The Skills All Project Managers Need to Succeed

The Skills All Project Managers Need to Succeed

Every single day a project manager’s skill set grows and this is something to be embraced. Here we look at the current project management skill set needed to get ahead in this testing job role.

As a project manager, you will be more than aware that you are a continuous learner. Every day your skill set grows and changes to meet the current demands of your job role. Attending project management courses regularly helps, as it means you will always have best practise knowledge. However, in between your project management training courses you should always be seeking to improve yourself, so you are always one step ahead of the game. Every year brings with it new career prospects, new experiences, new projects and a new set of skills necessary for completing the job role well.

Here are the project management skills you need to succeed whatever PM methodology you are trained in whether it’s PMP, PRINCE2 or the range of APMP certifications:


Mindfulness is the hottest word in business right now, because it becomes more and more apparent every day that we all need to be living in the moment as much as possible. If you’re stressed and worrying about the future, or dwelling on the past, you’re not going to be making the most of opportunities right in front of you, right now. Make like a Buddhist and practise mindfulness in order to achieve success, right now.


Leadership is always a skill you will need as a project manager, but the leaders of this year need to be at the top of their game in order to succeed. You must be able to lead with skill, enthusiasm and patience. Skilled leaders inspire and lead effectively, so if you’re still not a skilled leader, now is the time to do something about it.


Working with people can be pretty difficult sometimes. Those with a high level of emotional intelligence are able to see scenarios and emotions the way other people do, and can leave behind their own opinions and emotions in order to reach for the greater good. An excellent project manager has excellent negotiation skills enabling them to resolve conflicts effectively in a wide range of scenarios.

Project Scheduling

Project scheduling is an important skill because it enables deliverables to be, well, delivered. Project management training teaches project scheduling as a core skill, so if you aren’t able to do it well, it might be time for you to book yourself on a course and get up to scratch.

Soft Skills

Negotiation skills fall hand in hand with soft skills. Without effective soft skills, you won’t be able to gain any ground with anyone, no matter how balanced and considered your argument. Soft skills are also important for managing your team, enabling you to effectively manage conflict and guide your team in the right direction without simply bossing them around. Soft skills also come in very handy when dealing with tricky senior management issues.


Money always matters, no matter how imaginative your ideas, or how skillful you are at completing a project. A good understanding of numbers is really important because you must be able to manage project finances intelligently. Get your head around spreadsheets and learn how to budget like a pro. If you’re still bumping off budgeting to colleagues or team members because you don’t feel confident with it – get some project management training before your weakness gets brought to light.

These are just some of the essential skills needed to be a great project manager in 2016. Other vital skills include:

  • Risk Management
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Contract Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Technological Awareness
  • Project Recovery
  • Mentoring
  • Task Management

Remember, as a project manager you can never have too many skills. Recognise what you’re good at and utilise those strengths. Recognise your weaknesses and improve on them. Still feel like you’re in need of knowledge and guidance? Get some project management training under your belt so you can learn about best practices and be the project manager you know you can be.

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