Project manager skills

The teams involved on a project are often quite varied, including personnel across all levels and divisions. Relationship management, leadership, negotiating expertise and conflict resolution abilities and skills are essential to rally all the players around the same objective…

COMMUNICATE

Project managers must have excellent oral and written communication skills, and be able to talk to all kinds of people. They know how to listen, and where to look for information, then how to summarize and convey it.

MANAGE

Project management requires a liking for management. The teams involved on a project are often quite varied, including personnel across all levels and divisions. Relationship management, leadership, negotiating expertise and conflict resolution abilities are essential to rally all the players around the same objective.

Project managers are also good stewards: they know how to organize, manage a budget and are familiar with the legal framework.

MANAGE RISKS

Project managers are independent and familiar with all the issues. They know how to define problems, evaluate the potential of resources and find creative solutions.

Always vigilant, they continually assess the appropriateness of the project in accordance with changes in the environment. They are able to make timely decisions, and even put a stop to things as required.

Stress management is included under managing risks. Deadlines are tight and the ability to adjust to changing priorities is key.

ADAPT TO THE TYPE OF PROJECT

Each project requires skills that depend on its scope, sector and type of organization. Some projects require advanced knowledge of a technical field, especially projects in information technology, engineering or civil engineering, while others are trans-sector and more general.

As explains Hélène Bénéteau de Laprairie, project manager at Keyrus Canada and Vice-President of PMI-Montreal, desirable qualities in a project manager also depend on the priorities identified for each project. For a project deemed very risky, a manager with expertise in risk management may be the ticket. When it comes to subcontracting an activity abroad, a project manager used to working in a multicultural context will be chosen. 

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