Top 13 Project Management Skills All Project Managers Need

[Music Intro]>>Hello, I’m Jennifer Whitt, director at Welcome to our whiteboard session today on the project management skills
you need as a project manager, no matter if you are new to project management and trying
to understand what skills are required going into the profession, or, if you’ve been in
the profession for a long time and are really frustrated, wondering why certain things aren’t
working, and trying to learn the new skills that you need. Hopefully, this whiteboard
session will help to clarify the skills. There are so many different terms thrown out
in the industry. If you go to Google or look up the word ‘skill’, it means “the ability
to do something well”. It’s like expertise. If you think about project management, there
truly is the art and the science, using the right brain and the left brain. Some skills
are working with people, and some of the things that are more on the art end, and then there’s
the craft, or the science. There are a lot of different skills that one has to know.
Let’s break it down into behavioral and technical skills. If you look at the behavioral side,
these are some of the skills that are required to influence behaviors, like leadership skills,
knowing how to influence others, and how to get them to follow you on the team. “Change Management”, not just the change management
process, but the art of being able to manage change effectively within an organization.
Again, getting others to buy into initiatives within an organization where it’s creating
massive change. Usually, where change occurs, fear occurs, so it’s a matter of navigating
those waters. “Process Management”, really understanding
and having the ability to manage processes effectively. Not only is it the project management
discipline, but understanding and having a clear way of managing processes for your project. “Problem Solving”, being able to take a problem
and break it down into the segments to understand what the real issue is, and solve that, and
take decisive actions to get things done. Also, there’s the “Communication”, communicating
with different levels, whether it’s at the team level, the stakeholders, the change control
board, or the executive level. Literally, with project managers, you have to communicate
up, down, and all around. It’s written, verbal, and all different forms of communication. “Organizing and Planning”, being able to look
at a project and be enabled to organize things into different components, and plan them correctly
and effectively, so that you can manage the project. “Reading Systems”, being able to look around
and see what’s being done, and hear what’s being said, and see how those line up, and
also being able to read when things aren’t going well or sounding right, being able to
tune into the system. “Team Building”, when projects are longer
or shorter, sometimes intense, or when projects are failing, specifically, when emotions are
high and sensitivities are high, being able to get teams working together. Also important,
being able to understand each other, bridging the gap between maybe some of the skills,
maybe some of the cultures, doing those things that are needed to get the team to work together
towards a common goal. “Commitment”, commitment to task, staying
committed throughout the project. You may have seen those times, or may have experienced
them yourself, when things aren’t going well, so you want to eject the project or maybe
get out of there as quickly as you can. It’s really, staying committed through the project,
during the tough times and the good times. “Diplomacy”, knowing whether you’re talking
to an executive or team level, knowing how to be diplomatic in order to get things resolved.
Diplomacy doesn’t mean selling out or conflict avoidance, it’s understanding the diplomacy
needed to be able to navigate the politics or the levels that you’re dealing with in
order to get things done. Those are some of the behavioral skills, and
then, there’s the technical skills. There’s also a knowing about tools, and tools could
be anything from Excel spreadsheets to Microsoft Word, whatever the tools that you need in
order to get things done. There’s also tools being software, having a software tool that
you can use to manage your projects effectively, and others can get in and access the software,
too, like at Then, there are the techniques, whether it’s having a
methodology, knowing how to build a Gantt chart, or being able to map things out, and
decision-making processes. Also, having a clear methodology that you can use, communicate
to the team, and use for the project. A methodology helps not only to get the project done, but
to help others in communicating. By using these project management skills,
again, it goes back to the art and science. It’s a difficult role, as a project manager,
but these are the skills that you need to handle some of the issues that arise, whether
there are people issues, process issues, or technology issues. These are the things that
we found to be helpful skills for a project manager, for those projects that do well.
If you are looking for tips, tools, and techniques, better yet, project management software to
help support your behavioral and technical skills as a project manager, then sign up
for our software at

16 Replies to “Top 13 Project Management Skills All Project Managers Need”

  1. I am completing my Master of Science in Information Technology by December 2014; I 've been employed as  a Telecommunication Specialist for the past 14 years, I've got the Technical Skills part of the Project Manager's skills ok, but a little lack on the Behavioral part-mainly in the Leadership. I am sure Graduate School courses on Leadership will guide me through on that. Since all job position ask for experience in Project Managing and I've not gotten any yet, how can I gain some practical knowledge on project management?



  3. After 27 years on the floor and 55 ,its time that I take it to a new level . If I can be a Toyota leadman , an "I can " attitude is all it takes.

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