The Only Skills that Project Managers Need to Master in 2018

Every organization has one person that takes the responsibility of making every business operation successful. Any guesses? Well, it’s a project manager.

An organization’s growth mostly depends on an efficient manager. In fact, 97% of organizations agree that project management is critical for business performance.

A project manager is responsible towards,

  1. Fulfilling a client’s needs
  2. Managing the staff,
  3. And, making sure that all moving parts fall into place according to a planned strategy.

However, managing many tasks requires a person to keep its skills updated. This also suggests that the future of project managers depends on skills they bring in each year and that too according to the biggest technological advancements.

Project Managers in 2018

Project Managers

According to study by Capterra, only 56% of project managers are certified. That goes on to show that certification might not be that essential. But to beat the existing market competition, it is important to upgrade their skills.

Thus, it’s no wonder why trends in 2018 emphasize management skills as the top priority. Even recruiters seek a manager that has worked upon improving its skills and is able to contribute at work space. Not only it helps to improve the work flow but also assists clients achieve their desired results before the deadline.

However, it’s become tough for prospective managers to take up a new job. They have a new challenge that can risk their job opportunities in market. It’s none other than AI empowered technology. Most corporations have started integrating AI technology that assists recruiters hire the right talent. Here the recruiting experts worldwide will apply machine-learning and automated algorithms to screen CVs, communicate with candidates, and ultimately report on the best decisions.

In other words, managers need to master a couple of vital skills. Only those skills can help them secure a management position within a firm. And using a simple project management software is just the beginning of industry requirements. Now more than ever, leadership requires knowledge for supporting the business goals and raising the efficiency of a highly motivated workforce.

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So, how do you reach to the next level of leadership?

Reaching the Next Level

Being a leader is not a title that is given. It is a quality that is earned through hard work. The work in question refers to the good project management skills. These are necessary for leading and managing a team. These are but not restricted to the following:

  • Sharing and establishing the company’s vision.
  • Motivating and engaging team members.
  • Coaching and guiding staff every step of the way.
  • Efficiently resolving conflicts.
  • Evaluating a team’s performance.
  • Ensuring that the team has the budget, tools, space, and other necessities for completing projects.
  • Inspiring employees and others.

That being said, the role of a leader is not just about ensuring that staff feels comfortable. It’s They also need to keep up with a project’s pace and stay on schedule. In other words, project managers have to set up, supervise, and even work outside their responsibilities to get the project done. The trick is to maintain a healthy balance between a project and a team.

This year managers should not only focus on managing but also leading their teams. To put it simply, they need to have a clear vision. This way with addition of specific guidelines, their team can successfully complete the project.

Communication – Crux of Every Successful Business

According to a study, “about 90% of the time in a project is spent on communication by the project manager.” However, the quality of interactions and effective communication skills are what more important. Otherwise, there is a risk of completely missing the outcome.

So what are the essential points for quality communication skills? Project managers should master communication by first learning the art of listening. Also, they need to be clear and sure that everyone has understood the plan.

Since they have three main directions for communication (stakeholders, clients, and staff), it’s a project manager’s responsibility to pick and adopt the right channels for each of these communication options. Why? Because with the right channel, excellent communication skills, and information flow to the intended person at the right moment, can help to overcome many misunderstandings, errors, and delays.

Planning and Time Management Skills is a Must

Time management and organizing a project development go hand in hand. Unfortunately, not many project managers realize the benefits of project scheduling, even though it’s one of the easiest but core skills.

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In 2018, there will be no excuses for lacking control over time. This why managers will need to plan and schedule all of the project steps in advance.

They have to know how much specific activities will cost and break down the scheduled project into milestones. This would help them achieve objectives in time. Also, managers need to establish a timeline and follow it until the end of the project.

Moreover, proper time management means learning to prioritize and setting up crucial tasks in advance. This way they won’t spend time on less important things and bring the company one step closer to success.

Risk Management Included

No matter how much time and effort project managers invest in a project, sometimes things go sideways due to delays or some other unexpected internal or external situations. Therefore, risk management is another skill 2018 project managers need to conquer.

As it’s important to always be in control, managers need to analyze potential threats. Once identified, they must determine the probability and backup solutions for better risk management. It will increase the chances of delivering quality projects on time, while business remains protected from damages with a recovery plan that can quickly get processes back on schedule.

Technology and Subject Matter Expert Required

The digital revolution has slowly reshaped the corporate setting. Nowadays, businesses rely on technology and automation to cut costs and time spent on repetitive tasks. Hence, managers should know how systems such as simple project management software operate, and use it to their advantage.

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Being familiar with accessible tools and beneficial cloud-based platforms shows expertise on the subject matter. Likewise, to assess the time and costs of the project accurately and to negotiate the scope of work is another skill of an experienced manager.

Knowledge of the subject matter suggests that managers are equipped to run the projects. It’s also a bonus for interacting with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Although being familiar with the basics is essential, being an expert could make a huge difference when applying for the leading project management position.

In the End..

Updated skill set can help any individual beat the existing job market competition. But its not just about upgrading new skills and adding them to your CV. Anyone can achieve that goal. It’s also about mastering them.

It’s not just you who would apply for the opportunity. Many would do the same. Therefore, being a decent manager just won’t cut it.

With the five crucial skills mentioned above, a project manager can beat its competitors in 2018. Although it may not be an easy task, there are many tools and online project management solutions that you can turn to for help.

The time is favorable for those who want to work on these skills. But it’s best to start filling up your resume with impressive knowledge on the matter.


David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in Project management domain helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in work flows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be reached out on ProProfs Project.

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