Top 8 In-Demand Skills for Project Managers
What comes to your mind when you think of a top-notch project manager? The typical list includes effective time management and communication skills, leadership mindset, critical thinking… you name it. But will these skills be enough in the near future?
Today, 83% of employers report they have difficulty in finding skilled project managers, which leads to the decline in quality and company’s inability to innovate. By 2020, there will be 700,000 more project management jobs in the United States, according to a Talent Gap report by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
So do you have skills employers will value and look for in the near future?
1. Technical PM skills
Technical skills are among the top three desired skills. They are the hardest to find but easiest to teach as technical skills are primarily process-based. Great project managers should have enough technical knowledge to be able to assign themselves to certain project tasks. Completing them on time helps to earn people’s respect which is a must for successful team management.
2. Strategic mindset
The strategic mindset means having a vision for your business far beyond the end of the year: great managers can visualise 5 or even 10 years out, set long-term goals and predict how day-to-day decisions may impact their business today and in the future.
3. Outstanding leadership skills
66% of companies believe leadership skills are the most valuable trait of a successful project manager. The team relies on PM’s leadership skills to guide and encourage productivity and project success. And when provided with an outstanding leader, team members build stronger relationships and are better able to deal with project challenges.
4. Change management
The ability to adapt successfully to a rapidly changing business environment is what today’s employers are looking for in a project manager. As a great PM, you need to fully understand how changes would impact your business and communicate clearly what’s going on and how it would affect your workforce.
5. Communication skills
Much has been said about communication skills but this critical component is often missing. Without effective written and verbal communication skills, you can’t create the environment for successful project outcomes.
6. Conflict management
A project manager should be able to build a solid team focused on meeting project objectives. Conflict is part of teamwork, and it’s okay as long as it’s managed effectively. Conflict management requires a people-oriented leader who acknowledges the conflict, listens to and understands each person’s position and has the patience to discuss and resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.
The team wants a project manager who can easily adapt to change and be flexible during the times of crisis and uncertainty. Adaptability also means knowing how to handle work stress, keep team members calm and be open to new approaches to solve problems creatively.
8. Great facilitator
A project manager who is a great facilitator knows how to create an environment where team members and stakeholders can collaborate effectively. You should encourage flexibility and creativity within the project teams and keep the team focused on project objectives while making sure everyone’s views are heard and understood.