Everything is learnt and used with pre-knowledge and practice. We all come as unlearnt beings and develop, invent with our stay on this planet. Looking around, all the inventions and innovations are credited to the human mind. But like every sector which holds its specialty, there are certain skills a person must develop for the field they believe to pursue. Similar to all this, the project management field also requires a certain set of attributes for the individuals involved in it. These are broadly defined as project management skills.
The importance of project management skills is also common to other sectors, such as data analytics, human resources and others. A person who wishes to be a part of the project management team must develop and refine these management skills. Project management skills can be divided into two. It can be both hard skills and soft skills. The list of project management hard skills include mastery in handling projects and information. While the project management soft skills include various skill development ranging from communication to empathy.
Before we dive into knowing these soft and hard skills, we must understand the importance of project management skills. Let us know what these project management skills are and what their significance is.
Project management field requires skill establishment too. These skills are broadly known as project management skills. These skills are divided into two- project management hard skills and soft skills.
What are Project Management Skills ?
In the generic sense, project management skills refer to the attributes or traits that are required to carry out and coordinate with projects effectively. These project management skills work as the entry point into the field and working of project management.
Earlier, the project management skills were more pertained to the business and engineering fields. With this, the importance of project management skills was being developed with changing IT sectors too .
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Those who invest time in learning these project management skills, develop the right mindset and behavioral patterns to handle any project. The importance of project management skills lies also in a better understanding of different types of sectors, businesses and organizations. Apart from learning the skills of project management, it also implicates in us several behavioral skills. These skills are yet again required for implementation in various other fields. The other skill learning initiated by these project management skills are:
- Verbal and Non-verbal communication
- Reflective listening
- Conflict resolution
These additional skills are very beneficial in project management too, especially for the project managers.
Why do you need project management skills ?
Project management skills help to understand the projects and builds proficiency. It further assists in understanding the teammates and their outlooks towards the projects as well. In this, both the project management hard skills and soft skills play a very essential role. Promoting these project management skills must begin in the initial stages of higher education. It becomes the focal point to practice and bring in use of these management skills. These skills further help in laying the fundamentals of starting a project with its exact life-cycle.
The balance of both project management hard and soft skills ensure the smooth run of the project as well as team coordination. It assists in being icebreakers and understanding the specialization of each team member . By doing so, it locks the role of every member for the particular project, thus completing the project in time.
Today, project management skills have exceeded engineering and IT sectors. They hold relevance in every field. The importance of project management skills are many. Right from initiating good team work to non-verbal communication, these skills pertain everywhere.
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Project Management Hard Skills To Learn
As we come to understand the importance of project management skills, we must know them closely. Let us understand the hard skills for project management. These hard skills are essentially revolving in and around the understanding of project management. It is more into understanding what qualities an individual must possess for operating project management. Below are the 4 most important project management hard skills to learn
The first and foremost skill to be in project management is risk management. There are chances of loopholes at different stages of project management, which requires diligent attention to find the needful solutions. While this sounds to be a soft skill, it is not. The project manager as well as the team members must know the structured pattern of risk management at any stage of project management. Usually, the team of project management must be aware of the operation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF).
Understanding Monitoring and Project Performance Metrics
One of the project management hard skills is understanding project metrics and how to monitor them. This includes that the entity must understand how to continuously evaluate the project and find out the potential issue. The entity must also have pre-knowledge about project metrics which includes efficiency, progress, performance, productivity and quality of projects. There should also be an understanding of scheduling the project and keeping a track of finance plus profitability. The monitoring must also include the team or the individual in keeping a track of the quality and productivity of the projects.
The essential part of project management is planning. It plays a crucial role in succeeding in the project. Planning skills include project curation, execution and control. It also requires the entity to correctly document, take decisions, and approve after understanding the scope, schedule and budget of projects. The team as well as the individuals must be efficient in understanding the four basics of project management. These are the what, why, who and when of the particular projects. There must also be sufficient knowledge about the project planning tools, such as WBS, Gantt Charts, CPM Charts, etc.
Project Management Software Knowledge
In today’s time, with so much involvement in project management software, it is essential to know about the different software and their working. This technical skill is required to select the appropriate software after understanding the type of project. It also is required to get a better understanding of project management software alternatives. This skill also initiates a better underst
anding of the features and speciality or distinction of the project management software. Further, this skill increases the chances of a position in the technicalities of project management as you would be able to know which software is well. This would also help the project managing team to curate or customize its project management software.
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Budgeting and Cost-Management
One of the essential project management hard skills is managing the finance of the project. Every project and its management involves different costs. The entity must be skilled to complete the project at the given cost. Also, it must be made sure that the given resources are used as per the budget. In this project management hard skills, the plan must be executed and planned as per budget. Proficiency in this skill implies that the project would be executed well and under the determined budget.
