A project refers to any temporary endeavor undertaken to create something unique. The ability of an individual to plan and guide the processes of such a project from start till end, is known as his project management skills. The stages through which all these processes are guided are initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.
There is a wide range of skills needed for successful project management. The application of all such skills, knowledge, tools and techniques to the activities of a project, in order to meet all project requirements, is known as project management.
Why is project management important
Whether or not someone holds the title of project manager officially, there is a high probability that they will be required to lead some sort of project at a certain point in their life. That is what makes project management skills so important for everyone.
Project management skills of an individual offer a number of benefits to the organization, making it an ever appealing trait to the employers. These skills improve the efficiency of the individual as well as the organization by developing a complete understanding of the goals, objectives, and benefits of a project before significant resources are committed to it. This ensures that the organization initiates only the projects which are expected to provide benefits greater than the investments made.
Project management skills also help in minimizing the costs and risks associated with making changes to the end-product because of the systematic process they enable the organization to implement for the purpose of managing changes in the scope and objectives of the project.
How to improve project management skills
Following are some tips that may prove helpful in improving your project management skills:
- Ensure documentation. Develop a project charter providing the project description including its title, need, required resources, measures of success, and the assigned project manager. All these details must be acknowledged and the charter must be signed off by all the involved parties. Also, create a project plan, which is a detailed document describing the project costs, schedule, resources, and potential risk. It also entails how all these elements are planned to be managed. All such documentation is necessary to keep all stakeholders on board and retrieve any information when required.
- Work in an organized manner. Whatever big or small project you are asked to lead, break it down into small and manageable pieces. Identify the staff involved in each piece as well as the timeline for its completion. This brings about a huge improvement in one’s project management skills.
- Communicate frequently. Lack of communication is most of the time the major reason behind any project failure. Even if the managers do give communication some importance, they fail to make it a ‘two-way street’. Communicating frequently with the staff and encouraging feedback from them makes this communication a two-way stream which is integral to the successful completion of any project.