify problems as they form, so that the project manager can intervene and resolve them quickly.

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