These are the 5 project management hard skills that are very essential to find a position in project management. Companies and organizations look for how much practicality is involved in each of the hard skills.
Project management hard skills include technical understanding in the field. The 5 important project management hard skills are:
- Planning Skills
- Project Management Software Knowledge
- Risk Management
- Understanding Monitoring and Project Performance Metrics
- Budgeting and Cost Management
Project Management Soft Skills To Learn
Apart from the gaining of hard skills, project management soft skills are also essential. Soft skills imply more on personality development and thought process. The learning of project management soft skills is essential for several aspects. It helps in the smooth run of the team and understanding the similarities and differences. Also, with soft skills, it becomes easier to refine thoughts and work accordingly.
Below are 5 project management soft skills that you must learn
The foremost project management soft skill is communication skills. This skill is essential in all the stages, right from building rapport to communicating ideas. Every person in the project management team is assigned certain tasks. To communicate about it and chip in related opinions, communication is required. With communicative skills, the vision and common understanding of the project would disseminate to all. Communication is the core to keep the project running smoothly in the long term.
A person who is interested to work in project management must have exposure to working with teams. Teamwork is an essential part of project management, for its pitching and succession. Building up the teamwork quality makes us collaborative and cooperative. It helps us to understand what the team is looking for. With teamwork, there can be a regular assessment of whether every teammate is working or not. The productivity and completion of the project could also be evaluated in teamwork. Further, teamwork is essential to take the project to its destination. Any loophole in it would hamper the growth and progress of the projects.
There is a huge chance of difference in project management since the team would include people with different backgrounds. There are essentially two types of conflict, external and internal. A person involved in project management must be able to manage well between their personal and professional lives. Any personal issue must not be obstructing the individual’s work at the office. In the external environment or working space, the team for project management must respect each other. They must keep aside their differences and work according to the goals of the projects.
Motivation is a crucial part of developing project management soft skills. Motivation helps the project manager to take the project to the peak of success. It plays the role of envisaging a driving force in curating the best ideas and methods for the project. Usually, in a working space, motivation is promoted with various factors. These include a promotion, increase in salary based on merit, etc. Other teammates must motivate each other to work on the projects and complete them successfully. It also helps in minimizing the fear of consequences and working efficiently.
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Amongst the project management soft skills, decision-making is very essential. The decisions taken could be categorized as strategic, rationale and potential. It is the entire responsibility of the team to make decisions in project management. The individual involved in the decision making of a project must look out for all the criteria. He or she must be able to understand the expected consequences and analyze them. This will help them in framing rational and reliable decisions. Those who aim to become project managers must be stern and objective in taking decisions. For every project, the final decisions are in the hands of the project manager.
These are the 5 essential project management soft skills. Learning and developing them is essential for assimilation, adaptation and sound continuation in project management.
Project management soft skills include the personality budding to work in the field. The 5 important project management soft skills are:
- Communication Skills
- Teamwork Qualities
- Managing Conflicts
- Motivational Quality
- Decision Making
Project management skills are defined as the skills which promote the chances of handling projects rationally. These management skills are the fundamentals for any fresher to enter the field of project management. They assist in providing a practical and technical understanding of project management. Today, these project management skills hold great relevance as project management continues to expand in different fields.
Project management skills are divided into two kinds. These are project management hard skills and project management soft skills. An acquisition and understanding of both sets of skills frame the importance of project management skills. The project management hard skills are the technical skills. These skills emphasize the technicalities that are included in project management. These include risk management, planning skills, etc.
Whereas, the project management soft skills emphasize the need for personality development. They promote assimilation and understanding of how to work in a professional atmosphere. These skills shape the person’s body language that is required in a working space. These include motivation, teamwork, communication skills, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are project management soft skills important?
Yes, project management soft skills are essential. They shape a person’s personality on how to work in a professional setting. These skills include communicative aptitude, motivation, teamwork and others. Developing these skills ensures no conflict and smooth adaptability in different workspace.
- What are soft and hard skills?
Hard skills are the skills that are taught in terms of a particular system’s working. It is measurable and defines the IQ level of the person. It includes the understanding of what are the resources being used in an organization.
Soft skills are the skills that are immeasurable and focus on personality upliftment. They are common in different sectors and facilitate adaptation. They are important to develop our cognition about work and working space.
- Is problem-solving a soft skill?
Yes. problem-solving skills are considered to be one’s internal strength in finding solutions. It is a soft skill, as it is immeasurable and differs in every individual.
 Childre, F., & Perce, K. H. (1998). Project management skills. AAOHN Journal, 46(8), 391-405.
 Pant, I., & Baroudi, B. (2008). Project management education: The human skills imperative. International journal of project management, 26(2), 124-128.
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