Key Skills Of A Successful Project Manager.

Managing a project is not an easy job. Moreover making sure that the project is successfully completed within the allotted budget and time frame, with the intended results, is even more difficult. A project manager has to undertake huge responsibilities on his shoulders. Even the experienced project managers at times find it difficult to keep control on all the aspects of a project. This clearly indicates that the job of a first time project manager would be all the more difficult. There is a big rush of certified project managers. Getting a certification doesn’t guarantee success in the field of project management. Success in project management depends significantly on a lot of inherent skills that a project manager must possess.

Some of these skills are:


The major chunk of the time spent by a project manager is on communication. Project manager communicates the goals, timeline and budget at the start of the project. He communicates the results of the periodical checks of the progress of the project. He communicates to resolve any issues which the team comes across. He also communicates the final results of the project delivery. Thus for success, a project manager should have excellent communication skills.


A project manager has to have leadership skills. Project manager has to be less of a manager and more of a leader. He must lead by example to keep the project team motivated enough. Progress of a project is not always smooth. At times project manager has to lead the team and show the right direction. He must not see the project team as just team members. He must develop potential project managers out of the current team.

Team management:

Apart from showing leadership skills, a project manager must show good team management skills. This is the most obvious of all the skills that a successful project manager is expected to possess. Project manager must be able to assign tasks, set expectations and roles of each team member. Apart from this he must be able to work on any issue in project delivery. At top of that, he must evaluate performance timely and do the needful to improve any poor performance.


Another important skill that a successful project manager must possess is negotiation. Every project has stakeholders. The client, for whom the project is being done is the stakeholder. The clients may be external or internal. A project manager has to negotiate with the clients on budget, timeline and scope. The result of these negotiations should be such that both the parties are satisfied.

Critical thinking:

A project manager must possess the skill of critical thinking for desired success in project management. The reason is obvious. A project manager is expected to take important decisions almost every now and then. The success of the project depends significantly on the credibility of these decisions. One bad decision without the involvement of critical thinking, might ruin the prospects of successful project delivery.

Risk management:

Risk management is yet another important skill that a project manager must possess. As discussed earlier, progress of a project is not always smooth. There are a lot of roadblocks which might appear and disrupt the progress of the project. A successful project manager must assess these roadblocks and risks in advance. This will enable the project team to be ready and absorb the hiccups which arise due to these roadblocks.

Thus, in spite of relying on fancy certification courses only, a project manager must hone all these skill sets for greater success. Not every project manager is expected to have all these skills inherent. These skills must be developed gradually by implementation on a live project.

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Stella Morey