Successful team leaders understand that they must sharpen their project management skills throughout the year. With the project management space constantly changing and evolving with new industry trends and working behaviors, it can be difficult to know what knowledge will have a lasting impact. Even though many of the tried and tested methods and practices will prevail in 2021 and the years to come, you as a project management leader need to stay on top of the latest trends in your field and embrace continuous growth and development to ensure productivity and the success of every project. After all, one of the hallmarks of modern-day project management leaders is that they are flexible, adaptable, and ready for any change that may come.
Given the fact that project management skills should always evolve, it is becoming increasingly important to develop certain leadership expertise and solidify your knowledge as an expert project manager. Always remember that your teams are counting on you to guide them towards success. You not only have to be a great leader, you also have to possess project management skills necessary to ensure incremental progress through project efficiency, improve workplace culture and employee satisfaction, and embrace the right tools to make projects, goals, and objectives more feasible.
All of this might sound a bit confusing at first, so let’s put it all in perspective by telling you more about the five skills you need to master and the associated steps you need to take to ensure project success.
1. Create a Communication Hierarchy
First things first, as a project manager you have to be an expert communicator. This is nothing new to you probably, as you already understand the importance of efficient and effective communication in the workplace. But how do you achieve higher communication efficiency and what are the changes you need to make to boost collaboration in the process? For one, you have to use your understanding of business communication to create and enforce a comprehensive communication hierarchy.
What is a communication hierarchy, you ask? Simply put, this is a detailed schematic of all communication lanes (vertical and horizontal) within a project and across all teams associated with your project. A strong communication hierarchy should tell each of your team members exactly whom they report to, whom they should communicate with daily, and where every piece of information should go.
Without such a hierarchy in place, you as the project leader can expect your inbox to get flooded by messages and emails that simply don’t concern you, which will invariably reduce efficiency and productivity. Make sure to create a communication hierarchy and that every employee sticks to it no matter what.
2. Learn to Use a Powerful PM Solution
Digital transformation is quite literally transforming the way we organize, manage, and bring projects to fruition. If you’re not using a comprehensive PM tool, you’re missing out on a variety of features that can help minimize costs and elevate productivity across the board.
For example, LiquidPlanner’s Planning Intelligence allows you to prioritize, predict, and perform through a variety of intuitive tools and features for collaborative teams. You can use detailed dashboards and advanced analytics to stay on top of all project parameters, and even manage the financial aspects of your project with ease. You can prioritize tasks strategically, schedule your teams’ workflow and create accurate timetables, and automate resource leveling to create even more accurate schedules.
These and many other features make a project management tool such as LiquidPlanner an invaluable part of your operation.
3. Solidify Your Position as a PM Leader
There are project managers, and then there are project leaders. The former are project managers with years of experience under their wings, and the latter represents the top echelon of project managers who are not only experienced but have the certifications necessary to lead the most complex of projects and earn the trust of their employees.
If you want to become a certified project management professional and a true leader in your field, it’s important that you complete the accredited courses in the PM industry and obtain the right certifications. One of the most important credentials you should get is the PMP (project management professional) certificate. This certificate will only help you solidify your knowledge in our field but will also show the higher-ups and your team members that you’ve got the project management skills and acumen to lead every project to success.
4. Build a Positive Team Culture
One of the most important skills that leaders in the field of project management need to have is the ability to build, nurture, and optimize the culture in their teams. By building a continuous improvement culture, you will help your team members achieve better results and retain productivity over the long-term. That said, you also have to build your culture on the foundation of equality, transparency, accountability, co-dependence, as well as honest and timely communication.
It takes work and dedication on your part, and you can start by creating a detailed draft of your new culture. You can refine it with the input of your colleagues, and then send it to all team members. Make sure to take a personalized approach when doing this and strive to lead by example to make the culture stick. Over time, this new culture will significantly boost happiness, productivity, and overall project success.
5. Manage the Quality of Your Project
As a leader, you’re constantly juggling more than three proverbial balls in the air, and while it is important to stay organized and meet every deadline, you also have to ensure that the quality of the work delivered is up to snuff. In other words, you need to manage the quality of the project at every milestone and ensure that the level of quality stays the same throughout. To do this efficiently, you can have your employees double-check and cross-check their work.
Modern projects require skilled and experienced leaders. Be sure to master these project management skills and use these tips to ensure the success of your projects in 2021 and the years to come.